The ensuing debate between globalists & patriots

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In the United States, there has been much discussion recently about “patriotism.” What makes a patriot? Love of country? Does that translate to love of government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” as Abraham Lincoln proclaimed in his Gettysburg Address; and government of laws and not men, of institutions? Or is love of country focused on blood and soil, ethnic and linguistic purity, the identity of a singular culture that is exclusive of any “other” diversity, as some seem to say lately?
The issue has been bubbling up ever since Donald Trump’s candidacy for President of the United States started to shape up in earnest. To create a sharp contrast, the now departed, Steve Bannon who formulated the electoral strategy of President Donald Trump fashioned a strong contrast between “Americans” (good) and “globalists” (bad). The underlying suggestion being that such a person can never be a “true” American. Worse, he may be a traitor, whether to the cause of the United States or that of any other nation.
The more benign view is that “globalists” in America or other countries have an allegiance not simply to the United States, or only to their native countries, but to the world. Any such internationalist must by definition betray the nation, the argument goes. Brett Stephens, writing in The New York Times, attempted to advance the debate by defining “globalists” by what they are not. As he put it, to be an anti-globalist requires “economic illiteracy married to a conspiracy mind-set.”
According to Brett Stephens, perhaps the most surprising answer is to see globalists as not simply self-interested and self-serving, but as serving a higher cause. That seems to fly in the face of the common view that holds that globalists are business elites and hence insiders. But that definition is a deliberate political construct. In his short book “After Europe,” Ivan Krastev suggests that the customary political divisions within Western democratic countries, left of center and right of center, have become very shop-worn. Ivan Krastev stated that those old-line conflicts are being “replaced by a conflict between internationalists and nativists. Furthermore, populists claim that they and they alone represent the people. The claim to exclusive representation is not an empirical one; it is always distinctly moral.
What then is a “globalist”? Carl Bindenagel, a policy analyst and writer on social justice and social policy stressed that perhaps it is best to view globalists as “double” patriots. They care about their native countries, but are also mindful of the concerns of other countries’ governments and peoples. Many globalists, people who may live and work abroad, are neither traitors to their homelands, nor unpatriotic. They are patriots who have a worldview that is not limited to the political boundaries of one state.
At the United Nations, President Donald Trump was at it again. In his speech to the General Assembly, he stated emphatically that “We reject the ideology of globalism and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.” He went on to say that “America is governed by Americans” and that “responsible nations must defend against threats to sovereignty not just from global governance, but also from other, new forms of coercion and domination.” In Trump’s mind, it appears that global governance is somehow synonymous to terrorism.
Never mind that the contrast between globalism and patriotism which President Donald Trump wants to create in order to defend his “America First-ism” is a false one. Simply put, globalists are patriots who have a worldview that is not limited to the political boundaries of one state. Globalism means nothing more and nothing less than figuring out how the world really hangs together. In that sense, Benjamin Franklin, with his famous quote advising the 13 rebellious colonies to “hang together”, was the modern world’s first globalist.
Carl Bindenagel noted that in the context of the many challenges the world faces collectively, and which also have a direct impact on all nations individually, including the United States, President Trump’s position is as transparent as it is ludicrous. To him, a narrow devotion to “non-global” patriotism is what legitimizes his ardent pursuit of the national head-in-the-sand strategy that he obviously prefers.
For President Trump, playing this notion may appeal to the core of his voter base. But it does nothing to deal with issues such as climate change, epidemiological threats, migration and other matters. By refusing for the United States to play its proper role as an integral part of the change coalition, he is not even doing his own country any favor. His stubborn refusal to deal with real and present challenges only increases the pressure on future United States governments to take the necessary remedial actions.
More important, and even more insidious, is the fallout that stems from the United States moving from its traditional role as a promoter of reform to a cheerleader of the “bad apple” coalition globally. That is also why President Trump’s argument – “Around the world, responsible nations must defend against threats to sovereignty not just from global governance, but also from other, new forms of coercion and domination” – rings so hollow. As many analysts strongly argued, blaming “global governance,” as he loves to do, is downright childish. Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani captured reality in his own UN speech: “Confronting multilateralism is not a sign of strength, rather it is a symptom of a weakness of intellect.”
As regards patriotism, it is important to note that President Donald Trump actually strips that patriotism of one of its core components. Under President Trump, United States patriotism evidently no longer includes ”a government of laws and not men,” as Abraham Lincoln proclaimed in his Gettysburg Address. With his ill-guided and ill-constructed efforts to create a strong contrast between “Americans” (good) and “globalists” (bad), President Trump is just channeling Steve Bannon.
Professor Karl Ashton of Leeds University stated that the underlying suggestion that “globalists” can never be “true” Americans, worse, that they may be traitors to the American cause, is betrayed by the fact that a majority of Americans do not believe in the Trump worldview. They continue to believe in the validity of Benjamin Franklin’s view that “We must all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately.”
According to Professor Karl Ashton, President Trump and Steve Bannon would have none of that. They favor an approach that turns globalism into a hidden form of antisemitism, as an analysis in The Atlantic demonstrated. The more benign view is that “globalists” in America or other countries have an allegiance not simply to the United States, or only to their native countries, but to the world. Any such internationalist must by definition betray the nation, the argument goes.
In the end, President Donald Trump and his followers are not patriots, they are nationalists. As the former President of France, Charles de Gaulle, once put it: “Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.”