Posted by Curt on 22 September, 2017 at 6:11 pm. 4 comments already!


Richard Fernandez:

Three strange incidents occurred in recent weeks. Nancy Pelosi was “shouted down by immigration activists for trying to strike Dreamers deal with Trump”. Hillary Clinton’s book received disappointing reviews from the left and former FBI director James Comey was heckled at Howard University. “Go home Comey, you’re not our homey.” The audience was turning on its performers.  All were signs the once reliable Blue Model is misfiring.

Time magazine …  offer a brutal assessment concerning the direction of the Democratic Party. One rallying cry from the Left is that Clinton lost because she … wasn’t left wing enough. Every time the party has gone this way in national elections, they’ve lost in a landslide. … to win back the House, to redraw congressional maps favorable to the Left—you need to rebuild the party apparatuses in the rural areas, which have all but disintegrated.

In a classic case of the law of unintended consequences identity politics is undermining globalism instead of being its tool.  The unexpected drawbacks are being felt as far afield as Europe.  Spain, one of Europe’s pillars, seems about to break up.  “Spain’s EU partners fear a mounting crisis over Catalans’ latest push for independence, and their public support for Mariano Rajoy belies some disquiet that the conservative prime minister’s hardline tactics might backfire.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, through a spokesman … [stressed] it was an “internal Spanish matter” [but] .. that Berlin had “great interest in the maintenance of stability in Spain”. …

While publicly refusing to take sides on whether a Catalan breakaway is desirable, few European leaders would welcome it.

As with the 2014 referendum in Scotland, which unlike Catalonia’s vote was held with the blessing of the central government in London, countries fear encouraging separatists at home: Belgium’s Flemings, Italy’s Lombards and so on. There is also a broader unwillingness as Britain exits from the EU to open another Pandora’s box of economic uncertainty and legal disruption.

It can no longer be denied that “global institutions” are in trouble.  Trump’s UN speech about the resurgence of nations may not be as foolish as the media says.  Vox wrote that “in his maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, President Donald Trump painted a dark vision of a world where every nation stands alone and cooperation is transactional and motivated by self-interest rather than shared values.”  But that seemed exactly the sentiment activists at Howard University intended to convey.  “Go home __, you’re not our __.”  There’s the other and there’s the us.

Shared values can’t exist in a world where each ever splintering group seeks its own “safe space” only a step ahead of the pursuing harpies of cultural appropriation.  “Divide and conquer” couldn’t live in the same town as “we are the world” forever.  Sooner or later the global project had to square off against identity politics and it looks like the hyphens are winning.

The high tide of the European idea probably occurred during its expansion into the Ukraine and been in retreat ever since.  Though 2016 may be remembered as the year Hillary lost the presidential election, the Guardian soberly noted it was also the moment the once-expanding EU prepared contracted for the first time in its history.  Though European commissioners may say “Don’t believe that the unfortunate decision of Brexit will have any influence”.

In reality, the initial Eastern Partnership plans are in tatters, as both enlargement fatigue inside the EU and a stick-carrot combination from Russia has pushed a number of the countries away from wanting further integration with the EU. Two of them, Belarus and Armenia, have joined Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union, an explicit challenge to the EU, while nobody seriously speaks about Ukraine or Georgia as members any more.

If the global order lost its hard power with Hillary’s defeat it eroded its cultural influence further through absurd virtue signaling that seems to have lost all sense of propertion. “Former [Australian] prime minister Tony Abbott says he was shocked when a man wearing a ‘Vote Yes’ [to same sex marriage] badge assaulted him after requesting a handshake in a ‘sign of trust and peace'”.

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