Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rural-urban gap grows on immigration, trade, led by Trump's call for walls, border restrictions

Sadiq Khan
Integration, inclusion and openness, not walls, suspicion and profiling, are the best chance to defuse terror and maximize economic growth, London mayor Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim elected mayor of a major Western city, has been preaching during a tour of the U.S., Ronald Brownstein reports for The Atlantic. Those differing ideals have created a rural-urban divide in many countries like the U.S., especially among rural Donald Trump supporters, who favor border walls and immigration restrictions.

Like many industrialized nations, these issues have divided the U.S, creating an increasing rural-urban gap, fueled by Trump's growing strength in places that feel left behind, Brownstein writes. Most urban cities in the U.S. view immigrants "as a source of economic and cultural vitality, trade as an engine of prosperity and integration of Muslim communities as the central defense against radicalization and terror. All of this collides with the bristling defensive nationalism championed" by people like Trump.

People like Trump "raise alarms against trade and immigration and portray greater restrictions and surveillance as the key to fighting Islamic terror," Brownstein writes. "Stressing isolation over integration, Trump responded to the New York attacks by reiterating his calls for limiting Middle Eastern immigration and expanding law enforcement profiling of 'people that maybe look suspicious.'"

"Almost everywhere, these messages have struggled in large urban areas and resonated in smaller places, especially those that have little tradition of racial diversity or have lost manufacturing jobs to trade," Brownstein writes. "The choice between Trump and Hillary Clinton is virtually certain to widen an already imposing metropolitan divide: in 2012, President Obama won America’s 100 largest counties by a combined margin of 12 million votes while losing the other 3,000 by about seven million votes." (Read more)

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