Read up on nationalist in an NPR article, also googled “the difference between patriotism and nationalism” resulting in explanation from Mariam-Webster dictionary. One is hard pressed to be oblivious of this except to follow present author in residing under a stone.
The search for nationalism began when I saw Madeline Albright, and Colin Powell talk about “nationalistic threat.” In Madame Secretary S5E1 (0.30 FAMX). From context it is obvious that Albright means the Nazi nationalistic agenda as a threat to humanity. Powell also highlights the aspect of concern: it is divisive. Clinton chimes in that the attack is on America’s diversity. And of course the TFA speaks of white nationalism which is a little bit more extreme in views and practices.
Ultimately it is probably fair for the governing body of a country to be patriotic–generally behaving to benefit the country. By definition, that also imply the acceptance that there must be separate nations and demand devotion of its constituency to its own above all other countries. To some extent, the superiority of any nation in its citizens’ minds seem to be definitive–otherwise the nation need not rationally exist.
Patriotism is like oxygen for government, you kind of need it to survive but too much at the wrong place ages and kills you–in a dreadful progression of degradation. Alternatives to patriotism as a foundation for thought and reason may, for example include humanism, religion, environmentalism, racism and capitalism. Respectively focusing on the success of humans (or each human), service of God, protection of the environment, advancement or dominance of one race, and the successful use of capital. These may seem mutually compatible or incompatible, depending on who you are, and they seem to be concerned with rather different types of objects, and scales in incomparable ways. But they are all candidates to take place of nationalism–they can all guide major decision making in a very primal way. Primal both in the sense of overriding everything else and also in the sense of being the origins of thinking and deciding. They are political campaign platforms.
There is no arguing that nationalism is great. And there is no arguing that racist nationalistic focus has done very bad things to humanity. It can definitely get way out of hand. Also, according TFA, some Americans interpret the bare word “nationalism” as implicitly having one of many possible political prefix that intone racism or conflict to others: white, Hindu, imperial, Afrikaner, Canadian, Buddhist, Tamil, colonial…
But imho the nationalistic behavior should not be attacked in the name of nationalism. The problem many have with “white nationalism” is the racist “white,” and the association of one’s white race with one’s patriotism. The problem with Trump’s nationalistic campaign, it has been argued, focuses on some social-economic class or geological regions, and its generating toxic social norms. When president Trump says “let’s take out those Chinese spy scums!” he is mindful to follow, irrespective of deference versus dominance, with “I respect the Chinese president, he’s a great guy! I keep a good relationship with him. We’re going to make a great deal!” His professional behavior towards his peers appears to genuinely respectful and constructive. But, as many on the opposite end of political spectrum argues, his display of attitude and policy towards “lesser” people, although mostly legally unchallenged, gives everyone the sense that the president’s administration is encouraging distain and discrimination for some geography and some social-economic class.
Having those personal sentiments did not factor into President Trump’s election. But the concern will then be that because of these behaviors, his leadership essentially encourages somewhat boisterous and rude display of hatred-like emotions towards some races, nations and geographies. The result is that some other “lesser” citizens of this country act out aggressions against these same groups in expression or by injury. They, unlike their leader, forsake responsible efforts toward any semblance of dignity and civility, in public or in clandestinity, towards their peers.
Perhaps the data will speak for itself. We will have stats on hatred and racially motivated crimes during his administration. History in retrospect will be crystal clear.
The irreversible environmental damage that we all worry about, and the drastic decrease of science in government, will surely have lasting impact. But honestly, we can only look at the bright side right now and see it as a winnowing process that will refine the involvement of scientists in government so that a better crop come onboard when the next administration revived science in American government.
Toxic nationalistic rhetorics and policies is definitely a threat to America damaging the integrity of the nation’s essence.
But I still think the boarders should be secure. Arguments against racism is not argument against the practice of nation building. Our borders should be secure against a walker from Mexico or Canada the same way it is to be secure for a swimmer from P. R. of China or a flier from Pakistan. There is no reason, for example, to believe that any individual, each of whom a human, from each of these geographies, each came to be on this Earth at the same time, will have significantly different crime rates when successfully integrated into our society. We should not discriminate against all individuals en masse based on protected attributes. I do wholeheartedly agree that we should protect that which we love, using walls if we must. We wouldn’t want to need walls for ever, but it is the best we can do right now.
This may seem anti-American to some. The wish to select who we accept into the country, the plan to “integrate” them into our society. This desire for control seems to be completely opposite of a freedom loving country open to all humans. The result of this openness is that many other walls are constructed to keep people out. For one example, there is the Ivy League which is considered by many to be a requirement for entrance into power and money has legal and uniquely discriminating admission tastes… For another example, the requirement that the politicians must publicly and enthusiastically promotes bathroom sharing between physically male and female people in order for them to run for office of any kind… these are some walls that we have put up inside our borders. These walls keep our tired, our poor, our huddled masses yearning to breathe free in their place within America.
Why don’t we just put up a physical wall? Let’s filter our residents and citizens. Let’s train them to be Americans because we think America and Americans are already great! Let’s rid ourselves of these other internal walls and be a truly free and just country.
Lets keep this America great.
Let’s make America greater!