Just think: Donald Trump versus Bernie Sanders

So my takeaway is that both Democrats and Republicans really have to think about the appeal Trump and Sanders have in common. They’re both inspiring Americans who want to rebel against the “libertarian convergence” of our two parties. And they’re for decisive American leadership that gets good deals across the board for the American people. After that, they differ, often wildly, depending on where Trump’s thinking has evolved today.

Take the example of immigration. I don’t agree with Trump or many Republicans. I’m not much for sending anyone back, and I think a passage to citizenship should be open for almost everyone now here. The category “citizen” is American, and part of America’s enduring greatness is turning the homeless into citizens. The category “guest worker” is not for us. But I’m also for controlling entry and knowing who’s here, while supporting a very generous policy of letting people in.

The perception, which is not without merit, is that our immigration policy is too much about flooding our country with workers to keep wages low, and that libertarian or, maybe better, oligarchic goals of open borders and maximum possible mobility slight the privileges and responsibilities of citizens.

Those privileges and responsibilities used to guide our national policy of assimilation or “making men and women citizens” while allowing them to keep their culture, including, of course, their religious institutions and “family values.” For too many Republicans and Democrats now, the categories that, together, express the whole truth about who we are—such as citizen, parent, spouse, and creature—need to have no influence on our public policy. We Americans have never wanted to lose our freedom-loving political identity in “socialist internationalism,” and the same should be true when it comes to the rootless cosmopolitanism of the twenty-first-century global competitive marketplace.

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