On the one hand, it’s nice that President Trump’s budget chief and his chief economic adviser overcame their ideological differences to become friendly, as self-proclaimed “right-wing conservative” Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), suggested in his farewell statement to Gary Cohn,
the outgoing head of Trump’s National Economic Council. On the other hand, calling Cohn a “globalist” leaves the message with kind of an acrid aftertaste.
.@MickMulvaneyOMB’s statement on the departure of Gary Cohn. pic.twitter.com/PgpOH6rcdE
— OMB Press (@OMBPress) March 6, 2018
Cohn is Jewish, and “the term ‘globalist’ has also been used as an anti-Semitic dog whistle and echoes pernicious anti-Jewish conspiracy theories,” explains Ben Sales at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “For the far right, globalism has long had distinct xenophobic, anti-immigrant, and anti-Semitic overtones,” adds Liam Stack at his “glossary of extremist language” in The New York Times. “It refers to a conspiratorial worldview: a cabal that likes open borders, diversity, and weak nation states, and that dislikes white people, Christianity, and the traditional culture of their own country.”
But the alt-right slur “isn’t entirely about anti-Semitic conspiracy-mongering,” says Andrew Prokop at Vox. “There are real underlying policy differences at play here.” Which, of course, is what Mulvaney must have been talking about. Still, if Mulvaney had wanted to show his appreciation, maybe he should have just chipped in a few extra bucks to Cohn’s farewell gift card.