The other N-Word

The presidential election is still almost a year away, and in the long months to come, we are bound to hear about the perils of nationalism — especially concerning President Trump's supposed brand of this suddenly pernicious notion.  What does the president mean by it, and why do so many people on the left and right seem to fear it so much?  The impeachment farce will be behind us soon and free up much needed oxygen to sustain an illuminating debate about American nationalism.

Since President Trump's election, there has been a lot of hand-wringing in conservative circles about the supposed negatives of nationalism.  This is curious, since conservatives in general have espoused a strong pro-American outlook.  So why the recent about-face?  For some, the very fact that Trump is for something is more than enough reason to be against it, but a healthy nationalism has always been a part of America.  Like that other much spoken word of the last of couple of years — populism — nationalism is often left ill defined, like some amorphous boogieman.

The left doesn't like to frame things in terms of right and wrong and good and bad, but let's face it: the Chinese communist/fascist state is a totalitarian regime that imprisons, tortures and murders millions of its own citizens.  China deserves to fail, but it's on a long-term mission to supplant the United States as the dominant power on the planet.  An America that believes in itself and in the thoughtful use of its power exhibits the kind of nationalism America needs to keep China at bay.

What's the problem with the word "nationalism," anyway?  You don't like it because it has been hijacked by the likes of Nazis and assorted thugs who warp it for their own ends?  Tough.  Time to grow up.  We must defend American nationalism as the best hope for ourselves and for the world as a whole.  Or would you rather be beholden to Chinese nationalism any more than we already are?

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