Weak Nationalism?

Weak Nationalism? February 24, 2017

Pete Spiliakos makes the counter-intuitive point that Trump’s nationalism will fail politically unless it can become more nationalist:

Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan is, paradoxically, insufficiently nationalist. MAGA leaves out African Americans for whom America was not noticeably greater in the past—when, for instance, blacks were prevented from voting because of fraud and terror. MAGA leaves out that huge number of first- and second-generation Americans who are part of the post-1965 immigration wave (a category that includes this author, as well as most of Trump’s wives and children). A conservative nationalism that can’t speak to both recent immigrant populations and anxious working-class whites will lose to left-wing cosmopolitanism. Working-class whites will stay home if they are offered nothing but contempt from elite conservatives. Patriotic, moderately conservative nonwhites will vote for liberal cosmopolitans who claim to love them, over nationalist conservatives who seem to think that nonwhites are a peripheral (and regrettable) part of the American nation.

He concludes: “A nationalist conservatism will become a genuine majority movement when it can speak respectfully and authentically to the national interest, and to the particular interests of America’s struggling workers—of all races, and regardless of whether their families came here twenty years ago, or two hundred twenty years ago. If we can’t do that, we should get ready for the left-wing occupation that we will have brought upon ourselves.”

I’m not a “nationalist,” but this is an attractive form of nationalism.

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