"A globalist is a person who wants the globe to do well, frankly, does not care so much about our country, and you know what, we can not have that, you know, they have a word. It's old-fashioned, it's called nationalist, and I say, really, we should not use that word, you know what I am, I'm a nationalist, OK, I'm a nationalist.
"Nationalist. Nothing – use that word. Use this word.
Yes, that happened.
At first glance, Trump seemed to have simply said that former presidential and politicians – who had cared a great deal for other countries and other countries (ie, globalists) – that he himself caring about the US first and what is good for us (nationalist).
The problem, of course, is that words are important, and the American president, who calls himself a nationalist, has all sorts of things.
Let's start with that to what nationalism means: Here is the definition of Merriam-Webster (emphasis of mine): "a sense of national consciousness that elevates one nation above all others and places emphasis on promoting its culture and interests as opposed to those other nations or supranational groups. "
Then there is the historical context of the word "nationalism." It conjures up, above all, two close associations: National Socialism and White Nationalism.
The Roots The rise of Adolf Hitler was based on his emphasis on extreme nationalism ̵
The white nationalism that raised its ugly head last year in Charlottesville, Virginia, i st organized according to the principle that Caucasians are naturally superior and for society really are success, the agenda of whites must be recognized as a top priority – at the expense of anyone who is not white.
Now I think Donald Trump was thinking about all that linguistic and historical context. He called himself a "nationalist" in Houston on Monday night? Probably not. I guess he channeled his erstwhile political guru, Steve Bannon, who acts as a self-appointed leader of what he calls a national economic movement rooted in the idea that global elites are squeezing out the average Joe around the world.
The big problem with Trump's (and Bannon's) open embrace of nationalism is the whole story and the context that goes along with it. Nationalism is not a new concept. And history suggests that it has often been used not only to promote pride in the land and values, but also to subjugate those who do not share those values - sometimes with absolutely devastating consequences.
For those who say Trump just got the word "nationalism" and did not even know anything about that idea, I say two things.
First, he is the President of the United States. This means that not only are his words important, but he is also obliged to understand the story behind those words. Oops, I did not mean to suggest what I suggested is no excuse a president can make. Second, Trump himself makes it clear that he knows that he probably should not call himself a nationalist. Here's Trump: "They know they have a word, it's kind of old-fashioned, it's called a nationalist, and I say, really, we're not supposed to use that word." This quote should reassure the idea that Trump did not know what he was doing with his choice of words. He knew – and said! – That he probably should not use the word, but did it anyway.
Look, I see that Trump sees moments like last night in Houston as an opportunity to disregard political correctness, to "own the libraries" deliberately bumping into their slightly offended natures. And I realize that the crowd that has gathered for a Trump rally loves doing just that. (After Trump's insistence that he was a nationalist, an extended "USA!" Vocals broke out in the crowd.)
But let me repeat: words are important. Especially when these words come from the mouth of the President of the United States. Knowing that he will call himself a nationalist, the crowd will get going, Trump will use the word.
But as President, he should realize that if he adopts an ideology with such incredibly negative historical (and current) connotations, he plays a very dangerous game with little possible positive outcomes for the country.
The fact that he does not speak volumes about his lack of understanding that the Presidency is not just a job, but a beacon of moral leadership both in the country and in the world.