(from here)

It is an old problem. You are having a debate. You make a point, and the other guy tries to put you on defense by attacking the words you chose, not the argument you have just made. So instead of defending your argument you find yourself defending yourself. That’s what happened when President Donald Trump called himself a nationalist.

Here is what he said.

As usual, some refused to find Trump’s plain language clear enough. According to these (see What Trump is talking about when he talks about “nationalism” (cbsnews.com)), that was one of Trump’s innumerable dog whistles. That is, Trump was supposedly talking about white nationalism instead of putting America’s interests first.

I looked up the definition of nationalism in our 1956 Funk & Wagnall’s. The word was once equivalent to patriotism, and patriotism is still the primary synonym. Of course, those with a globalist bent, a borderless world, now equate both patriotism and nationalism with chauvinism and jingoism.

Why do people like those in the news media work so assiduously to change the connotation of the words patriotism and nationalism? Is it because they don’t want those who disagree with them to be able to express the concepts of love of country, putting our nation first, and citizenship in a nation that is special to us? It must be so because when they attack the meaning of the words used to express such ideas and concepts that is the net effect.

Words are the tools we use to express ideas and concepts, and our understanding. Without the words we need, the pen cannot mightier than the sword. Without the right words, we cannot express the ideas and concepts, and understanding we need to convey.

So please remember. We can use any idea, concept, or understanding for good or ill. So it is that in 1776 the American colonies joined together in patriotism to defend their liberty. Later, that patriotism became formally nationalistic, and thirteen states came together to form America under our Constitution.

America is our home. Americans are our people. Who has the right to demand we not love our home and our people? Unfortunately, a Nazi regime once used patriotism and nationalism to join the German people in bondage to a totalitarian state bent on conquest. As Mark Twain would have said, that was a grievous abuse of patriotism. So we have both good and evil memories associated with patriotism and nationalism.

What the Nazis did in the minds of some is make patriotism and nationalism dirty words. Still, since the Nazis were the National SOCIALIST German Workers’ Party, it seems the people who think like that have their own bias, their own irrational hatreds.

Those would destroy words have done similar things to other word, words like: individualism, ideology, religion, discrimination, liberal,…. Please don’t let them get away with it. What they would do is a vile thing. Without words we cannot communicate. So words and their proper meaning should be precious to us.

Anyway, here is a post that links to series of posts on how people abuse words => OF TWISTED WORDS => FEMINISM.


    1. That last comment was directed to the last comments below where is was apparently agreed by several commenters and our Christian host that Omar, a naturalized citizen who came here as a refugee at the age of10, should indeed be sent back to her death because she isn’t Nationalist enough to suit them. Yep that is good old Trumpist Nationalism for you.

      1. The question is did she marry her brother while still married to another man in order to gain access to this country for her brother—plus there is the matter of the filing of false tax records

  1. Thank you always Tom for providing solid clarification for those poor souls who just seem to stay confused— and yes Omar may have set her ship to sail without truly realizing her faux pas— bon voyage and don’t let the gang plank hit you on the behind whilst boarding 🤗

  2. Again.. y’all are missing the point (cept for Tsalmon cause we think alike although he’s far more wordy about it than even me).
    While you are all siding with Trump’s policies and will readily accept the man NO matter how abominable he is as a person and as a President… the difference between GOP’ers and Dems is that the Dems dislike the man himself… and the GOP’ers love his policies, which he sells with fear. Just look at the Baltimore Tweet… these are fellow Americans he’s bellowing about; a sitting President who does not represent ALL Americans.
    So.. my point… Trump supporters compromised their morality in exchange for Trump policies,plain and simple. The reality is that his policies implemented thus far have been nothing but half-assed. Put Pence in charge, we’d be better off. So your definition-of-terms quandary is rather benign when compared to the reality. If Trumpsters are feeling picked on in an unfair world… it’s certainly very little to do with defining terms or trying to be some all-knowing Trump whisperer that knows all the time what he “really” means.

    1. My husband recently took a trip to Newark. He stayed in a nice hotel (SWA is good to their employees). But had a 20 or so hour layover so he wanted to go to a coffee shop. He walked into a Guatemalan coffee shop that was nearby, ordered coffee and a sandwich (no one spoke English, but he speaks Spanish). He sat down. Right behind him, a couple of MS-13 members ordered. He knew they were MS-13 because they had little MS-13 tatoos on their cheeks. He starts looking around and many of the occupants had the same. He’s sitting there with his LSAT book hoping they’d think he was a cop. It was too awkward to get up and leave before getting his sandwich. MS-13 folks are about the worst gang on the planet.
      They are free to walk around in the liberal city of Newark.
      But don’t call those folks animals. That’s racist and compromising our morality.

      1. Not sure your point as it relates to my reply… but I would also find that a bit disconcerting if I walked into a place and saw everyone with those gang tats. But apparently you left the establishment unscathed. Sounds like even if you were conceal & carry you’d be outnumbered before you bent over to tie your shoe to grab for your gun.

        When you left did you contact any authorities? Not that you had to by any means… MS-13 is not on any domestic terrorist watch list (here in the US) because their “cause” is apolitical. Not sure I would have… just leaving town without having a confrontation would be good enough for me. Pick the battles you can win.

        1. Not sure your point as it relates to my reply…
          Doug, a very common reference to Trump’s ostensible “racism” was a quote where he called MS-13 animals. It went absolutely viral. Not surprised you didn’t catch the reference.
          If you only read CNN, you probably still believe he called all immigrants animals.

      2. I’ve had lay overs in Newark. I’ve also accidentally drove into some rough neighborhoods in New Orleans. In both cases, the color of the threat was a correlation rather than the causation of my caution. You should know better than anyone Liz that, even though most MS13 happen to be brown, not all brown Guatemalan folks are MS13. What does Trump think?

        “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

        1. @tsalmon

          That is a simple way of describing the problem. What is wrong — BIGOTED — is pretending it is racist to discuss the problem.

        2. I’ve had lay overs in Newark. I’ve also accidentally drove into some rough neighborhoods in New Orleans. In both cases, the color of the threat was a correlation rather than the causation of my caution. You should know better than anyone Liz that, even though most MS13 happen to be brown, not all brown Guatemalan folks are MS13.
          Yeah….that’s….kind of why he purposely went to a Guatemalan coffee shop. Expecting good people and good coffee, not MS-13.

          What does Trump think?(insert quote)
          From the blog Slatestarcodex, a left wing anti-Trump blogger who has somehow escaped the rampant propaganda induced TDS. :

          6. What about Trump’s “drugs and crime” speech about Mexicans?
          Trump said that:
          “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. Their rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
          Note how totally non-racist this statement is. I’m serious.
          It’s anti-illegal-immigrant. But in terms of race, it’s saying Latinos (like every race) include both good and bad people, and the bad people are the ones coming over here. It suggests a picture of Mexicans as including some of the best people – but those generally aren’t the ones who are coming illegally.
          Compare to eg Bill Clinton’s 1996 platform (all emphasis mine):
          “We cannot tolerate illegal immigration and we must stop it. For years before Bill Clinton became President, Washington talked tough but failed to act. In 1992, our borders might as well not have existed. The border was under-patrolled, and what patrols there were, were under-equipped. Drugs flowed freely. Illegal immigration was rampant. Criminal immigrants, deported after committing crimes in America, returned the very next day to commit crimes again. President Clinton is making our border a place where the law is respected and drugs and illegal immigrants are turned away.”
          Or John McCain in 2008:
          “Border security is essential to national security. In an age of terrorism, drug cartels, and criminal gangs, allowing millions of unidentified persons to enter and remain in this country poses grave risks to the sovereignty of the United States and the security of its people.”
          Trump’s platform contains similar language – and, like all past platforms, also contains language praising legal immigrants:
          Just as immigrant labor helped build our country in the past, today’s legal immigrants are making vital contributions in every aspect of national life. Their industry and commitment to American values strengthens our economy, enriches our culture, and enables us to better understand and more effectively compete with the rest of the world.
          We are particularly grateful to the thousands of new legal immigrants, many of them not yet citizens, who are serving in the Armed Forces and among first responders. Their patriotism should encourage all to embrace the newcomers legally among us, assist their journey to full citizenship, and help their communities avoid isolation from the mainstream of society. We are also thankful for the many legal immigrants who continue to contribute to American society.
          When Democrats and Republicans alike over the last twenty years say that we are a nation of immigrants but that illegal immigrants threaten our security, or may be criminals or drug pushers, they’re met with yawns. When Trump says exactly the same thing, he’s Literally the KKK.

          1. Liz,

            On its face, the words “they should go back to where they came from” isn’t racist if Trump were talking about ALL Americans, but you know in your bones, it means something racist when someone is yelling it at your husband, for example.

            The idea that most Illegal immigrants are rapists, drug dealers and criminals is ridiculous. Many, if not most, undocumented people overstay legal visas. The statement is so preposterously over the top that it only has effect or even makes sense if one examines who the statement by who it is focused at.

          2. On its face, the words “they should go back to where they came from” isn’t racist if Trump were talking about ALL Americans, but you know in your bones, it means something racist when someone is yelling it at your husband, for example.

            Why would Trump talk that way about ALL Americans? He’s only speaking that way about people who obviously hold our nation, its people and values in contempt. Especially “Representatives” who do so. Omar is a parasite. Her nationality and “color” an irrelevancy other than she sympathizes with Al Qaeda and blatantly vilifies white men.

          3. Cadet Bonespur , the man who questioned POW John McCain honor and heroism because he likes heroes that don’t get caught, that’s the one who gets to lecture on the American bonafides of four female American Congresswomen, three of which were born here? And he would do this even if they just didn’t happen to be black and brown women? Your grasping at the ludicrous Liz to on a hopeless defense of the outrageous. 😆

          4. Gosh, TSalmon…all this bandwidth, and I didn’t convince you of anything?
            And you didn’t convince me.
            Weird. 😉

          5. Ha, ha, ha! The would like that comment Liz, but I don’t seem to have that function on my phone.😊

    2. @Doug

      If we put Pence in charge just to make Democrats happy, we may as skip elections and put the Democrat rabble in charge.

      What do I mean by rabble? We just saw an attempt to frame President Trump of treason fail, and the rabble still won’t give up. Mueller did not “exonerate” Trump. That is a gross misuse of the word “exonerate”. If too of our people become so dishonest with and the meaning of words, we will become nothing more than a mob led by the most vicious and strongest bully.

      1. BTW… treason is not any part of any charges that I recall. It might be the echo of some lawmakers. You’re hung up on “exonerate’??
        We are already being led by a “most vicious and strongest bully.”

  3. America first? Gee, I don’t know. There must be some reason why far more people in poor, under developed, or badly governed countries are willing to go through hellish tribulations to settle in this “racist, supremist, nationalist” blah blah blah, yada yada, Trumpian country than any other. But no, that’s just my confused mind. Trump, racism, yada yada. Tedium is the unforgivable sin!

    1. Is there a point in there my friend? Yada, yada, yada?

      Of course, people strive desperately to come to this country because they don’t think that the American ideal is racist and xenophobic. Are you saying that we should change that in order to keep them out? Yada, yada, yada?

      1. I’m saying “racist, xenophobic, nationalist” are words that need to be precisely defined and applied sparingly to specific individuals who are demonstrably guilty of meeting the definition. Throwing them out to people or a population in general renders them meaningless, and becomes tedious when it’s habitual. There is no rational reading of my response which would indicate I want to keep any specific group out….except the tedious!

        1. Ok, that’s fair. I agree that those words should not be used lightly. However, not to recognize that this worldwide post Cold War return to Nationalism has a strong undercurrent of bigotry is to be ignorant of human nature and history.

          It is in our most basic nature to be tribal. A good measure of our apex success as a species can also be our downfall. Unlike any other species we can work cooperatively with persons we don’t even know to the point of irrationally sacrificing ourselves for those strangers as long as we share certain myths and visible characteristics in common. Every other example of higher life form cooperation is limited to kinship or direct bonding. Nationalism is historically the broadest form of this human tribal cooperation in that it allows whole nations to conquer and defend against other groups of humans who do not share the same cultural myths and/or differ in physical characteristics. To say that we are not inherently susceptible to xenophobia and racism in this Nationalism is to deny one of the most basic qualities that has made us successful as humans.

          We cannot, however, eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil without knowing that there is both inherently a bright and a dark side to this cooperation ability in our nature. Our ability to make friends of strangers with whom we share certain cultural commonalities also allows us to make enemies of strangers whose only fault is that they don’t hold those same cultural traits and/or myths. Xenophobia is the inherent dark side of our ability to work in large groups with a shared cultural homogeneity. Why is America the exception that proves the rule of our human xenophobic tendency?

          1. We are made up of too many racial differences for our shared patriotism to ever be based upon race. However, racism still lurks in every human soul to be recognized and confronted rather than simply ignored and repressed. Dog whistle race baiting is real and we are all susceptible to it, and pretending that it isn’t there just makes that devil grow stronger.

          Religion, the main cultural bounding myth of Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” theory, as much as many so-called Christian conservatives want it to be, just cannot unite Americans either. One reason is that we are too religiously diverse. Even within Christianity, we have hundreds of denominations. There is also something always inherently rebellious in Protestantism that if you don’t like what your preacher is saying, you just take half the parishioners and go down the road to start a new church.

          2. The second problem with tribal nationalism here is that the dominant religion, Christianity, is inherently not tribal. Only the corruption of the obvious message of Jesus can turn it into a tribe that hates other tribes, other humans made in the image of God, simply because they look differently, talk differently, think differently or practice another religion or religious denomination.

          Instead of race or religion, the American myth that binds us is actually cross cultural, universal and because it is not tribal, therefore the most Christian. It is our ideas on essential human equality before God,
          of openness, of our acceptance and even our adoption of cultural differences. In short, our myth is the national embrace of pluralism in all its forms and our desire to spread that message of love around the world.

          E pluribus unum is our beloved myth and the tender strand that binds us. Trump’s Nationalism at every level from his race baiting to his anti-Islamism to his statements about Mexicans is divisive and destructive of that precious ideal. I’m not using these words lightly; I’m just calling out what is right in front of our faces if we can just open our eyes to see it.

          1. @tsalmon

            Trump has not done anything racist, but he said things Democrats don’t like. So it is okay to call him a racist? Why not? What do ethics and Democrats have to do with each other? Doesn’t love and compassion excuse any misconduct? Isn’t truth an individual choice?

            Democrats want to institute policies that overtly and unfairly discriminate based upon race and who knows what else, and that is not racist? Of course, it is. However, thanks to the political calculations of Democrats, discriminating against the white and yellow races is politically correct. With great seriousness and sincerity, the wise in the news media have told us that only white Republicans can be racist. Black Republicans are poor, ignorant, and bullied Uncle Tom’s. Objects worthy only of pity and being spat upon as cowards.

            What about women? Well, don’t you know that any female Conservative is a traitor to her sex?

            I could go on, but what is the use? You are on a guilt trip, and only you can change your agenda.

          2. Ok, I got it. Americans should have chosen Hitler because the Stalinists hated Hitler and called him a racist.

            This is hyperbole, of course. Trump is no Hitler anymore than your painting the Democrats as Stalin is real. But Trump is using racism and xenophobia to incite fear and loathing.

            The evidence of Trump’s racism and xenophobia is so damning and ongoing that Republicans literally run for cover rather than defending Trump anymore. They live in fear of Trump’s base and open hatred of the Democrats as a matter of political survival, not actually because they have pride in the monstrous stuff Trump says or his embarrassing actions.

            I don’t mind the Democratic criticism. Much of it is over the top, but I agree with some of it. I’m simply not married to either Party the way that you have mysteriously wedded yourself to Trump’s incompetence and narcissism. Bashing Democrats may make you feel better, but it does not change the fact that Trump is a terrible and dangerous President.

    2. Two things….
      1. Enjoy your relish in what the nation is currently going through, as time will run out.
      2. Fasten your seat belts because all this is going to get much much worse before the election… and I am not saying that suggesting any particular outcome. I am purely talking about events in general.

  4. Tom,

    There is no semantic dispute here. You clearly understand that “Nationalism”, in the way that both I and Trump are using the word, is not just a healthy love of our country and it’s most cherished ideals of inclusion, pluralism, equal justice and liberty for all peoples everywhere. It is not e pluribus unum. Trump’s “Nationalism” instead is Charles Lindbergh’s soon to be discredited preWWII “America First” isolationism. Trump’s “Nationalism” is patriotism pumped up muscular with the steroids of our worst racist and xenophobic bigotries. It’s “go back to where you came from” Nationalism. That kind of Nationalism always starts with the mere fig leaf of plausible deniability, but you never have to scratch the surface much to see such bigotry lurking there, and as the race baiting rhetoric reaches fever pitch and mob hatred soars at rallies, and now on social media, the fig leaf slips off.

    The question that we have to ask ourselves as purported Christians isn’t whether we are actually confused by the semantics. This is just the nonsense rationalizing sinners do to convince ourselves that OUR sins are somehow sacred. The blossoming of Nationalism in its most destructive and heartless closed-to-the-stranger manifestations, even in its disregard to the suffering of children, stares us in the face with Trumpism in this country and in the rise of Nationalist autocrats around the world. The message of Jesus is clear that we must not be a part of this – we should actively oppose it with love.

    Your attempt here to semantically dismiss the evil that this Nationalism represents increasingly takes on desperation as your tribal emotional investment in that evil needs to be somehow rationalized against what you know in your heart to be right. Liz in her own way avoids the real issue with quips, cute anecdotes and snarky attempts to satirize the too-easy-to-parody Democrats. However, this continuing embrace of Trump style Nationalism is not patriotic, it is not some funny snark at the too pure and PC – it is unamerican in the most noble sense of America and it is unchristian in the most open and welcoming message of love that Jesus lived and taught.

    1. but you never have to scratch the surface much to see such bigotry lurking there, and as the race baiting rhetoric reaches fever pitch and mob hatred soars at rallies

      Sure does. We know this because of all the right wing violence at those rallies. The Trumpsters all dress in masks and don bats and have at it.

      1. Professor Doom (Confessions of a College Professor blog):
            The culture of fear in academia means few will speak out loud about a great many things, and not just supporting Trump. I don’t think people are terrified enough to lie to pollsters (at least in enough numbers to turn Hillary’s “landslide” into defeat), but I concede plenty of people in academia were terrified enough of the repercussions of not supporting Hillary that they lied about it while on campus, at the very least. 
             It’s not just academia, of course. There were numerous examples of other people who found their career stymied after coming out for Trump (hi Scott Adams!). I can’t help but suspect the reason Trump couldn’t get celebrities to support him (beyond Scott Baio) is because the celebrities knew their Hollywood career would be jeopardized by doing so.
              Back to the point, rather than tell Trump voters they’re racists and misogynists, shouldn’t academia consider the culture of fear that makes people afraid to give an honest answer to an anonymous pollster? That just seems a more productive mode of inquiry to me, because the clear retribution against people who say the wrong thing has an obvious chilling effect.

        You have the “haters” and “hatees” reversed.

        1. Why is ok to badmouth Trump and when he badmouths back, he is accused of being racist.

          People who live in glass house should not throw stones.

          Regards and goodwill blogging

        1. Antifa?? Are they even in this game anymore? I never hear about them.. pretty much I seldom hear about the far Right neo-whatevers. Your Trump’s fake fear getting to you?

          1. The last victim (as far as I’m aware) was beaten into a coma less than a month ago. I suppose that’s not recent enough?

            Funny you call me fearful then cite justifications to be afraid, be very afraid, of Trump and his supporters. One way to test your world view for validity is to see how often your predictions are accurate. If Trump is dangerous and unstable, we should have seen the results by now. Observe the real world: Who is afraid to express an opinion? Who is afraid to walk around freely?

          2. Noo.. the enemy is not Trump supporters. They’ve proven themselves to follow anyone with a message they like and to hell with the person behind the message. Just need to find them a voice that makes more sense than Trump… or… (and this is more likely the avenue we all are going to travel)… let Trump take the country down deeper, and deeper, into the moral abyss of how he perceives the world should be, to a point where even his supporters will finally doubt his qualification authenticity to lead as President. In other words, the election.

            Imagine if he wins again, Liz… just what satisfaction are you going to receive? Congress will not pass a thing that suggests any imposition of his moral biases for at least another two years, and maybe all four if the GOP is unable to secure control of the House. He will continue to decree anything he wants to decree… refuse any and all attempts by the House to oversee his actions by defying any and all legal outcomes and subpoenas and challenging each Constitutional action with lawsuits.. just to take up time… and in the meantime where does that leave the nation?

          3. On any good election day I see no one I would support on the Dem ticket. BUT… every one of them can and would do far better than Trump and would make a great replacement.

          4. @Doug

            BINGO! You illustrated my point.

            The Bible speaks of scratching itching ears. That is a metaphor for telling people what they want to hear.

            The violence in Charlottesville, VA over the Civil War statue involved both white supremacists and Antifa. The police, under orders from the mayor, let them riot.

            There were more Antifa than white supremacists. No glory in being a fascist, but Socialism is relatively popular.

      2. Unless there was someone unfortunate enough to be lynched, not much violence broke out at Klan rallies either. I’m not equating the two, but just pointing out that they both have that same “preaching to the choir” homogeneity. Why would all those people enraptured in Trump’s cult of personality start fighting with each other (unless one of Trump’s fake wrestling matches suddenly broke out)?

    2. @tsalmon

      I don’t think a word choice is a good excuse for refusing to listen and debate the merits of anyone’s argument. Yet because you have decided the word is bad, you are using “nationalism” as an excuse for ad hominem. That is, you are fancying up a logical fallacy to make it less obvious. Meanwhile, the Fanatic Four have become the faces of your party.

      Do you think it an accident that the most esteemed junior Democrat congressmen are all women of color? It is called Intersectionality, and it is the most ridiculous excuse for bigotry. But Democrats will be Democrats.

      1. And I thought that I was debating the merits of Nationalism, and defining the obvious connotations of the term. Is it an ad hominem? Well, if one accepts the obvious negative consequences of this type of movement in this country and around the world in the past, and what is currently happening to many countries, then yes, it is. You just don’t like what I am saying because you are smart enough to know that it is true. You are hoping to avoid directly discussing this historic truth with semantic technicalities.

        Otherwise, your argument is similar to those in pre-WWII Europe when one person criticized fascism, then the only retort would be to say, communism. One can only pray that these two are not the only feasible alternatives. In fact, it is the dream that is America that a better choice exists.

        Are four freshman Democratic women of color now the face of the Democratic Party? As ludicrous as that sounds, Trump and you, desperately want them to be. Why?

        However, even if they were, and these political newbies were the horror show of evils that you imagine them to be, then that justifies Trump’s unamerican xenophobia and racism against them?

        I don’t particularly care for the policies, their political purity pomposity or the pretentiousness of the Squad, but I admire their spunk and their media savvy. As it is though, I probably will never have them on a ballot that I have to choose from. And like the Republican demagogues in safe districts, there is no place too far left for them to go where they won’t be secure. Pandering to their far right extreme is how Republicans lost the House. As Pelosi says, they are literally just four votes, not the face of anything as much as Trump may have his racist wet dreams about making them so.

        1. Exactly! Much ado about nothing.. but Trump turns it into yet another fear to cement his base (who quite honestly has been cemented to the ridiculous pretty well since 2016).

          1. @Doug

            Much ado about nothing? You guys are the ones talking about Trump using fear to cement his base. Yet the hysterics are on your side.

            We win an election, and all you can talk about is impeachment.

          2. …and “your side” continues to ignore the Russians because of the total nonsense of that somehow disqualifies the results of the last election. In the meantime.. let the Russians keep it up.

          3. Please stop watching just FOX. I realize it’s your “opioid” of choice but you need to cold turkey away from that.

          4. @Doug

            I don’t have cable or any such thing. Just browse the internet and listen to talk radio. Why don’t you call me one of Limbaugh’s mind-numbed robots and have done with it?

        2. @tsalmon

          You don’t get to put your words in other people’s mouths. Virtually every word we use doesn’t mean exactly the same thing to everyone. That’s why Trump defined what he meant by the word “nationalist”. Yet you insisted upon misconstruing his use of the word.

          Trump has not made an issue out of the Fanatic Four’s race or sex. They have insisted upon using their race, sex, and ethnicity as a defense, and the Democrats have defended them. The Democrats put themselves into this predicament. Trump is just using their own bigotry against them.

          1. Tom,

            You are literally tying yourself into a pretzel rationalizing Trump’s racism. You are way too smart to pretend to be this obtuse. No one says “go back to where you came from” to vanilla white Americans. It would lack the racist sting and just make Trump sound ridiculous. For people of color, on the other hand, it is something that they might hear from some racist idiot (who also doesn’t think he’s being racist) who honks at them for just going the speed limit in traffic. It’s just stupid if the hateful moron on the road does it – it’s outrageous coming from the leader of the country.

            Trump may be incompetent in some things, but he plays the race baiting game like a savant. But you believe Trump is just being stupid? Seriously? Are you that stupid that you don’t know it’s racist to tell a fellow American that is Somali and wearing a hijab to go back to where she comes from simply because you don’t like what she says or does? Of course not, my eight year old grand girl isn’t that stupid. You wouldn’t use that ploy on me although my American bonafides are no better than any of these women. Why would you excuse Trump for using it on women of color because they are women of color?

            It’s not bigotry that they censured Trump in the House, but it is enabling Trump’s bigotry that they didn’t have the courage to call Trump out on it in the Senate. This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s an issue of what it means to be an American.

  5. Back when my mother came to this country (I was there when she became a US citizen, after passing her Naturalization test) society expected her to “be American” or leave. It was understood that the fabric of social cohesion required it because many different cultures come here. They aren’t related, they come from different backgrounds and different histories (and often those histories are at odds with one another), different political divisions that often include caste systems, different religions.

    You will not find a more impassioned American nationalist than my mother (except perhaps my husband’s parents who are also immigrants who became US citizens). The rewriting of history Isolated groups that form their own identities and are at odds with the core values of the nation are divisive. This should be intuitively obvious, but if it isn’t examples abound, all around the world.

    1. Aw crud…I was hit the post while in the process of an edit.
      Intended to add:
      The rewriting of history in some romanticized version before “bad orange man” is really absurd. Immigrants in the past were always expected to support this country above all others, to take pride in our shared future, to absorb the culture and become Americans…in short, to be Nationalists.

      Side note about “Nationalism” and Nazis.
      The Nazis also liked chocolate. We shouldn’t eat chocolate.
      They had children. Let’s not do that.
      They liked having sex. We should stop that.

      1. Sarah Hoyt sums it up well, as usual.

        People might have had doubts aplenty about good queen Bess, but they didn’t tell their children that, when the children were learning the national narrative. And that meant when the children grew up, somewhere, in the inner recesses of their being, they still took pride in and believed in the greatness of their country and their past.

        Then came the twentieth century. First, the insanity of Germany in WWII was taken as an indictment of all patriotism. I don’t think this was right to do, just like it’s not right to assume if you prepare for war, you’ll have war. And second we got deconstructionism and the charming art of laughing or sneering at the past, and thereby – with no accomplishments, no new ideas, nothing to our credit – considering ourselves more important than them. George Washington? Pah, he wore dentures, and he was an “ambitious man” and that invalidates everything he did, right? Thomas Jefferson might or might not have slept with a slave, thereby of course he was an awful man, and everything he did was tainted and should be forgotten.

        And so it goes, taking down one by one the giants of the past.

        If that fails, if we have nothing concrete to level against them, then we point our finger and say they didn’t conform to our prejudices: they were racist, sexist, homophobic. As though someone running around their time holding the opinions of our time wouldn’t be killed or locked up. (And no, don’t tell me our opinions are superior. No, I don’t agree with them on race or their beliefs about homosexuals – though even in those cases I understand how they formed their opinions in their time – but the entire crazy idea of women being exactly the same as men except where their superior should still get people locked up for insanity.) And in the rare cases it’s fairly sure that the people were none of those, we can point our finger and accuse them of being rich. How much could they care about the poor, when they were rich?
        What about the people who gave it all, to be ascetics, or missionaries? Well, clearly they were clinging to an outmoded and intolerant religion, so how good can they be?

        1. Liz,

          I can’t say that I disagree with most of that. However, it’s just as stupid to only remember Jefferson slept with slaves as it is to pretend that he didn’t. All of it matters.

          The critical mind looks at all of it and tries to find the most objective perspective. Political purity on the Left is dumb, but if that is all we are focusing on while ignoring the hypocrisy on the Right, then that is just as dumb.

          1. Again.. exactly. Reflecting back to a reply to Tom… I have no personal commitment to the GOP because of my past as that boat appears to have left port, leaving me stranded. I am siding with the Dems in the next election not because I think any of them are worth an ideological damn but rather any one of them can and would do better than Trump and on that alone is how I will “discard” my vote.

          2. That’s fine! Pick one. Let’s see how long it take for him or her to either call a Democrat a racist or be called a racist by another Democrat. Biden is a racist, you know.

          3. Geez, Tom.. stop with the racist crap! There’s far far more important things to worry about than the Buffoon-in-Chief being called a racist! Frankly we’d all be better off if that was all he was.

          4. @Doug

            I think we would be better if more supposedly intelligent people actually discussed issues instead of making wild accusations. Hence, I think we will talk about those who hide their incompetence by playing the race card.

          5. @tsalmon

            There actually is no left or right. The difference between Nazis and Communists is more folklore than fact.

            So here is the appropriate question. Hypocrisy doesn’t exist among Democrats?

    2. @Liz

      Every society has to have a shared set of values that holds it together. We use to find ours in those words in the Declaration, “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness……” Now, once again we have Democrats doing their best to undermine those values. Goes to prove we are fallen creatures, I suppose. So we must pray.

  6. I wonder what immigrants to this country call themselves. If you leave your home to go through the rigors of traveling and being admitted to a new home, aren’t you by definition a “nationalist”? For where? Your new home country or your former? What if your family HAD to flee to a new country because either they were instrumental in screwing up the old country, or worse, they were part of the power structure of a brutal regime? My favorite Trump hater falls into the latter category. Ilhan Omar’s grandfather was a high level torturer in the regime of the Somali dictator Siad Barre and had to flee the new regime, which would have killed him and probably most of the family. She had to adopt the name of Omar in order to get out because her family name was persona non grata. Shouldn’t she be an American nationalist?

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