When President Trump visited France for the 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice, French leader Macron went out of his way to insult him and all the efforts made by Americans to help and protect France.
One point of contention was Macron’s strange argument that nationalism was the opposite of patriotism. Not in my dictionary, or President Trump’s.
MACRON: Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying, ‘Our interests first, who cares about the others,’ we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace and what is essential: its moral values.
That’s a funny thing to say to the American president, when US soldiers have twice fought and died in France against its enemies.
Below, the Normandy American Cemetery, where more than 9,000 US soldiers are buried after being killed in France during WWII.
Back to the nationalism controversy, on Monday, Tucker Carlson interviewed Professor Nicholas Giordano of Suffolk Community College who explained the concept clearly:
TUCKER CARLSON: Tell us what nationalism actually is, if you could sum it up as crisply as you can — what is nationalism?
PROFESSOR NICHOLAS GIORDANO: Nationalism is important because it’s what links us together as a country. We are a nation state, and so when you’re looking at the concept of nationalism, it’s the acceptance of the American creed, the tenets of the American creed, as well as it helps us to motivate us to help our country. Nationalism is one of the most important concepts out there. Macron’s just wrong — it’s as simple as that.
CARLSON: The knock against nationalism is that there’s something racially exclusive or racist about it. Is it inherently a racial creed? Does it have anything to do with race?
GIORDANO: No, it doesn’t. What nationalism does, it fosters the democratic consciousness, and that’s an important point that people get wrong. We have a stake in the system, and we are the legitimate authority over the system as the people of the United States. Prior to nationalism, loyalty was to one leader; now it’s to the country as a whole, and nationalism fosters patriotism.
In my classroom I used Hurricane Harvey as a great example. During Harvey, you had people, citizens affected by the hurricane took their own boats, their private boats and they went and they helped out their fellow citizens. They didn’t say this is the black boat, and the white boat’s 15 minutes behind us. They didn’t say this is the Republican boat or the Democrat boat — they were just out there to help Americans, and that’s what nationalism fosters. If you look at countries without nationalism — nationalism defeats tribalism — so Afghanistan, Libya, those countries are where tribalism is enforced. There’s no loyalty to the country of Afghanistan as a whole or Libya as a whole and that’s why those countries have been engaged in tribal warfare for the last 3,000 years.
CARLSON: It’s so nicely put, what you just said, and it’s such an obvious point. Why would there be such a loud caucus against nationalism, against national unity?
GIORDANO: I think there’s two things going on. When you look at someone like President Macron of France, I think he likes the idea of trans-nationalism, trying to replace the idea of nationalism with this regional nationalism. And then for other people, if we look at the United States, the people that say that nationalism is a bad thing or nationalism is racist, I think they just aren’t necessarily proud of the country that the United States is. They focus on all the bad that the United States has done and they don’t look at the positives of how the United States has actually changed the world .
CARLSON: Well exactly. Professor, that was such a nice explanation. I hope you’ll join us again.