July 7th, 2014
09:52 AM ET

Identity trumping ideology across the globe

By Fareed Zakaria

People are worried that their country is changing beyond recognition, and that they are being ruled by vast, distant forces – whether the European Union in Brussels, the IMF, or the federal government in Washington – forces that are beyond their control and by people who do not share their values.

The rise of the Tea Party fits this pattern.After exhaustive research, the scholars Vanessa Williamson and Theda Skocpol concluded that immigration was a central issue – perhaps the central issue – for Tea Party members, something that has been reinforced by Eric Cantor's loss in his primary election.

In an age of globalization, elites have discussions that are about political ideology – more government, less government, different government. But, as Samuel Huntington noted many years ago, the force that seems to be moving the world these days is not political ideology, but political identity.

Everyone is asking the question: Who are we? And who are we not?

Watch the video for the full Take or read the WaPo column

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Topics: Fareed's Take

soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    @ Chuck is right about World War I and World War II.
    If he understands that, I don't care about his spelling.
    Also, he didn't complain about a check.

    July 8, 2014 at 5:19 am | Reply
  2. tiredof brown-people

    Nationalism is rising b/c capitalism is dead. Back to the caves. We'll all be fighting over crumbs soon.

    July 8, 2014 at 6:46 am | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      Brown people? Some of the most successful and brilliant of us are brown and black.
      Many of us may some day fight for crumbs because of the damaged image of capitalism, but no matter how much society regresses culturally and economically, strong leaders will emerge, even if they have nothing better to lead than a nation plunged into poverty by communism. The strongest do not eat crumbs.

      July 8, 2014 at 8:35 am | Reply
    • very well worded indeed......

      Capitalism is dying because the rich got too greedy. Nationalism is rising because the middle-class got wiped out. All of us need to come out of our caves, especially you, my dear sir, and talk more intelligently, about how all of us, together, can get our country to rise up and be great again. We can do this by demanding accountability from our politicians, by staying away from the 5 D's: divorce, drugs, debt, decadence, deception.......... by educating ourselves in many spheres, by figuring out how to manufacture products right here in the USA, by being good responsible parents....... and most importantly, by NOT being racist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 9, 2014 at 2:30 am | Reply
  3. Who cares?

    Who cares?

    Do you know why Cuba never invaded America? They did not want what we have.

    Do you know why Russia never invaded America? They did not want what we have.

    Do you know why you bash Americans, you want what they have.

    Put off your fake desire to get rid of the conservative moment in this country. It only proves we need it, when you fight so hard to eliminate it.

    Your beef is with God almighty. Reagan put it best, America is to be the shining light on the hill. Do you even understand what that means? Your socialist party leader doesn't.

    America is an "exceptional" country that everyone who wishes freedom, liberty, values, a chance to be successful and live the "American Dream" will do what ever it takes to be here. Why?

    Do not blame conservatives for your problems, look to them for your solutions.

    God Bless America!

    July 8, 2014 at 8:35 am | Reply
    • banasy©

      Reagan trickled, the result of which we see today.
      No, thank you.

      July 8, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Reply
    • Car

      Who cares-You are exactly right!

      July 8, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Reply
    • very well worded indeed......

      It is not our fault if George W Bush destroyed the RRR party forever.......... now is it??? RRR = rich, racist, republicans. CONservatives have always played a "CON" game with the rest of us.......... only now, the rest of us have got their number............ we have figured them out.......... and we will have none of it anymore.......... :)

      July 9, 2014 at 1:56 am | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Come on, Who cares, how do you expect God to bless America while we continue to slaughter people in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen with those ungodly drones of ours? Besides, remember that Germany, Italy and J apan were also "exceptional" back in the 1930's prior to WW2.

      July 9, 2014 at 11:36 am | Reply
  4. guest

    god bless america indeed, let's not forget where america came from though, i leave this poem by Emma Lazarus, which also adorns the Statue of Liberty.

    "Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
    With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    July 8, 2014 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • Who cares?

      #guest

      And who created all things? Who created Emma?

      Seems everyone forgets the Creator and would rather worship the creation.

      It all starts there.

      July 8, 2014 at 11:22 am | Reply
      • banasy©

        My parents created me. Perhaps a biology lesson is in order for you?

        July 8, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
      • trevor

        Your parents have no clue how to create "life". They did not and cannot set said cells in motion and did not direct their organization to produce what you see in the mirror everyday...

        July 8, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
    • tiredof brown-people

      We don't want your poor. Or your masses. Send them back so we can bomb them with our air force. Its too hard to hit a moving target.

      I wonder where all the Reagan idols are for worship

      July 8, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Reply
      • very well worded indeed......

        just an FYI........... 99% of the "tired, huddled masses" that the saying on the Statue of Liberty refers to, actually came thru Ellis Island from Europe............ so they were actually millions of White People that came here as immigrants thru Ellis Island............ people like your ancestors, most likely............ so, in your opinion, it was perfectly ok when millions of White People came to America in the past, but it is not ok that many brown people are migrating to America now??? Just a little melanin makes such a difference??? You do know that we all eventually hail from Africa, and that Australopithecus Afarensis is our common ancestor yes??????

        July 9, 2014 at 2:17 am |
  5. jdk47

    I like checking in to hear what Fareed's latest nonsense is. He's always wrong about everything so I know the truth will be the opposite of what he says.

    July 8, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • very well worded indeed......

      Your silly, ignorant comment, just displayed to all of us, how little you must know about anything! Do you know who Fareed Zakaria is??? Over the last 10 years, Fareed has proven to millions of us Americans, just what an awesome human being he is! His GPS show has educated millions of us and continues to do so. We highly value it. I have watched every single episode, since it first aired on CNN!!! My dear ignoramus, when you get a Graduate Degree from Harvard, like Fareed, when you have written 4 books like Fareed, when you get to write an editorial for Time Magazine on 50 different topics, like Fareed has, when you get invited to give the Commencement Address at Harvard, like Fareed, then and only then can you dare to stand in judgement of him........... until then, take your bigotry, bias, BS and barbaric, bucolic behavior and flush it down the toilet, when it surely belongs!!!!!!!!!!

      July 9, 2014 at 2:43 am | Reply
  6. Squeezebox

    I think nationalism's on the rise b/c we're afraid of losing our crumbs to someone who's even hungrier than us.

    July 8, 2014 at 10:55 am | Reply
  7. Socrates1947

    Through legislation or popular votes, Americans should decided whether we should remain a country of immigrant. Let's stop pretending we are if in fact we are not or do no longer want to be. Just like the Swiss recently did to be soon followed by other European countries. Things have gone too far and too fast. We should openly and honestly declare that all things change, including cultures and values, and that this country is only willing to accept immigrants that we selectively and deliberately choose.

    July 8, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply
  8. Jaime

    Fareed, a strong supporter of Obama's administration... now he must take a close look at what this president brought to the world and to this country and say something worth out the box. Changes are good my dear, but it requires skill and mastery of the people's nature. Obama got it, but on the side of utopianism, not exactly the best medicament to deal with sick reality. The world is not yet ready for peace neither for Obama.

    July 8, 2014 at 10:59 am | Reply
  9. palintwit

    Who needs Hitler and his brownshirts when you have Sarah Palin and her tea-twits.

    July 8, 2014 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • Who cares?

      Your whining makes everyone sick to their stomach.

      Be careful with all your hatred towards Palin or other conservatives. You start sounding like those you tried to associate Brown Shirts you so like to mention.

      July 8, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Reply
      • trigtwit palin... America's favorite tard baby

        *poot*

        July 8, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
    • tiredof brown-people

      As long as there are no espanol brown people. Deport them all!!! Setup the national guard on the border with orders to shoot anything that moves.

      Reagan is dead and so are your dreams. Stop worshipping his false idol. He plunged us into irreparable debt and created an ideology that 'con'servatives

      July 8, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Reply
      • very well worded indeed......

        go back to playing video games in your mommy's basement....... that's where you belong.......... the rest of us are equally sick and tired of ignorant, uneducated, white racists, like you!!!!!!!! Maybe if you get enough tattoos we will mistake you for a little green man........... and think you came from Mars.......... Ha! Ha! Ha!

        July 9, 2014 at 2:02 am |
  10. Abrar Shariar

    India is another bulwark of the rise of nationalism in a not-so-liberal-way. The election manifesto that Modi chalked out had uber-nationalism ingrained in it, and the leberals and pro-seculars firmly voiced the Modi and bjp was not the future of the world's biggest democracy.
    The election results changed everything. People crashed congress and the ballots were hot for bjp.
    It shows how people have decided to place their nation's fate in the hands of uber-nationalists rather than secular and liberals.

    Certainly people are not happy with the FREE WORLD phenomena. And inevitably they have sought refuge at the nationalism's camp.

    July 8, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • very well worded indeed......

      Hitler also used uber-nationalism to achieve his objectives.......... and we all know how that turned out..... :(

      July 8, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  11. chri§§y

    Lmao @ banasy's 2:14 post. My aunt would tell you "you were just a gleam in your daddys eye until the good Lord created your soul!" lol. She was big on organised religion and had tons of not so wanted advise lmao!

    July 8, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  12. carlotta

    Nothing wrong with nationalistic pride. People want to feel connected via cohesion and unity. And when there's so much noise and attempts at anarchy, it simply disrupts the whole harmony of one's nation. People want to feel pride and honor and faith in their country and so when it feels like there's always a negative force trying to ruin that, people get worried that no one cares about the heart of the nation and whether it will sustain the noise and chaos without things just going off the deep end. Nationalism is a good thing. Even during the depression, Roosevelt somehow helped people to have faith in themselves and that they'd all get through it together.

    July 8, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Reply
    • very well worded indeed......

      Nationalism is ok.............. until............ the leader of that moment in history tells the people of that nation to commit awful acts against the so-called enemy........... everything always seems to go downhill from that point onwards........... for all parties involved........... :(

      July 9, 2014 at 1:49 am | Reply
  13. Namejesus*

    We just want the law to be followed an enforced.

    at the border.
    at the White house
    at the IRS.

    Just do that.

    July 8, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  14. guest

    republican party reminds me of tammany and bill 'the butcher' and the 'native american' party from the movie Gangs of Newyork.

    July 10, 2014 at 11:58 am | Reply
  15. USAPeasant

    Who are we Fareed?

    Am I not the Peasant of America, Commentator of CNN, and also Sovereign Citizen King of the Realm?

    Who are you?

    Are you not Fareed Zakaria, Globalist Bard of CNN, USAElite, Sovereign Citizen King of the Realm?

    July 11, 2014 at 2:39 am | Reply
  16. Islam4foools

    What about ISLAMISM and its unleashed terrorism on human race? Islam is real problem and nothing else in human society

    July 11, 2014 at 3:58 am | Reply
  17. EVN

    Cynicism is going to win the day. We no longer believe in much of anything. Religion is a crock, and always has been. Our politicians are just hacks bought and paid for by "people" that used to be known as corporations. Corporations care about nothing but money.

    July 11, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • USAPeasant

      Is it because cynics believe in nothing that they understand nothing?

      Not all politicians are bought by the corporations. For instance, President Barack Obama raised record-breaking funds by sagely asking for small donations directly from the People. Whether you like the politicians or not or voted for them or not is irrelevant. US Politicians like President Obama are both Democratically and Divinely appointed to be a civil servant to the Citizen of America, and the Citizen is King of America by Divine Right. Now understandably some politicans have forgotten this ancient concept and think they be your overlords as they be cynics too. You can see how this cynical thinking has harmed the Nation.

      However fret not, many good politicians still are mindful of their Divine Obligation to be servants to the Citizens. A big problem in America is the Citizen has forgotten he himself is recognized as Sovereign by Divine Right (Treaty of Paris, Declaration of Independence, etc.) and the Citizen also must remember that as Kings we have a Divine Obligation as Kings to be servants to God and our people. Jesus only gave two commands, they are simple commands; Love God and Love your Neighbor.

      People of this generation have forgotten this ancient and noble concept. Is not this concept what made JFK great when he said "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country"? Is this not what made Teddy Roosevelt great when he reminded the Americans that they have obligations as citizens? Is this the love of the divine and the brothers not at the heart of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream? Even from a globalist perspective, is this not what lead Sir Winston Churchill's Finest Hour to utter success?

      July 11, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  18. Ed Hahn

    Nationalism is rising because of the illegal immigrants.

    July 13, 2014 at 6:14 am | Reply
    • USAPeasant

      Lol did American Nationalism even ever disappear? Seems to me nationalism has been decreasing actually as internationalism and more scary, lawlessness have been rising.

      Nationalism is necessary even if you are more globalist in ideology. For the US iwe do have a strong nationalism and always have it is something the US Elite and Peasants do share regardless of race, color, or ideology. Consider that some of the best globalist leaders in American history have also been stalwart US nationalists.

      America is also a nation of immigrants a mixture of the races of the Old World that live in the New World. the Asians, Africans, and Europeans are Old World people from whom all Americans are descended. Americans are fascinated with the Old World no doubt, but we'd rather not have those Old World problems ya know.

      July 14, 2014 at 1:13 am | Reply
  19. Harry Legg

    Yes, we are a nation of immigrants but back when the people that showed up just wanted a better life and worked hard to provide for their families. Today a lot of immigrants want a free lunch and add nothing but gangs and drugs. This is what is bringing down our beautiful country and our government is asleep at the wheel. Please people keep your god out of these topics as even if he/she exists praying never helps as it seems nobody is listening. We have to solve these problems by ourselves...

    July 14, 2014 at 8:19 am | Reply
  20. caonabo35

    You can thank globalization for that, even though it is loosing its impact. Transnational corruption and exploitation of the nations' natural resources are forcing people to fight against it.

    July 14, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Reply
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