It is interesting to me how often Obama made astute observations which directed him to the wrong conclusions. It’s perhaps the hallmark of his presidency. As Reagan said about such people, he knows so much, that isn’t so. Obama correctly observes the rise of nationalism, he correctly observes the resentment against immigration, he correctly observes the increased frustration with globalism. Yet he concludes that this is an aggressive and dangerous thing. I concede, as I must, that nationalism can be dangerous. But what can’t really? Even water is dangerous and life-giving at the same time. It’s not the thing that is the danger but how the thing is used. Drink 8 cups of water a day and you are refreshed, drink 8 gallons and you’re dead from water intoxication.
“If we don’t stand up for tolerance and moderation and respect for others, if we begin to doubt ourselves and all that we have accomplished, then much of the progress that we have made will not continue,” says Obama.
Well, yes, of course that is all true. We do need those things. But he concludes wrongly that they cannot exist in nationalism. You see, this is a common mindset with the left – tolerance and respect only go one way. The people trying to enter the US illegally don’t have to respect the US and the people there. They don’t have to respect the rule of law that says they aren’t allowed to enter through the backdoor. But those here have to be tolerant of them. For the left it only goes one way.
The globalists don’t have to tolerate the desires of the nation but the nation must tolerate the desires of the globe.
“What we will see is more and more people arguing against democracy, we will see more and more people who are looking to restrict freedom of the press, and we’ll see more intolerance, more tribal divisions, more ethnic divisions, and religious divisions and more violence.” – Obama
That describes what we have right now in my opinion.
That’s a future prediction that has quite come true. But Obama gets it very wrong in terms of just who it is behaving this way. It is not the nationalists that are promoting it but rather the globalists. Think Antifa, who are tools of a global ideologies such as Communism.
They are the ones promoting force to curtail freedom. That is evident as they seek to force certain kinds of speech and to stop other kinds under penalty of law. They are the ones that advocate for taking away guns. They are the ones that advocate for regulating life. They are the ones that advocate for taking your money and giving it away to someone else. I often point out that in the EU they regulate, because of globalism, what species of tomatoes you can have.
I saw this post the other day on one of the libertarian pages I frequent. It highlights what people get wrong about nationalism to be sure, and in this case what they also get wrong about socialism.
As an aside, this post highlights what is so wrong with such pages. There is no effort at all to explain what they mean by this. One is forced then to take it at face value. Taking it as such I can only say they are dead wrong and lack the minimum of understanding required to discuss this issue.
Globalism and Communism (which includes socialism) aren’t about the nation. In fact they eschew the nation.
patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts.
an extreme form of this, especially marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries.plural noun: nationalisms
advocacy of political independence for a particular country.
It isn’t nationalism, then, that is a problem, but rather what one does in the name of it. I argue that American is – in fact – superior to other countries. I argue that Americans should advocate for the political independence of America which is defined as looking out for our national interests. In none of this do I see nationalism as a bad thing. I find it hard to believe that anyone could be against a nationalism that is circumscribed by the Non-Aggression Principle.
It is not nationalism that causes one nation to overrun its borders and attack its neighbor. Not is it nationalism that causes a Hitler-type to think there should be a supreme race. Those things are a different animal. A country that does not believe in itself will not improve because people will not believe that it is possible to do so. Imagine a religion that tells you, “we don’t know if we’re right or not but hey, join us!” Why would you waste your time with someone like that? “I don’t know if this is a good car or not, but buy it anyway!” No thank you. “The pork might be under cooked and full of tapeworms, or not, have a bite.” People want confidence and a bit of bravado.
To say that America is a great nation instills confidence in its people. Even more so if you can articulate why this slogan is actually true. We have a powerful economy, vast natural resources, innovation, liberty, security, and our people have food, clothing, and shelter. When you think about what makes a nation great, we have it. When you compare us to other nations we see, even in the UK, they don’t. They don’t have the security we have, they don’t have the freedom we have. Compare around the world and tick of each item that makes a country great and you will see America has more of it. Because I believe this – I’m a nationalist. None of this is to say America is perfect and there is no longer room for improvement. It’s simply saying I think this country is pretty great, and it is great for a reason, and we should continue to behave according to those reasons. Those reasons being freedom and capitalism by the way.
When you shed all the talk of Hitler and really get down to what being a nationalist really is – I bet you are a nationalist too.
Former US president says countries must defend tolerance, moderation and respect for others or risk chaos and violence in speech in Indonesia