In a stunning turn of events, Hillary Clinton has come out in favor of curbing migration to Europe. In an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian, Clinton said that “I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame,” referring to the rise of nationalistic populism.
Although her motivation is different from President Donald Trump’s, they agree on what actions to take: Migration must be curbed.
Democrat John Kerry made a similar remark to The Guardian: “Look at Europe! Europe’s already crushed under this transformation that’s taken place because of immigration.” Their seemingly coordinated remarks suggest that this is more than just isolated ponderings. It may give insight into discussions that have taken place in the Democratic Party inner circles.
Testing the Waters
We can only speculate why both Clinton and Kerry chose Europe as the target of their remarks, but a logical explanation is that they want to test the response to shifting policies on immigration in a way that allows them plausible deniability. If they receive massive criticism from the left in America, they can claim that they were only talking about Europe because it has a situation uniquely different from the problems facing the United States.
…the power arrogance of the governing globalists caused the rise of populism.
If, however, they are greeted by a wall of silence from the left, or even voices of approval, it may be what they need to start shifting the Democrat position on migration in America.
While Clinton will never say so explicitly, she has implicitly accepted the populist argument. Populists define themselves as a popular uprising against an elite that has lost touch with the common man and is pursuing a political project without democratic support – in this case, globalism.
Clinton says that the massive migration into Europe in combination with the E.U.’s ineptness in handling the situation has “lit the flame.” Her antidote to populism is the ruling class shifting to align with the values and goals of the people. In so doing, she acknowledges that the power arrogance of the governing globalists caused the rise of populism.
In one sense, she concedes defeat in the realm of ideas but not in power. It is still not too late to prevent the populists from taking office if the ruling elite yields to the most adamant demands of the people, she argues.
Clinton is not wrong, and we should take her posturing seriously. She is after the scalp of populist numero uno Donald Trump, and this appears to be her plan of attack.
If the center-left plans to regain the power by walking back the most unpopular aspects of globalism, this is generally good news for conservatives and libertarians. It could signal bipartisan acceptance for curbing the most important threat to national cultural integrity, mass immigration.
Not Only Migration
It is, however, too simplistic to reduce populism to anti-immigration. Populists around the world are revolting against globalism, which includes not only immigration but also centrally planned power structures that remove sovereignty from the nation-state.
Many people confuse globalism with global trade or global capitalism. False. While globalism involves trade, it is in one sense opposite to global capitalism. Globalism involves centralization of power at a transnational level. The E.U. is precisely such a project, as is the U.N. Consider the power that lies in the U.N. Global Compact for Migration or the Paris Climate Agreement, which will have severe long-term consequences for the countries involved.
Clinton most likely knows perfectly well that there is more to populism than mere anti-immigration, but perhaps she believes that other aspects of globalism can be saved if the ruling class concedes on migration. If this is her plan, it may succeed, because it is hard to get people agitated over trade deals and draconian climate mitigation.