Apart from the rash of Hitler analogies, one of the oddest aspects of our era is the extreme parochialism that seems to have erupted.
One technical cause is obvious. The decline of newspapers has propelled the discovery that it is cheaper, not to mention more restful, to break a story from your desk than by traveling halfway around the world. But another cause may be that the section of the population who regard themselves as most “internationalist” have become the most extremely inward-looking. In Britain, the people most dedicated to thwarting Brexit appear to take almost no interest in what is going on even in Europe, never mind the rest of the globe. In similar fashion, one cannot help noticing that those most dedicated in their opposition to President Trump seem least interested in what is going on elsewhere on the planet.
Take just one example: Turkey. For decades, European leaders of every political stripe have argued for Turkish membership of the European Union. The Turkish government continues to insist on this right. To date, the British government’s policy appears to still be that while the U.K. should leave the EU, Turkey should join it. A cruel parting joke, to be sure.