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Why Are Nations So Divided? Trump, Brexit, and the Struggle for Status

There’s a schism between the idealism of globalization—i.e. that a more connected, educated, and mobile world is going to make everything better—and that of populism, which demands a more insular, community orientated way of life and thus and world at large. In 2016, both the U.K. and the U.S. made it overwhelmingly apparently that the schism had reached a boiling point: the UK voted to leave the European Union without, seemingly, any forethought as to what it would do to the economy. And America elected a reality TV star, Donald Trump, who advocated both sexual assault and violence against journalists. Good times! But David Goodhart says we should have seen this coming—that there has been a battle between “Anywhere” and “Somewhere” for decades, and that the issues don’t all come down to “elites” versus “non-educated”. It moreover comes down to a political system that favors one over the other. So what can we do? Perhaps see the other side for who they really are: one of us, just with a different view on the world.

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