Donald Trump’s act of claiming the name ‘nationalist’ was significant. It will probably — in fact, already has — drawn jeers and condemnations from the crazy left, but maybe it will act as a ”permission” for those people on the right who always seem to need permission — to follow his example.
As he said, or implied, most people have been told, tacitly or explicitly, that the word is bad, for the usual reasons. But the fact is, until a couple of generations ago, just about everybody in this country was a nationalist by principle, even if they didn’t designate themselves as such.
There is, as those on the right are aware, that nationalism can mean civic nationalism, that is, loyalty to the state or the government or to the abstract ideas of ‘freedom’ or ‘equality’. But the truest nationalism is that which means loyalty to, and a real attachment to one’s own people, kindred. After all, throughout history, many peoples have been conquered, displaced, essentially being deprived of the ‘state’ which was once theirs, yet they still remained a people connected by blood, sharing a common language, religion (oftentimes), culture, and history. Governments and even states rise and fall, while peoples endure — as long as they are not dispersed, blended away amongst other peoples, or extinguished altogether.
Reading some comments on a blog frequented by the ‘civic’ type, I was astounded that the commenters seem never to have heard of any kind of nationalism other than the flag-waving kind, loyalty to a state or system. They evidently thought that this was all there is, where nationalism is concerned. Few seem to have heard of ethnonationalism, which is, after all, the primal kind of patriotism, or nationalism.
So many people have become deeply cynical about our country (more specifically our government, usually), and I’ve become more so myself; it’s impossible not to be if you have open eyes and a brain and a heart. But the really destructive thing about this attitude is that so many come to despise many of their fellow Americans, if not most of them. There’s the warfare between the sexes, and amongst various ethnic groups, regions, religions, and age groups as well as the real vitriol between political factions. How is it possible to have real group loyalty and solidarity when there is such antipathy? I firmly believe much of it is stirred up and stoked by our foes; I can’t help thinking that the bloggers and commenters who specialize in fomenting this loathing, many of them supposedly part of the ‘right’ are in fact shills or operatives, not what they purport to be.
Ethnopatriotism involves a sense of belonging to a group, to our kinsmen and neighbors — and our families, even though it seems as Scripture says, today’s enemies are ‘those of our own household’ — the ‘young’ vs. the old.
There is no common ground with the left; there can be no ‘reaching out’ to them. Even families are now divided because of politics, mainly intransigent, fanatical leftism.
But with a house so divided, the solidarity we like-minded need in order to be real advocates and defenders of our folk is just not there. I hope that some leadership arises, somebody outside today’s internet culture of vilification, and infighting. If President Trump can do anything toward changing that, then so much the better.