Home World Patriotism vs. Narcissism, Noah Rothman Commentary Magazine

Patriotism vs. Narcissism, Noah Rothman Commentary Magazine


“You know what I am?” then-President Donald Trump asked his supporters at a 2018 rally. “I’m a nationalist, okay? Nationalist,” he continued. “Use that word, use that word.” His audience didn’t need the encouragement. The president of the pragmaticist party was only adopting a label that was already being applied (his). initial resistance It was embraced by his followers (notwithstanding), It was necessary to classify Trump’s politics in terms that placed him somewhere on the spectrum of the American political experience, in part, because his politics rejected a half-century of intellectual history.

American conservatism, as it was understood prior to 2016, departs from its European variants insofar as what it is trying to “conserve” are the liberal values of the Enlightenment that informed the Founders. These values explicitly rejected the notion of blood and soil as determining nationhood. Postwar conservatives took pride in a nation dedicated to competition—between industries, among the states, and even within the federal government itself. Nationalists, who tend to emphasize national unity and cultural homogeneity, don’t have much use for all that infighting. However, their vision of America does not reflect reality. This conflict gave birth to…

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