Trump vs. Macron: What the French president doesn’t understand about nationalism

Much can be lost in translation, even in our modern world. Perhaps the latest incident is French President Emmanuel Macron launching his obvious, if sloppy, criticism of President Trump this week in Paris while ostensibly trying to honor the fallen soldiers from World War I on the 100th anniversary of the end of that conflict.

The French president said, in a clear reference to President Trump: “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. In saying ‘our interests first, whatever happens to the others,’ you erase the most precious thing a nation can have, that which makes it live, that which causes it to be great and that which is most important: Its moral values.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Nationalism is actually the epitome of morality for a national leader. It is the moral imperative for any national leader to prioritize the security and interests of his or her citizens above all else. To place any other nation before one’s citizens is in fact immoral and a betrayal of the nation. It is in fact unpatriotic.

Macron is mistaken on many points, but he’s not alone.


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