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Brooks: ‘We’ve Probably Overflooded the System’ on Immigration, ‘Elites’ Brought Brexit On Themselves

On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks stated that while he’s pro-immigration, “we’ve asked a lot of people who are suffering in this economy to accept extremely, radically high immigration levels. And we’ve probably overflooded the system.”

Brooks said, “Well, in country after country, we’re seeing a conflict between what you might call urban cosmopolitans and less well-educated ethnic nationalism, and ethnic nationalism is on the rise.”

He added, “[A]s much as I hate the leave, the fact that the UK is going to leave the EU, the elites in some large degree brought them — this on themselves. There was built into the European unification project an anti-democratic, a condescending, and a snobbish attitude about popular democracy. And, secondly, and this is also true here, and I’m as pro-immigration as the day is long, but we’ve asked a lot of people who are suffering in this economy to accept extremely, radically high immigration levels. And we’ve probably overflooded the system.”

Brooks concluded, “And so while it’s easy, and I do condemn the vote to leave, get out a little humility is in order on the part of the establishment, frankly, that we’ve flooded the system with more than it can handle. And, secondly, we’ve not provided a good nationalism, a good patriotism, that is cosmopolitan, that is outward-spanning, and that is confident. And, therefore, a bad form of parochial, inward-looking Trumpian nationalism has had free rein.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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