The growing gap between town and country

All of this collides with the bristling defensive nationalism championed by Trump, France’s Marine Le Pen and nativist parties like UKIP in England and Alternative for Deutschland in Germany. These voices raise alarms against trade and immigration and portray greater restrictions and surveillance as the key to fighting Islamic terror. 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. In last June’s “Brexit” referendum in the UK on the European Union, big majorities of residents in London and its thriving information-economy suburbs voted to remain, while those living in rural areas and economically strained smaller cities provided the leave campaign (which stressed anti-immigrant messages) with its narrow majority. In Berlin’s regional elections last weekend, the anti-immigrant, anti-globalization AfD party won only about 14 percent of the vote-enough to establish a foothold but less than it anticipated, or had carried in recent regional elections in rural East Germany. Likewise, 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.

Adjusting for national differences, the mayors of global cities are largely coalescing around agendas antithetical to the Trump vision. “There are 50 cities, maybe 100, that are the intellectual, cultural and economic engine of the world,” Emanuel said in an interview shortly after Khan left Chicago.