Must-Read: The Truth of Cosmopolitanism: "Douthat’s column is a perfect cocktail consisting of one part insight, one part self-loathing and one part flagrant error...:
...The insight... Chris Hayes.... "The problem was so deep and so tied to the entire social order and rising inequality in the American model of enlightened meritocratic rule that even competent leadership from President Obama, or a period in which there weren’t the same sort of succession of elite failures, wasn’t going to put Humpty Dumpty back together again."... I’m not necessarily convinced that this is the defining cleavage of our era (see below), I’m convinced it’s a cleavage.
And yet, never underestimate the self-loathing contained in these kinds of essays.... By definition, cosmopolitans are supposed to be open to criticism--so any of them with any sense of self-doubt will seize upon this argument as an example of what’s what’s wrong with their lives.
The final point, however, is that the rooted/cosmopolitan divide is only one of many.... I’m not even sure it’s the most salient.... Replace ‘nativist’ with ‘old’ and ‘cosmopolitan’ with ‘young.’... Does talking about a young/old divide make things any different?... Douthat is no doubt correct to point out the biases that cosmopolitans possess. But his implicit counterpoint is that nativists possess some deep reservoir of local knowledge that cosmopolitans overlook. Except that if the cleavage is split by age, it suggests... older voters... fueled by a sense of nostalgia... that... may or may not be true..... George Saunders....
The Trump supporter might be best understood as a guy who wakes up one day in a lively, crowded house full of people, from a dream in which he was the only one living there, and then mistakes the dream for the past: a better time, manageable and orderly, during which privilege and respect came to him naturally, and he had the whole place to himself.... Spoiled Americans, imbued with unreasonable boomer expectations... grievances... more theoretical than actual, more media-induced than experience-related.
Indeed, Trump’s whole campaign shtick is predicated on this kind of nostalgia, which contains far more truthiness than truth.