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Common Humanity Stops at the Water’s Edge

I didn’t really notice this the first time around, but I feel like this sentence from Obama’s speech hits a dissonant note: “This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn’t look like you might take your job; it’s that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.” So instead of worrying that people of a different ethnic group might take my job I’m supposed to worry that people of a different nationality might take my job?

I understand, of course, why Obama’s beating the anti-outsourcing drums. But there’s an appealing cosmopolitanism to both his discussion of our domestic racial problems and our foreign policy problems that’s at odds with this kind of talk. Speaking of which, the Obama campaign seemed very excited that Hillary Clinton’s First Lady schedule indicates she attended pro-NAFTA meetings so perhaps the great NAFTA debate, left for dead in Ohio, will be making a comeback.

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