In the last few days, comparisons between globalism and globalization have become part of my daily conversations. Granted, I study political science and therefore a huge focus of my program is globalization. In any case, it has been brought to my attention recently that Donald Trump is somehow for globalization but against globalism. If globalism and globalization work together, can we really abandon one without considering the other?
One of Trump’s major political platforms for his campaign is immigration. Ever since the debut of his presidential campaign, he has advocated for stronger border control and a zero-tolerance policy concerning illegal immigration. He has even gone so far as to say that no illegal immigrants will be admitted into the U.S. directly following his inauguration. His words have not only sparked controversy from the American public, but have also instilled fear in a vast majority of the population. Immigrants and citizens alike now worry that their families will be separated and deported should Trump be elected into office.
Not only is Trump’s anti-immigration campaign inappropriate, it’s simply not possible. Like many of his supporters, I am a strong advocate for nationalism. However, I also believe in prosperity and equal opportunity for all people.
In the last few decades, the world has evolved to meet certain international demands. Thus, the global community has become more focused on globalization than ever before. While nationalism still exists, we have become a nation increasingly reliant on international production and trade. Even companies that preach “Made in the U.S.A.” are either funded or run by international agencies. For example, Poland Springs, oftentimes believed to produce natural Maine water, is owned by Nestle: a Swiss company. Therefore, our natural, Maine-produced water is actually part of a Swiss conglomerate.
It’s no secret that Trump often flips his political position to appease certain groups of the population. For this election, he seems to be set on a realist perspective and uses that to his advantage when campaigning. For example, he’s stated many times that he will enforce stronger border control in order to keep out certain types of people. This message mostly appeals to frustrated Americans who feel illegal immigration has been ignored within the last few years, allowing it to get out of control. Many Americans believe that America’s problems are directly caused by illegal immigrants.
Contrary to common belief, immigrants actually help the U.S. economy in some cases. Independent contractors and immigrants hailing from both Mexico and Canada are often the first workers hired by American companies. This is because they are willing to work for less pay than American workers, while also having the ability to easily cross the border. In this way, immigration, whether legal or illegal, can actually be beneficial to the U.S economy.
As much as Trump wants to abandon globalism, we cannot do that without considering the effects it will have on globalization. Much of the clothing sold in the U.S. is made in foreign countries where the material is easy to come by, and there is an infinite amount of workers willing to do cheap labor. As previously mentioned, the world has now become part of a larger system, dependent on international production and trade. If we abandon globalization, we stop playing a major part in the international game.
Trump’s political platform is not only wrong, it also won’t hold up. How can he expect to end immigration and place more focus on the U.S. while somehow maintaining significant power in the global sphere?
President Obama once made a speech in which he stated he was a global citizen. This evoked a lot of anger amongst Americans who believed that because he saw himself to be a global citizen that meant he didn’t have America’s interest at heart. However, being a global citizen simply means having an awareness of the reliance on globalism and globalization. It means entertaining the idea that we are stronger united and need the alliance of other nation-states to achieve the common good.
I’m all for nationalism and protecting our country first. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean we need to renounce other countries to gain prosperity for our own. We rely on globalism, as much as we depend on globalization.