Is Democracy on the way down?
President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that if the French had voted at the time Britain did, for Brexit, France, too, might have voted to get out of the European Union.
Why? One reason, and, no, it's not the economy, stupid.
It is the tribe. As the English wished to remain English, and voted to regain control of their borders, so the French wish to remain who they were and are -- whether ruled by a Louis XIV, Napoleon, General de Gaulle or the Fifth Republic.
In these countries, the common denominator is that the nation comes first, and that political system is best which best protects and preserves the unique character of the nation.
Nationalism trumps democratism.
Recall. Donald Trump was not elected because he promised to make America more democratic, but to "make America great again."
As for the sacred First Amendment right to democratic protest, Trump got a roaring ovation for declaring that NFL players who "take a knee" during the national anthem should be kicked off the field and off the team.
Circling back to the government shutdown, what, at root, was that all about, if not national identity.
The Democrats who refused to vote to keep the government open did not object to anything in the Republican bill. They objected to what was not in the bill: amnesty for the illegal immigrants known as "dreamers." It was all about who gets to become an American.
And what is the divisive issue of "open borders" immigration all about, if not the future ethnic composition of the United States?