Excellent op-ed in the LA Times by Brian Klaas and Marcel Dirsus.
This is the glaring contradiction in the muscular nationalism of right-wing populism, blended with isolationism, that seeks to withdraw from international unions: It cannot shape a better world by shutting the world out. The same people who cheer when Trump laments the decline of American leadership want to ignore key global issues and put "America First." The people who voted for Brexit, attempting to create a border between Britain and challenges such as the refugee crisis, seem to think Britain can solve such problems without consulting Germany or France or, worst of all to them, Brussels.
The world doesn't work that way, and it hasn't for decades. Ever-increasing globalization has created an unprecedented surge in prosperity, but it has also ushered in jarring changes. The rough edges of those changes can only be overcome with more aggressive cooperation and engagement, not less. Whether it's the risks of terrorism, the tragic flow of refugees, or economic shocks, Britain cannot solve problems alone and neither can the United States.
I honestly think this is what its all about: I don't think Joe the Plumber had any say in globalization, I don't think he wanted it, and I don't think it helps him. If Joe had some way to tap globalization, if he could somehow see the benefit, he might be all for it; instead, losses are socialized and profits are privatized, and the structure is such that he can't participate in the global economy in any way.
Globalization is a capitalist profit center wrapped in liberal social ideals. Joe the plumber will NEVER benefit from cultural pluralism - not because it's a bad thing, but because it has almost no impact on his microculture, his neighborhood. This doesn't make Joe a bad guy, and it doesn't make him narrow minded, it just makes him pragmatic.
Globalism and the EU is a great idea in matters of defense and economic prosperity - but in order to make it digestible they've falsely wrapped it in kumbaya-style multiculturalism.