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August 02, 2016

Wharton dean: Trump is 'wake-up call' for elites on globalization

Penn professor compares alumnus and GOP nominee with Brexit, Turkey

Geoffrey Garrett, dean of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, has tip-toed around explicitly expressing his opinion on Wharton alumnus and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

But he hasn't completely shied away from discussing Trump's impact, and in a recent op-ed published on LinkedIn, Garrett said that Trump — as well as similar political movements across the globe — should stand as a warning about the effects of globalization.

Trump has run on several nativist platforms. Aggressively renegotiating trade deals, threatening to pull out of NATO and imposing strict immigration policies are a few of the big ones.

Garrett noted in his piece that the support for Trump mirrors parallel events in Great Britain, where voters decided in a referendum to pull out of the European Union (aka Brexit), and Turkey, where President Recep Erdogan's "fundamentalist excesses" preceded an attempted coup to overthrow him.

Garrett wrote that in both Britain and Turkey, forces that opposed anti-globalization movements couldn't properly come together to squash the nationalist waves.

Those fractures mirror the current conundrum for those who can't get behind Trump but are hesitant to back Hillary Clinton; specifically, traditional Republicans. Per Garrett's piece:

Traditional Republicans are much closer to Hillary Clinton on trade, immigration, and national security than they are to “their” candidate. But will they be able to bring themselves to vote Hillary in November? I think Jeb Bush’s plaintive resignation that he’ll have to vote for a third-party candidate may have more traction.

Garrett, who recently told CNBC "we do need a defense of globalization" but also criticized total liberalization, said that the problem stems from a gap between so-called "elites" and the working people who suffer from the phenomenon's effects.

"It’s a wake-up call (sic) for cosmopolitan liberal elites who have for too long ­­overlooked the strains globalization and technology have put on people struggling with everyday life," he wrote.

What are the chances Republicans see their similarities with Clinton and rally behind her against Trump? Not good, according to Garrett.

"Trump continues to defy all expectations, and 'Rockefeller Republicans for Hillary' seems a liberal fantasy."