Trump and the Alt-Right: A Return to ‘Localism’

The alt-right is new, but it’s intellectually descended from the John Birch Society and Pat Buchanan brand of conservatism, which failed to gained wide acceptance. It ended when Reagan, who promoted a message and policy of unity, won twice by significant margins, changing the course of American national politics from one of identity to one of all-inclusiveness (or what some call a ‘globalist agenda’). Clinton continued on the path of inclusion where Reagan left off, also winning by large margins. Globalization cannot be fixed with nationalism alone, because globalization is both a mindset and a from of policy. The rise of the internet and mass media has contributed to the former, by making international events as important, if not more so, than local ones. To end globalization, one must literally disengage from the rest of the world. This could explain why sports, celebrity gossip, and reality TV are so popular – not only is it escapism, but such things are very local. 911 was ‘local’, and as awful as it was, it brought the nation together. Globalism can cause anomie and ennui because it’s hard to develop a social or personal connection with it, but also the powerlessness in trying to change it. Donald Trump, who is a reality TV star, is refreshing to so many, and why he won, because he’s the first American president exclusively for Americans, in a long while.

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