EU hypocrisy on nationalism at the World Cup
The final match of the World Cup was set when tiny Croatia beat England in the second semi-final. They move on to face France in what promises to be a "David vs. Goliath" rematch.
But the World Cup must have caused the vapors for the mandarins who run the E.U. All that national pride and patriotism – even from, God forbid, E.U. countries. And we all know where that can lead. Dare I say it?
Nationalism! (Cue creepy music.)
Just look at the joyous crowds in Paris celebrating France's 1-0 victory over Belgium on Tuesday.
The description of the celebration is interesting:
The French national anthem La Marseillaise, chants of "We're in the final" and a cacophony of car horns and fire crackers rang out over Paris on Tuesday as residents of the capital celebrated France's march to the World Cup final.
A crowd of 20,000 gathered to watch Didier Deschamps' team beat Belgium 1-0 in their semi-final in Saint Petersburg on a giant screen at Paris' historic Hotel de Ville, or town hall.
With viewing space at a premium every vantage spot was occupied – with fans perched on trees, on top of vans, on dustbins and bus shelters.
The French team was playing not for the glory of Brussels. French soccer fans were not singing the E.U. national anthem. They were playing and celebrating their national team.
In other words, as vulgar a display of nationalism as you'll see in Europe.
But nationalism is bad, right? Just listen to French president Macron from last April:
French President Emmanuel Macron compared political divisions in Europe to a new type of civil war as he warned Tuesday of the need to counter growing nationalism.
In a speech to European Union lawmakers, Macron urged the EU to better protect its citizens from the wars and authoritarian regimes that could divide the continent.
The French leader, who wants to help lead the EU, invoked the specter of a Europe "where some kind of civil war emerges, where our differences, our national egoisms, sometimes seem more important than what's uniting us."
Democracy has the "best chance" of fighting nationalism, he told members of the Strasbourg-based European Parliament. "Faced with authoritarianism, the answer is not democratic authoritarianism, but the authority of democracy."
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Macron's rise to power in France has "given new hope" to the European Union.
Get it? Only some forms of nationalism are bad, and only when the left uses the word to exaggerate the dangers of ordinary citizens seeking to protect their heritage and culture. Cheering with pride for your national soccer team or Olympic heroes is apparently all right – even if it gets out of hand, as it did in France.
Why no dire warnings about soccer nationalism? Is there any difference between delirious French soccer fans bursting with nationalistic pride about their team and Hungarian citizens in the streets protesting the E.U. forcing their government to accept refugees? Those Hungarian citizens were as passionate about their nation as the French, but one form of "nationalism" is acceptable, and the other isn't.
In fact, it reveals the left's towering hypocrisy when it comes to nationalism of any kind. In this country, the left is constantly equating the simple, uncomplicated love of country by ordinary citizens with Hitleresque fascism. It's convenient shorthand for them to use the word "nationalism" in a political context that both shames patriotic citizens for loving their country and scares voters about the "real intent" of these patriots.
It's despicable politics to smear tens of millions of Americans who resist the siren call of leftists that America needs to throw open its borders and lose its unique national character in the name of "tolerance" and "diversity." Any resisters are branded as "nationalists" or "fascists" – the words are interchangeable. It's got to stop.