The Cosmopolitan Elite

Last night I published a post about Trump adviser Stephen Miller’s response to CNN’s Jim Acosta’s question about the connection between the spirit of American immigration and the RAISE Act.  Read it here.

Throughout this exchange, Miller accuses Acosta of being a “cosmopolitan.” The first reference comes at about the 3:40 mark and then again at the 4:15 mark.

Several quick thoughts:

  1. Acosta misspoke and said that England and Australia are the only sources of English-speakers who come to America.  Does this make him a “cosmopolitan?” Stephen Miller thinks so.  Maybe I don’t understand the meaning of the word “cosmopolitan” (“citizen of the world”).  I wrote a book about it, but maybe the definition has changed since the 18th century.  But if Acosta really did believe that English is only spoken in two nations, wouldn’t that mean he was not very cosmopolitan?  Wouldn’t that make him parochial or provincial?
  2.  “Cosmopolitanism,” of course, is an anathema in a presidential administration that celebrates the idea of “America First.” For example, the Obama administration was cosmopolitan in its efforts at working together with other nations around the globe. Miller knows that simply mentioning the term is the equivalent of throwing red meat to the Trump base.  Steve Bannon knows this too.
  3.  Last night Princeton University historian Kevin Kruse tweeted a 1972 article “about how Democrats like George McGovern weren’t connecting with the white working class.”  The source reminds us that the white working class has been criticizing cosmopolitans for a long time:

Cosmpolitan

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