Trend Watch

'Cosmopolitan' Spikes Following Acosta/Miller Dustup

“Having worldwide rather than limited or provincial scope or bearing”

Lookups for cosmopolitan spiked on August 2, 2017 following an exchange between CNN journalist Jim Acosta and White House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller. In a series of questions from the journalist about new and more restrictive immigration policy proposals, Acosta addressed the details of a proposed merit-based system that awards greater points for immigrants who speak English. After a long digression regarding the Statue of Liberty, Miller implied that Acosta’s question exposed a closed-minded view of potential immigrants:

I am shocked at your statement, that you think only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English. It's actually—it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree.

Cosmopolitan means “having worldwide rather than limited or provincial scope or bearing,” “worldly,” or “composed of persons, constituents, or elements from all or many parts of the world.” It’s hard to know what exactly Miller meant by “cosmopolitan bias,” though some suggest that it may be a dog whistle.

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