Procrastination on September 21, 2017

Should-Read: Will says: "The standard form of liberal civic nationalism is egalitarian within the in-group of shared citizenship..." There has been something more with American civic nationalism: it is a nationalism of people who have come and whose ancestors have come from all over the world to a place where they can live freely, work hard, raise each other up, and build a utopia to show the rest of the world how good things can be: "He shall make us a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, 'may the Lord make it like that of New England'. For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us...", in the words of my ancestor John Winthrop.

All that seems to be lost in the minds of an aging group of greedy white guys, scared that mysterious others are going to take away what they have somehow:

Will Wilkinson: What Drives Opposition to Immigration? In-Group Favoritism, Out-Group Hostility, and Donald Trump: "Friedman contrasts 'xenophobia' and 'nationalism', but I’d like to reframe... (To many of us, xenophobia and nationalism go hand in hand.)... https://niskanencenter.org/blog/drives-opposition-immigration-group-favoritism-group-hostility-donald-trump/

...In-group favoritism (“nationalism”) need not imply hostility to out-groups (“xenophobia”). He goes on to argue that opposition to immigration is driven mainly by in-group favoritism; out-group hostility is less important.... I think opposition to immigration is drive... at least as much by out-group antipathy as by in-group favoritism....

Voters know next to nothing about politics and policy, aren’t very ideological, and tend to vote in groups defined by personal and social identities—race, religion, class, etc.... Once we’ve assumed a partisan identity, usually on the basis of a more fundamental social identity (e.g., union member, African American, evangelical Christian, etc.), we mostly just go along with whatever our party happens to be currently saying—if... we happen to be sufficiently clued in to what our party is saying.... Policy positions of voters—and even politicians—can be quite malleable in response to new signals from respected group leaders....

This is pretty telling to me. Most Republicans seem to think you need to be a Christian non-immigrant to count as a full-fledged member of the national in-group, and these views were especially prevalent among Trump primary supporters....

Xenophobia... an aversion to foreignness and those who seem strangely other, is an element of nationalism, in the sense of “nationalism” currently under public discussion.... Xenophobic sentiment and a drive to exclude non-white, non-Christian, non-English-speaking Americans from full and equal membership in the political community seem obviously related.... Out-group hostility drives opposition to immigration. And, as Sides shows, it drove Democrats who had voted for Obama to support Trump. Comparing the determinants of the 2012 and 2016 presidential vote share, Sides writes: “What stands out most... is the attitudes that became more strongly related to the vote in 2016: attitudes about immigration, feelings toward black people, and feelings toward Muslims.”...

Trump’s nationalism is a form of in-group partiality, for sure. But the relevant in-group is, as Müller suggests, a subset of American citizens who approximate an exclusive populist conception of American national identity. The relevant out-group, then, includes other American citizens, as well as foreigners. The form of nationalism Friedman examines in his piece is more legalistic and less cultural, drawing the in-group/out-group distinction in terms of shared citizenship.... The standard form of liberal civic nationalism is egalitarian within the in-group of shared citizenship. Citizens get equal weight, period. Nativity, race, religion, languages spoken, etc. simply don’t matter.... In our current political context, that seems like a dream. Populist nationalism, in contrast, is inegalitarian within the in-group of shared citizenship.... You’ve got xenophobia, [and] nationalism comes along as part of the bargain.

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