A lot has already been written about Candace Owens of Turning Point USA making comments that seemed to ignore Adolf Hitler’s genocidal actions in the name of nationalism. But there’s one aspect of it that I think has been largely ignored in the context of her rabid support of Donald Trump.
Leaving aside the obvious problems, I want to focus on one other aspect of it, which is the hollowness of these complaints about “elitists” and “globalists.” Those words have become utterly meaningless, as Owens’ support for Trump shows. If Donald Trump is not an “elitist” then what possible meaning could that term have? And he may throw around the word “globalism” as an insult, but again, if Trump is not a globalist, what meaning could that word possibly have? He has far-flung business interests all over the world. He has all of his products made in other countries and shipped to the United States. He clearly puts national interest aside in favor of his own global profits. He imports labor from other countries.
Asked by a member of the audience about nationalism in Western politics, Owens brought up Adolf Hitler. “I actually don’t have any problems at all with the word ‘nationalism’,” Owens said. “I think that the definition gets poisoned by elitists that actually want globalism. Globalism is what I don’t want. … Whenever we say nationalism, the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler.”
“He was a national socialist,” she continued. “But if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted, he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalise. He wanted everybody to be German, everybody to be speaking German. Everybody to look a different way. To me, that’s not nationalism. In thinking about how we could go bad down the line, I don’t really have an issue with nationalism. I really don’t.”
The fact that he does all those things while simultaneously engaging in anti-globalist rhetoric only shows how empty that word is. It means nothing. This is the 21st century. Goods, labor and capital now flow freely across borders and there is nothing whatsoever that could possibly prevent that. We are all globalists now — even, perhaps especially, those who pretend not to be.