There is a universal phenomenon...natural localism. The majority of people...are affected by this condition. It results in limited knowledge – knowledge about what is local but ignorance...about what is not local. Unless countered by positive education and tolerance, natural localism can result in aggressive behavior toward the unfamiliar.
In the year 1849, natural localism was institutionalized in a small nativist party in the United States called The American Party.
... [A]dherents to the American Party came to be called “Know-Nothings.”
Ignorance was the hallmark of the “Know-Nothings”...
... [I]t is inevitable that know-nothingness should contaminate the politics of the nation, except that today the Republican Party – one of America’s two major parties – plays the role of the modern Know-Nothing party.