After Pittsburgh, Unfair Attacks on American Nationalism

After Pittsburgh, Unfair Attacks on American Nationalism
Shaban Athuman/The Dallas Morning News via AP
After Pittsburgh, Unfair Attacks on American Nationalism
Shaban Athuman/The Dallas Morning News via AP
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Since the awful tragedy in Pittsburgh, Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media have gravitated to a new false narrative: that President Trump gives quarter and encouragement to bigots, some of whom act out violently.  On MSNBC, “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough claimed that Trump “has refused steadfastly to attack white nationalists.”

Scarborough’s fake-news slur stems from a narrow fixation on the president’s “both sides” comment after the 2017 violence in Charlottesville, and purposefully ignores the clear moral condemnation Trump has aimed repeatedly since then at purveyors of hate.  Reacting to Saturday’s synagogue massacre, the president explicitly denounced the “vial, hate-filled poison of anti-Semitism.”  Similarly, in a previous speech at the White House, he asserted that “racism is evil…and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs…[and] are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

Moreover, attaching blame to Trump for the unspeakable violence at the Tree of Life house of worship defies logic, as the perpetrator’s social media profile details not only his revulsion for Jews, but also for Donald Trump, whom he viewed as stooge for Jewish interests.  Therefore, only a non-thinking partisan zealot could honestly ascribe any culpability for the actions of this madman to our commander-in chief -- who, incidentally, celebrates Jewish holidays and Shabbat with his own children and grandchildren.  

In addition to the canard of attacking Trump as a racist, the left-wing narrative also increasingly tries to besmirch our 2016 movement’s embrace of American nationalism.  I recently debated this topic on-air with CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.  His colleague Don Lemon amazingly declared the term “nationalist” to be “loaded with nativist and racial undertones.”  Such dark subtexts would be news to Mahatma Gandhi, who led the Indian Nationalist Movement.  Ditto for Abraham Lincoln, since esteemed biographer James A. Rawley described  our 16th president as having “an abiding spirit of nationalism.”  

What is American nationalism?  Above all, it upholds the shared ideals of American citizens, including our collective history, unique Constitution, free-enterprise economic principles, and our great flag. American nationalism rejects the multilateralism that gained far too much sway over our sovereignty in recent decades.  That globalism too often subverted the well-being of American workers to the whims and wishes of self-serving transnational structures, including through awful trade deals and unfair security agreements.  American nationalism is not retrograde, and does not believe in “America alone,” but does strongly assert “America First.”  Our philosophy is rooted in the belief that the United States thrives best when we primarily promote our national interest, particularly as it relates to trade, borders, and foreign interventions.

Lately, globalist critics like Scarborough try to confuse the public by conflating American nationalism with the perverted ethno-fascism of decades past.  Those decrepit movements, whether in Nazi German or Imperial Japan, sought genetic purity and fully centralized state control over all aspects of their societies, from business to politics to culture.  In sharp contrast, our enlightened nationalism exalts the rights of all American citizens regardless of their color or creed, and advocates the broad diffusion of power, away from the corridors of the federal state.

In point of fact, the world owes an enormous debt to the muscular American nationalism that animated our country in the Second World War to literally save the world from the evil of ethno-fascism.  More recently, that same spirit roused the United States to smash the ethno-fascist groups ISIS and al-Qaeda.

President Trump is right to fully adopt American nationalism.  To be sure, establishment power brokers mock our nationalism as narrow-minded and xenophobic.  But truth be told, those same elites in New York newsrooms and Washington K Street lobbying offices identify far more with Paris, France than they do with Paris, Texas.  But contrary to their cynicism, both our country and the world community benefit when we embrace American nationalism.

Steve Cortes is a contributor to RealClearPolitics and a CNN  political commentator. His Twitter handle is @CortesSteve.

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