President Trump says that he is an American nationalist who makes decisions to put America first. He has also recently said, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, that he would accept help from hostile foreign powers to win elections against other American politicians.
These things don’t really go together. If he’s accepting, say, Russian help against other Americans, then he’s not putting America first in any meaningful way — in fact, he’s specifically siding against Americans, and our political system, and standing with foreign leaders.
That this is hypocritical is so obvious as to be not worth remarking on, as is the fact that Donald Trump is a hypocrite with all the patriotism of a Chinese factory making American flags. What did he ever do for Americans? He buys golf courses in Europe, builds condos in New York that sell to Russian businessmen and his charitable foundation took donations to commission oil paintings of Donald Trump that were generously given to Trump businesses.
But it is worth remarking on just how typical behavior this is of other “nationalists” around the world. American “nationalists,” after all, are close to Russian and Saudi Arabian dictators. French “nationalists” have strong ties with German “nationalists,” who support one another in elections against their own people. British “nationalists” work with Italian “nationalists,” who engage in networks to support Hungarian “nationalists” while Austrian “nationalists” are caught on tape offering to circumvent the laws of their own country in exchange for foreign dollars.
The so-called “nationalist” movements sweeping the globe aren’t really nationalists at all (and really, how does a nationalist movement sweep the globe?) However much they rail against an “internationalist” Europe, however much they object to “globalism,” they are actively building and participating in a global movement that does not respect the sovereignty of the nations they call home. In fact, they are forming a trans-national movement specifically to support each other in taking over one another’s governments through foreign propaganda, financial support and (at least theoretically) even blackmail.
That’s not what nationalists do. After all, bringing it back to Donald Trump for a moment: wouldn’t a genuine nationalist demand that his nation take steps to keep its elections free from foreign interference? How can America be for Americans if Russians are manipulating our media?
It’s terribly ironic that the various movements calling themselves nationalists are in fact attempting to build a new global order that does not respect national laws or boundaries, but this, too, is fairly typical of the various “nationalist” movements: they accuse others of what they themselves are trying to do. It is laughably comical to hear Trumpists complain of an attempted “coup” by the “deep state” when it was Mitch McConnell who refused to let President Obama even get a hearing on his Supreme Court nomination, as required in the Constitution; when it is the White House refusing to honor congressional subpoenas; when it is administration official caught lying under oath; when a tactic of Republican officeholders across multiple states is explicit voter suppression; when Trump isn’t so much “draining” the swamp as filling it with his incompetent adult children …
This is what a soft coup looks like, supported by dictatorial governments with whom America has clashing interests. It has nothing to do with “nationalism.” It is, in fact, run-of-the-mill corruption by gangsters with government positions, working to further their own interests across nations, with no respect for either local law or custom.
Real nationalists — people who really put their country first — would be demanding prosecutions and impeachment.