Trump's presidency, Brexit, and the mishandling of a global pandemic have made Douglas Alexander deeply concerned about the "powerful weaponization of nostalgia."
Yascha Mounk, a thoughtful and important discussion with Douglas Alexander.
The distinction between economic and identity needs is valid, but the two can't be separated. The grasping of 'who we are' and 'does anyone care' is perhaps a result of failure on the economic side. And, if you get that straightened out, then the other combative stuff will die down. Base instincts, as you well describe, take over when folks feel they are in a state of siege. They also hold to the past and even invent stuff when the view forward is not assuring.
Douglas Alexander aptly points out that the U.S. is not yoked at the neck by the enduring nature of Brexit. None the less, America needs to put right some very basic ills that have sickened the country for years -- and have worsened since Corona. I'm talking about the huge disparity of income that is not going to magically fix itself. Unless this is corrected, and it can be without going Marist, we are guaranteed sequels and variations of Trump and Brexit ordeals and their consequences.
An economic platform for ALL in the country makes more and more sense. And, with some creativity we can pay for it.
Nostalgia for imaginary past utopias is a problem all across the political spectrum. Many of the very people who call themselves "progressives" want to turn the clock back as much as anyone, to pasts ranging from the New Deal (presumably without the acceptance of Jim Crow) to hunter-gathering (presumably without the child mortality rate.)
I write this a a Republican who voted his first straight Democratic ticket in November, but I don’t see where stoking class divisions is any better than stoking ethnic divisions. I also don’t see the Democratic Party in general behaving on a humble manner. Instead, it is using its anti-Trump presidential win to pretend it has a transformational mandate. Which just means we’ll continue to see major political swings every election for the near future.
A very worthwhile discussion, as usual. One of the most concrete suggestions made by Douglas Alexander that was also optimistic was his endorsement of "Citizen Juries." It took me at least five listens to make out what he was calling them, but here's a link that shows I finally heard him right. They are ways to bring the public together on key political issues and they tend to depolarize the audience. They are not legal procedures, but forums for enlightened discussions that speak to a large cross-section of society. (listen as 24:30)
”If nostalgia precipitates actions to return to that fabled, rosy-painted time, particularly in one who believes his life to be a failure, then it is an empty thing, doomed to produce nothing but frustration and an even greater sense of failure." ― R.A. Salvatore