Does the West have the will to survive? That’s what president Trump asked in a speech in Poland in July 2017. It would seem from the actions of the elite politicians of Europe and the United States that the answer is no. Unfettered immigration from the third world, and a globalism that places the interests of wealthy donors ahead of those of ordinary citizens are the tenets establishment leaders espouse.
Nationalism, a pride in one’s nation, is the obvious philosophy to counter such recklessness. W. James Antle III, longtime political analyst and the new editor of The American Conservative, takes readers through an examination of President Trump’s nationalism. He writes (abridged):
Trump’s election to the presidency was widely considered part of a nationalist resurgence in the wider Western world. With the Brexit revolt against the European Union in the United Kingdom and the ascent of populist and nationalist parties—some of them far right and identitarian, others more moderate and compatible with classical liberalism—from Paris to Poland, voters are speaking up for borders and sovereignty against supranational organizations and outside forces.
Since winning the White House on a platform of controlling immigration, securing the southwest border, renegotiating trade deals to maximize American advantage and hopefully reverse Rust Belt deindustrialization, and reorienting foreign policy in an “America First” direction, Trump has not only done battle against globalists at home (and inside his own administration). He has encouraged the nationalist trend abroad.
“In Poland,” Trump told the United Nations General Assembly, of all places, “a great people are standing up for their independence, their security, and their sovereignty.” Poland was also the site of Trump’s July 2017 speech praising Western nationalism against a background of challenges from globalism and multiculturalism.
“The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive,” Trump said in that speech. “Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”
A new fusionism that balances national identity with tradition and liberty could become key to the next politically successful conservatism. “To believe, as most Americans do, that the U.S. Constitution is superior to international law, that immigrants—though welcome—should become part of a united national community rather than join an ethnic enclave in a balkanized America, and that our national identity is more important than any ethnic or transnational loyalty is not to take the low road of nationalist selfishness but the moral high ground of democratic self-government in a particular society,” write John Fonte and John O’Sullivan.
Moreover, a genuinely American nationalism in 2019 cannot be white nationalism. “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other,” Trump proclaimed in his inaugural address. “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” The only people who argue otherwise are post-national progressives and the racist white nationalists themselves.
If only leaders could be found to manage rather than demagogue these issues, as a generation of conservative Republicans did in leading millions of George Wallace voters out of the then undrained fever swamps. If not Trump, who?
Read more here.