Way back in the first days of Trump’s administration, Kellyanne Conway said that there can be ‘alternative facts’. Trump and then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer made wild and visually-disputable claims that the crowd at Trump’s inauguration was ‘the largest ever’, and even ‘larger than Obama’s’, neither of which were even remotely true. When questions, Kellyanne said, “Well, you know, there can be alternative facts”. No, Kellyanne, there cannot, for facts are proven and undisputable. Nonetheless, alternative facts became the norm in the Trump administration, although most of us have another name for them: lies.
Not only did Trump and his minions hold tight to the use of alternative facts, but they took it a step further and began to re-define various words. ‘Good’, for example, when used by a trumpeter, can generally be assumed to have the opposite meaning. When a republican lawmaker says he supports something, such as healthcare protections, it generally means he voted to gut ACA. And the list goes on.
Last Monday, Trump took on the definitions of two more words: globalist and nationalist.
“Radical Democrats want to turn back the clock. Restore the rule of corrupt, power-hungry globalists. You know what a globalist is, right? A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly not caring about our country so much. And, you know what? We can’t have that.”
“You know, they have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist. And I say, ‘Really? We’re not supposed to use that word,’ You know what I am? I’m a nationalist. OK? I’m a nationalist. Use that word. Use that word.”
According to Merriam-Webster …
Definition of nationalism
1 : loyalty and devotion to a nation
especially : a sense of national consciousness (see CONSCIOUSNESS sense 1c) exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups
Intense nationalism was one of the causes of the war.
Throughout history, words have evolved, and while there is nothing sinister about the first part of this definition, “loyalty and devotion to a nation”, the rest of the definition brings on images of jackboots on cobblestones. It dates back to the 17th century and rose into prominence during the uprisings in the 18th century that produced the American and French revolutions. But the word attained even more of a negative connotation during the 20th century as it become associated with the nationalism movements in Europe that helped lead to World War I and World War II. Today the word is often associated with the far-right, racist ideologies of white nationalists.
Nationalism has been on the rise worldwide, as evidenced by the success of nationalist political parties in Europe. And it had a double bang in 2016, as it powered Brexit in the UK and the election of Trump as US President. Steve Bannon, Trump’s former top strategist, said Trump used an “economic nationalist agenda” to win.
The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘globalism’ …
A person who advocates the interpretation or planning of economic and foreign policy in relation to events and developments throughout the world.
Trade, protection, the environment … these are all issues that require global cooperation. Remember 11 September 2001? U.S. airspace was shut down, yet there were incoming planes filled with people with nowhere to go. What happened? Our friends the Canadians opened their airports, as well as their homes and their hearts, let our planes land, took stranded passengers into their homes, fed them … this is part of what globalism is about … see anything evil in that?
Trump has now declared that he is against globalism and is a nationalist, yet the majority of the people in this nation do not want to be an isolationist nation for we see the very real dangers. We need our friends around the globe, just as they need us, and Mr. Trump has it all wrong … ALL WRONG … if he thinks that shunning other nations makes us safer, for in every sense of the word, it endangers our lives.
Further, Mr. Trump seems to be playing to the white supremacist arm of nationalists who eschew any who are not white, Christian, and of European descent. Hence, his desire for a wall to keep Hispanics from Mexico, Central and South America out of our country. Hence, his stepped-up deportations of even legal immigrants. Hence, his aversion to immigrants from the Middle East.
The United States will not survive as an independent nation if we shut ourselves off from international affairs. Technology has made the planet smaller and in today’s world, no nation can thrive without the help of others. Trump would lead us down a path of certain destruction, given his way. He is wrong, but sadly there are those who do not understand such things as trade, the environment, national debt, and global cooperation. Nor do they care to take the time to educate themselves. It is time to put the brakes on Trump’s out-of-control train, and the only way to do that is to vote the republicans out of Congress, for they have proven for the past two years that they will give him free rein. Trump and this 115th Congress have done much damage, some that will take decades to repair, but the real nightmare comes with what could be done in another two years of an unchecked madman at that helm.