Left out of the equation is that appealing to nationalism is how America won the war. But nationalism is out of favor in Europe which saw nation's surrender sovereignty in favor of a government run by policy wonks who are accountable to no one. This has left European nations helpless against an invasion by millions of Muslims.
The anti-nationalism -- and by proxy, anti-Americanism -- of the Left in its efforts to discredit Donald Trump are echoed by neoconservatives who realize that Trump's nomination placed them hopelessly out of power. While they talk of stopping him and regaining control of a party that has failed to achieve majorities in four of the last five presidential elections, the demotion of globalist conservatism likely will remain in place regardless of what occurs on November 8.
Patrick Buchanan explained it this way in February:
Trump is winning because, on immigration, amnesty, securing our border and staying out of any new crusades for democracy, he has tapped into the most powerful currents in politics: economic populism and “America First” nationalism.
Look at the crowds Trump draws. Look at the record turnouts in Republican caucuses and primaries.
If Beltway Republicans think they can stop Trump and turn back the movement behind him, and continue on with today’s policies on trade, immigration and intervention, they will be swept into the same dustbin of history as the Rockefeller Republicans.
America is saying, “Goodbye to all that.”Yes, the 1964 presidential disaster of Goldwater did not turn the party over to his rival, Nelson Rockefeller. Instead, the party turned to its glory days of the Eisenhower administration (the only eight years in thirty-six years that Republicans held the White House) and nominated Ike's vice president. Again.
Through the fog of politics, the Never Trump crowd preaches principle. They are on a crusade for open borders, in part because its only effect on them is lower lawn care prices, and in part because this is the desire of the donors who support the think tanks, the Weekly Standard, and the National Review. They try to take a high road in opposition to Trump's call to enforce immigration law.
Phyllis Schlafly just set them straight:
But churchgoing voters indicated otherwise during the Republican primaries, by nominating Donald Trump. Now is the time for church leaders to listen to their own flock on the important issue of immigration.
The amount of immigration allowed by a nation is a political matter, not a religious one, and this issue has become the elephant in the room impossible to overlook. The stunning election results in Austria two weeks ago demonstrate that those who try to duck or downplay the immigration issue are headed for defeat.
As in the United States, the leaders of both major political parties in Austria ignored the problems caused by immigration. A candidate emerged there named Norbert Hofer, who campaigned on “putting Austria first” despite the media giving him little chance of winning.
On April 24 Austrians voted with a large turnout, and the candidate opposed to permissive immigration won the first round in a stunning double-digit landslide. The two major parties that had echoed failed immigration policies, as Democrats and Republicans here have done, fared so poorly that they failed even to qualify for the upcoming runoff, which the Trump-like Austrian candidate is also expected to win.Ultimately Hofer lost in a runoff as his opponent had the press and corporate interests behind him. Not being independently wealthy, Hofer succumbed to defeat.
Trump does not have that problem.
The confusion over nationalism and fascism was explained by George Friedman, a Hungarian Jew by birth who escaped the Holocaust as well as the post-war Communist regime.
Nationalism is the core of the Enlightenment’s notion of liberal democracy. It asserts that the multinational dynasties that ruled autocratically denied basic human rights. Among these was the right to national self-determination and the right of citizens to decide what was in the national interest. The Enlightenment feared tyranny and saw the multinational empires dominating Europe as the essence of tyranny. Destroying them meant replacing them with nation-states. The American and French revolutions were both nationalist risings, as were the nationalist risings that swept Europe in 1848. Liberal revolutions were by definitions nationalist because they were risings against multinational empires.
Fascism differs from nationalism in two profound ways. First, self-determination was not considered a universal right by fascists. Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Francisco Franco, to mention three obvious fascists, only endorsed nationalism for Germany, Italy and Spain. The rights of other nations to a nation-state of their own was at best unclear to the fascists. In a very real sense, Hitler and Mussolini believed in multi-nationalism, albeit with other nations submitting to their will. Fascism in its historical form was an assault on the right of nations to pursue their self-interest, and an elevation of the fascists’ right to pursue it based on an assertion of their nations’ inherent superiority and right to rule.A fascist can use nationalism to advance his cause. But that does not mean all nationalists are fascists.
We should keep that in mind as liberal lightweights attack Trump this summer and fall.