Trump’s Nationalism vs Biden’s Empire

The patriotic, “America First” fervor embraced by President Trump and his supporters has been relentlessly attacked by his political opponents and their media allies as a menace. Critics of America First populism allege that it is racist and xenophobic, and they point to historical examples of toxic nationalism as evidence. They frequently accuse Trump’s followers of being “white nationalists,” comparing them to the German Nazis who overran Europe in the 1940s and slaughtered millions.

These historical comparisons are useful, but can be more accurately interpreted as refuting Trump’s critics. Instead of comparing American nationalism in the era of Trump to toxic nationalist movements in history, it should be compared to the globalist alternative which asserted itself with a vengeance in this recent presidential election. The American elite who oppose Trump’s America First movement are globalists, protecting their gains and promoting the further expansion of what has become the American empire. Joe Biden is their latest figurehead.

Considered in this context, Trump’s “nationalism” has little in common with the nationalist movements to which it is frequently compared. The German Nazis did not emerge as a populist movement because Germany had conquered the world. They emerged because in 1918 the German empire was defeated, with its colonial possessions confiscated, its disputed borderlands seized, and its remaining territory split in two. The Nazis emerged because in this dismembered nation, the victorious foreign powers made impossible claims on Germany’s wealth, driving millions of its citizens into breadlines.

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