Nopropositionnation
T. A. Frank in VANITY FAIR: "Decoding Stephen Miller's Nationalist Mind"
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February 07, 2017, 04:45 PM
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It’s often said that the finest minds of this generation are working on making online advertising monetizable. But they don’t seem to be succeeding all that well. So, high-end dead tree magazines aimed at luxury brand advertisers like The New Yorker and Vanity Fair remain viable. Vanity Fair seems to use its lucre to look for independent-minded journalists, such as business writer Michael Lewis, war correspondent Sebastian Junger, and pundit T.A. Frank.

From Vanity Fair:

DECODING STEPHEN MILLER’S NATIONALIST MIND

Trumpism, which was formed in rebellion against the dominant mindset, is actually an unusually thought-out political ideology. Refuting it requires similar clarity.

BY T.A. FRANK FEBRUARY 6, 2017 5:00 AM

A few years back, Stephen Miller, a White House senior policy adviser at whose feet much of the tumult resulting from Trump’s immigration order has been laid, made some brief remarks at a conservative gathering in Palm Beach. “One of the things that we’re missing from our political dialogue right now is the idea that the United States is a home,” said Miller…

With its push for ever-lower barriers to migration or trade, he explained, Washington was abandoning the “real flesh-and-blood citizens who together create this body politic, this nation, this home, represented by that flag.” This has been a staple of the belief system among Trump’s senior staffers: America is a home, not an economy, and the economy must serve the home, not the other way around.

What Miller left unsaid, but implied, was also the contrast between home and doctrine. For the past two decades, prevailing opinion has embraced the idea of the United States as an “experiment,” a “propositional nation” or “creedal nation,” as Irving Kristol described it in 1995. …

It’s therefore notable, but not coincidental, that many of Trump’s senior staffers have strong ties to California, ground zero of rapid transformation at the hands of commerce and migration. …

The ideologues in the White House assume that Americans care—and should care—most about fellow Americans.

Read the whole thing there.

[Comment at Unz.com]