In a recent PragerU video, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper talked about two different types of people. He described these two groups in order to explain why Donald Trump won in 2016. I will ignore his explanation and conclusion in this short commentary in order to focus on the impact of two people groups.
He says there are many people who “can live anywhere” and many more people who have to “live somewhere.” David Goodhart makes this important distinction in his book, The Road to Somewhere. He explains there is a key fault line in Britain between the Anywheres and the Somewheres. Stephen Harper believes this explains the populist rising in many countries including the United States.
“Imagine you work for an international bank, computer company, or consulting firm,” says Harper, “You can wake up in New York, London, or Singapore, and feel at home. Your work is not threatened by import competition or technological dislocation — you’re one of those who can live anywhere.”
This is not the case for those forced to live somewhere. “Let’s say you’re a factory worker, small business person, or in retail sales,” said Harper, “If things go badly at your company, or policy choices by politicians turn out to be wrong, you can’t just shift your life to somewhere else.”
The Anywheres are not really that affected by outsourcing labor or cheap labor or even technological imports. The Somewheres are affected by all of these things and have become angry when the elites (in government, media, and business) seem unconcerned about the disruptions that occur because of policies by government officials and decisions by multinational companies. That is why more and more of the Somewheres are making their voice heard in elections and in the populist movement.