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. palintwit

    The only thing worse than Sarah Palin is Hitler. The only thing worse than Hitler is 2 Sarah Palins. The only thing worse than 2 Sarah Palins is 3 Hitlers. The only thing worse than 3 Hitlers is 4 Sarah Palins. The only thing worse than 4 Sarah Palins is 5 Hitlers. The only thing worse than...

    July 7, 2014 at 10:05 am | Reply
    • Prediction

      When it became obvious that the wealthy are out to eliminate the middle class, the rest of USA set out to bring the down house. Who has the most to lose?

      July 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • You Got It

      You're obviously secretly in love with her..........it's very telling that you constantly bring her up, your screen name is her, and you just can't seem to let it go....
      You should get over it and sign up for her fan club & send her campaign money already.
      She hasn't been relevant in years, yet you cling on to her image and constantly bring it back to the forefront of every post, every comment.........that sir, is your undying crush & yearning for her, obviously.
      You don't hear anyone digging up Michael Dukakis.......so there's a reason you constantly bring Palin up, and it's love.

      July 7, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Reply
      • palintwit

        LOL Only a mother could love that trailer trash.

        July 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
      • Freddie

        No one can deny Palin is hot. I don't know how she became such a looney though. Clearly she fits the look and politics of a FOX news anchor. They all wear far too much make up, stilletto heels, short tight dresses and constantly cross their legs while sitting on plush sofas.

        July 7, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
      • The1CalledDoc

        Reagan started it and Kennedy could have ended it and Reagan would have never been able to destroy the middle class. There is no middle class in the United States anymore and very soon there will just be rich and poor. Vote me for President and I will not send a single cent of foreign aid to any country but distribute the vast amount of wealth evenly to all americans. Yes there will still be the rich and middle class but there will no longer be any poor. Inflation will be non-existent as I the president would use executive actions to not even allow it. WINK WINK. Healthcare will be free and everyone will have a home. Look for my name in the next primaries. Josh Pike the first ever elected independent. Also I will take away all the free healthcare and pensions from congress unless they can serve 20 years like our brave warriors do defending this country. I will let you the people decide on the taxes and how the money is spent. We can vote on everything and my decisions will be based on want the majority wants. I will bring back all the jobs sent overseas and if a company refuses to bring them back then they can renounce their citizenship and move to China. Vote Josh Pike

        July 8, 2014 at 2:48 am |
    • Gemini1971

      Congratulations! You've just earned the dumbest comment of the week

      July 7, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • justin rose

      The only thing worse than you is preet bharara

      July 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      You really should take the "palin" out of your name and just go with "twit."

      July 7, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • Robert

      Where does Pol Pot figure into this?

      July 7, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Reply
    • Gullible Whites

      this is not left vs right, GOP vs Dems, Socialism vs liberty. This is war against White people.

      The world is 93% non-White, only 7% White. But 3rd world colonizers, are aggressively advancing their agenda to annihilate gullible Whites, just as China annihilates Tibet.

      Gullible Whites should reject subversive ideologies- libertarianism, feminism, liberalism- & hostile slanders of racism. Peace to all humanity, but White people must organize to advance their interests, their fertility, their homelands.

      July 7, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Reply
      • banasy©

        You must be kidding.
        Sig Heil.

        July 8, 2014 at 12:07 am |
      • nohate

        Sieg hiel mine fuherer

        July 8, 2014 at 2:42 am |
      • very well worded indeed......

        My dear Gullible White.............. please grow up and marry a non-white person.......... it will do you a world of good............ and it will certainly make you and this world a better place......... and it will even give your kids some much-needed melanin, a natural skin tan that protects them from the harmful rays of the sun............ but first, you are going to have to burn that KKK membership card you are hiding in your wallet, and stop dancing around burning crosses in the forest with a bedsheet over your head.............. Ha! Ha! Ha!

        July 8, 2014 at 3:33 am |
  2. timothywilliamson

    Fareed Zakaria here's an interesting look at these issues: 'Malignancies in our emergent world'..... other papers on the academia site may be interesting too 'History's Lessons.... ', 'The Rise of Regional Federalism' also by Timothy Williamson.


    July 7, 2014 at 10:21 am | Reply
  3. Allan Kinsman©

    The rise of the Tea party comes from a overall frustrating reaction to the Washington political process. Americans see the usual distracting arguments under the political excuse of standing up for priciple. However Americans are beginning to tire of the same excuses. Neither party are reality based and the more disconcerting voter realization is there seems no relevant action. In fact a close examination of foreign policy over the last fifty years denotes an overwhelming failure in thinking about a vision of any pusuit of real policies. This creates two problems, no respect and no confidence in a politic process which seems by accounts creating the problem.

    July 7, 2014 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • Allan Kinsman©

      "The world we see that seems so insane is a result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change, our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and disolve the fear in our minds". William James

      July 7, 2014 at 11:06 am | Reply
  4. palintwit

    We arrive in rusty 1964 motorhomes.
    We bring our bibles and loaded assault weapons.
    We wear ridiculous clothing and have teabags dangling from our earlobes.
    We carry misspelled racist signs as we stomp all over the White house lawn.
    We eat Chick-fil-A and wash it down with Everclear.
    We are Sarah Palin's real Americans.
    We love the baby jesus but we love to boink our cousins even more.
    We believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old and that early man walked with the dinosaurs.
    We believe that nascar is a real sport and that Dale Earnhardt was a great American athlete.
    We are the birthers. We are the teabaggers. We are tea party patriots.
    We are bigots and inbreds. We are morons and we are proud.

    July 7, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • Bill, Bloominton IL

      Except for the bibles you have liberals down pat.

      July 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Reply
      • candycoatedapple

        Throw in a few abortions and you've got the liberal trifecta.

        July 7, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
    • Ohio Peg

      Out here in the hinterlands, it appears that most of those folks are, indeed, toting bibles too. I read the bible, but I guess I don't fit by Ohio standards because I don't "tote" it, mark it, highlight it, tab it, etc. I understand it to be a book of many authors, translating languages they didn't know, and trying desperately to make sure all their beliefs went into the next version. They scare me. I can't believe that the conservatives have convinced them to be part of their party.

      July 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Reply
      • Konkani

        It's comforting to know that not All people who read the bible are completely insane.

        July 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
    • mike

      Man this is so funny I almost choked on my beer

      July 7, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Reply
      • LibtardedWeStand

        No worries. If you spilled any, you can always buy more with your EBT card.

        July 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
    • Jim

      The only thing that beats Sarah and her troops. Is Ron Paul and his. He has so many government wogs that follow and play ball for him in the guise of anti-American pro-independent Americans. I have lost count. You might as well be following Hitler and his SS. I've never seen or heard a bigger fake them him. The lol part is he is so transparent only a ignorant 12 year old would believe his cause.

      July 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • JustTheFactsDude2014

      Your use of stereotypes, particularly those about inbreeding, indicate you are as much a bigot as anyone. Congratulations on your epic hypocrisy.

      July 7, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Reply
      • Name*furance

        Is there any way I can go a day without having to see or hear the word "epic". Snap. I was almost there! :/

        July 7, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
    • very well worded indeed......

      What a superb description of our wonderful "Tea Baggers'.............. add to that the fact that they listen to "hate radio" all the time, even while getting their 50th tattoo............. totally believing every word that Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck spew out, in their incessant ignorant, racist, chatter............... and when they get home from their commute and switch off "hate radio", they turn on Fox News inside their homes right away............. and continue to be brainwashed................. and drown in their bigoted ignorant racist world............. quite sad actually.............. 😦

      July 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • very well worded indeed......

      If there were just 1 or 2 of these ignorant, racist fools out there, we would not have to worry.............. but the fact that there are over 40 million Americans that "love" the Tea Party and want to be affiliated with it........... now that is something for all of us to worry about...............

      July 7, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Reply
      • Freddie

        A war is coming. Not between nations but from within society. The poor will unite with the minorities and immigrants to take from the wealthy whites. Its inevitable. How can generation after generation of whites control most of the wealth and own prime property? The Government will be forced to nationalize excessive wealth, confiscate prime property and redistribute to the many. There is rational reason why someone needs billions of personal wealth and a perennial hold on prime property. Its time to see these turnover and share the wealth. We need equity in this world before its too late.

        July 7, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
      • Retired Military

        Freddie: let's start by redistributing what you have worked so hard to obtain, whatever that may be...

        July 7, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
      • very well worded indeed......

        Thanks Freddie........... there is much wisdom in your thoughts............. makes me wonder how America got so lost as to have backed itself into a blind alley............. it took over a century for us to build up our middle class to the point that it comprised 80% of the nation......... that was truly America's greatest achievement............ yes, our Founding Fathers were brilliant folk, but for a hundred years, federal and state politicians were basically farmers, tradesmen or businessmen that "served" their term, helping their nation, and then went back to doing what they really did...... their real job.......... all that has now changed for the worse........... career politicians get a degree in law or political science from a 4 year college, then spend all their time figuring out how to get campaign financing, so they can get into politics........ and that's where the pacs and super-pacs get into the game........... and even after their term expires, these buggers never leave Washington DC.......... they stick around, in their million dollar homes and lifestyles............ and become lobbyists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        July 8, 2014 at 3:52 am |
    • nohate

      Inbreds brought down Rome, usa is next,

      July 8, 2014 at 2:46 am | Reply
      • very well worded indeed......

        It was actually the 5 D's that brought Rome to its knees: divorce, drugs, debt, decadence, deception.............. so yes, you are right............. America is definitely next................ 😦

        July 8, 2014 at 3:43 am |
  5. ClaudioAita

    Wow, politics worrying about sports... try sticking to Politics, actually listening to the people about politics, getting better at Politics... not directed at a single person!

    July 7, 2014 at 11:00 am | Reply
  6. bobcat2u

    Didn't we just have this same conversation on Thursday, July 3 ? This reminds me of "The Best Of John Boy and Billy" when they go on vacation. Nothing new, so they rehash the old.

    July 7, 2014 at 11:09 am | Reply
  7. George patton

    In fact, Europe is currently being ruled by distant forces such as the all powerful M.I.C. in Washington D.C. This explains why the current European leaders are carrying out each and every order out of Washington with blind obedience. For example, look at how "united" they are when it comes to economic "sanctions" against the Russians over Ukraine!!!

    July 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  8. peanut

    Humans humans??? why so much hate????

    July 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  9. chri§§y

    Boink? Lol your new fantasy?

    July 7, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  10. chri§§y

    L ol exactly @ Bill. Be careful though he will be stealing your name soon. He does it to all of us.

    July 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  11. Macc

    I think the people of the world should start keeping tabs of what their party is doing, opposed to what they say they are doing.

    July 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  12. Think_Dynamic

    If Tea Party is a real political force why are they under the umbrella of GOP? Now every negative issues against Tea Party GOP becomes part of it. Tea Party should create their own.

    July 7, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • nohate

      Cowards hide under their mommys skirts, teabaggers as a party would loose every election,

      July 8, 2014 at 2:51 am | Reply
  13. YYJ

    Nationalism is great but like all things needs to be put into perspective. Its great to have differences and different opinions but its what happens when the losing side of a view point gets angry or decides they need to sabotage the winning side. It's like the Nancy Kerrigan, Harding spectacle. One was jealous they couldn't beat the other and therefore decided they needed just to sabotage the other. But there is a good line at the end of the article. What are we for and what are we against. But I think a third line needs to be added, what are the universal truths. Ideologies change because they are merely opinions of what is right or wrong. Universal truths do not. It's like gay marriages, 10 years ago, it would be unheard of. It's like prohibiting alchohol. At one time it was considered bad enough to make illegal only to be made legal again. These are ideologies, that change with the tide. But Universal truths, like murder, stealing, violence these are not ideologies and those who try to argue they are, must have very little real morale grounding.

    July 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  14. Robot love

    The super rich have ruined everything that was once great about America.

    July 7, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  15. Konkani

    I'm not questioning fareed zakaria's genius; however, I am questioning how this guy manages to get paid so much money for doing so little. He writes a paragraph stating the obvious and everyone then treats his work as the gold standard. His work is average and his show is mediocre.

    July 7, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • USAPeasant

      Heh I can see some fairness in this statement.

      My personal guess was this was Fareed's dismayed response to his Ask the Ausience column yesterday. Rather fitting too.

      Heh I disagreee with Fareed a lot on issues, but overall Fareed is a good journalist and at least good for an Op Ed (especially compared to the OP ED people Cn has he is at least somewhat unbiased and fair.) Also for how he explores many geo-political topics that frankly most people do not. Also for his TV show, more than a stock journalist, Fareed is a very good interviewer, and gets very good guests for relevant topics I find. I think he deserves whatever CNN pay him, maybe even deserve a lil raise, especially for fact Fareed is very responsive to fans too, I notice he is one of few that cites topics his fans care about. I personally have a conspiracy theory that Fareed might read these comments lol.

      July 11, 2014 at 3:02 am | Reply
  16. Christa Schroer

    I think the USA needs a 3rd or 4th party. It would the nation a lot of good to have a socialist or green party

    July 7, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  17. inferencial

    I would never set a foot in the US, not even for a holiday. The country has no appeal to me what's so ever. To have a US passport is like wearing a target sheet over your head.

    July 7, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • sayittomyfacedummy

      Good. Stay in your garbage country and don't ask for the millions im sure my country gives to yours you third world wog

      July 8, 2014 at 12:01 am | Reply
  18. Sean Boyd

    Dr. Zakaria, Thank you for recommending "The Revenge of Geography," by Robert Kaplan, to me, last year at the World Affairs Council of Northern CA Convention. I finally 'chewed' my way through it; very enlightening, especially in terms of today's events. Your mention of Samuel Huntington in this commentary prompted me to send you this message. Sean Boyd, Dep't of Geography and City & Regional Planning, CSU Fresno.

    July 7, 2014 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  19. Lila

    Tea Party has nothing to do with the feelings against illegal immigration in the US, big mistake to believe so. It goes across all parties. These issues matter: 1)Having an open porous border 2)taxpayers and communities being left on the financial hook for the cheap labor force for big business 3) yes the country is changing, it wouldn't bother the public so much if the powers that be were promoting assimilation instead of aggression and there are many other issues..everything our Gov, Media and elites could do incorrectly when dealing with this issue, they are doing it.

    July 7, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  20. illegal immigrant Muslum obozo

    Obozo is a Fruitcake

    July 7, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Reply
    • Glenn

      We know all this hate disguises love. You even have a pet name

      July 7, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  21. illegal immigrant Muslum obozo

    I hate obama more than anyone even Hitler

    July 7, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  22. illegal immigrant Muslum obozo

    When will Fruitcake illegal immigrant muslum obozo comeout of the closet. We all know he's a flaming mohammed

    July 7, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      How do you really feel about Obama? Don't hold back, now.

      July 8, 2014 at 12:11 am | Reply
  23. iran is evil

    عندما يسود قانون الغاب في دولة يحكمها ثلة من الصفويين الانجاس المتعطشين لدماء العراقيين الابرياء لمجرد انهم عراقيون يتم قتلهم بلا تهمة او جريرة ..!! هذه هي مليشيات الحكومة الطائفية المجرمة تقوم بإعدام مواطن عراقي مدني اعزل رمياً بالرصاص .. انظروا ايها العراقيون جيداً وشاهدوا جرائم الحكومة الصفوية المجرمة ومليشياتها القذرة ..!! من منا يرضى بعد الان ان تحكمه ثلة مارقة سادية تعتاش على دماء الابرياء من العراقيين ..؟

    July 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • GregfromNC

      ثم مجرد البقاء قوية ولا تبيع روحك للخلافة.

      July 7, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  24. oliver gutierrez

    Nationalism wasn't good in 1914 and prior to that and it sure isn't now!!!! Its you guys vs us, very UGLY!!!1

    July 7, 2014 at 8:20 pm | Reply
    • very well worded indeed......

      Nationalism is often about a sick or lost "leader", getting the masses in his country, to commit awful acts, that often results in their own destruction.......... just ask Hitler.......... he knew all about it.............. like a bunch of bison charging/stampeding over a cliff to their deaths, with no clue about their impending doom............ 😦

      July 8, 2014 at 4:20 am | Reply
  25. Roger Logic

    We are whoever loves America, and is tired if seeing her freedoms trampled on by out of control big government!! Call it Tea, call it Patriots, call it whatever you like. It's a core value of our freedoms and of legal immigration, which is what built this country. Who WOULDN'T be against the doormat mentality of the current swarms of illegals that are disrespectful of our laws and of our rightful, LAWFUL American citizens??!!!

    July 7, 2014 at 9:07 pm | Reply
    • nohate

      You are an illegal alien fascist, just ask the true Americans, the Indians!!

      July 8, 2014 at 2:57 am | Reply
    • very well worded indeed......

      How about when Europeans came here and murdered 80% of the Native Americans, stole their land and shoved them onto reservations............ was that very lawful??? How about in 1847, when your ancestors marched the US Cavalry illegally into California, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico, brutally attacked the Sovereign Nation of Mexico, and stole millions of square miles of land from them......... was that perfectly ok too??? Wake up and smell the stink of your own race, before you point the finger at all those "illegal" immigrants.............

      July 8, 2014 at 4:30 am | Reply
      • Big Bob

        Next time you drive your car, make a call on your phone, put food in your fridge, or anything else used in the modern world, I'll yell: "Cultural Appropriation!""

        July 8, 2014 at 10:53 am |
  26. RT Colorado

    I often do not agree with Mr. Zakaria's opinion, this is one of those mixed opinion. As much as I disagree with Mr. Zakaria, I respect his intellect. I think he's correct, that the rise of nationalism is surging. I also agree that immigration is one of the reasons the world is experiencing this rise of nationalism. Where I disagree is with his assertion that individual political parties or groups have a driving force. Groups like the Tea Party might have some influence in local or even regional political races, but to name them in the article is throwing more weight to them then they deserve. The global economy is having unintended consequences. The recession of 2009 was a more formidable event than most commentators have given it credit for. The major powers were not destroyed, but weakened. That weakening created distractions and a lessening of capabilities of the major countries influence and this opened the door to nationalists parties and the balance of that control and influence may have tipped in such a way as to be irreversible.

    July 7, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  27. danny

    Greeting.......you have said " ISIS isi brutal even AL Quida (sorry for the spelling) distance it self from it ".......
    I said this..the differnce bitween the two is not who is more brutal than the other ...think what They did on 9/11.....if it was us christians/jew/hindu ......al quaida has no problem to kiil us ....their problem is whom They are killng ISIS kills Shias actually They are its target Al quaida don't kill shias becuse it gets help from Iran some of its people lives there ........so in my opinien their differnce is not about how they kill it is about whom They are killing ........
    .......Thank you .......again sorry about the spelling (I allways wach you sundays)

    July 7, 2014 at 11:56 pm | Reply
  28. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    I seldom visit this forum at late hours.
    Is it gin or medical marijuana that causes fingers to loosen into Storefront posts and presidential outings as the pumpkin hour approaches?

    July 8, 2014 at 12:45 am | Reply
  29. Carson Thaler

    Nationalism is a potentially dangerous thing. Just look at Nazi history... Hard core Conservative Nationalists...

    July 8, 2014 at 1:33 am | Reply
    • Chuck


      July 8, 2014 at 2:13 am | Reply
  30. Chuck

    Run in fear Zachariah, you timid sheep

    July 8, 2014 at 2:13 am | Reply
    • very well worded indeed......

      at least spell his name correctly.......... you lame-brained goat......... 😦

      July 8, 2014 at 4:22 am | Reply
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