Lately I have heard so many people speaking about how nationalism is wrong. But what I am finding is that when people believe that nationalism is wrong, they are only speaking about the United States of America. Our Country isn’t perfect but we do want to protect what we have within their own borders that we currently hold. Personally speaking, I don’t mind in the least the ideology of nationalism. Nationalism simply means the following: 1) spirit or aspirations common to the whole of a nation; 2) devotion and loyalty to one’s own country; patriotism; 3) excessive patriotism; chauvinism; 4) the desire for national advancement or political independence; 5) the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one’s own nation viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations; 6) an idiom or trait peculiar to a nation; and, finally, 7) a movement as in the arts, based upon the folk idioms, history, aspirations, etc., of a nation.* As you can read, there are various definitions for the idea of nationalism, but the median definition is simply a devotion and loyalty to one’s own nation or patriotism. That’s a simple way of looking at nationalism, but it is an accurate way of looking at the subject at hand. And notice something about the definitions: color of skin is not associated with any of the definitions. It’s just simply people who love their nation.
However, in the economy of our time here in the United States, nationalism is being attacked from what appears to be every side of every argument. And the resulting effects of these attacks is a confusion and an infighting among fellow citizens of the same Country. On the one side you have those who say that we should not have nationalism because it is a “white” thing and on the other side those who say that we should have nationalism for the purpose of securing our nation. I stand on the latter side of things. It’s not anymore a “white” thing as it is a “black” thing or “brown” thing or a “yellow” thing–or any other type of thing! It is a simple love for the Nation where we live and reside, the place that we call “home.” However, the very foundation of our republic has been eroding for generations. In fact, all you have to do is look at the history of this great nation and you will see just how far we have come from its founding: a nationalistic people who wanted their own place to live in freedom for the purpose of having freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom from the rule of a tyrant king.
Now I know there will be people who disagree with the simplicity of my statements in this article. That’s fine with me. I can get along with anyone as long as there is no belligerent bloviation from anyone. I get to bloviate because I pay to have this blog as simple as it may be and as partial as it may be. I have a constitutional right to my opinion just as those who disagree with me, and I’m alright with someone agreeing or disagreeing with me. It really doesn’t matter to me when it comes to things like this post. What I find most disingenuous, however, is when someone makes the claim that it is nationalism that is causing the problems in our great nation. It is not the ideology of nationalism that is the problem, but it is the infighting of one group against another without any kind of debate, without any sense of respect for the other person with whom you are discussing ideas or with whom you disagree. In today’s society, if you disagree with anyone, it seems that people think they have the right to shut you down after sharing your opinion. The open market, as it were, has closed! There is only room for one opinion and only one opinion: nationalism is wrong!
Well, I disagree. Nationalism in and of itself is not by necessity a bad thing. It is evident that nationalism is alive and well in all people groups here in the United States along with every other nation around the world. Just go to an international soccer game and you’ll hear people from all walks of life chanting, “USA! USA! USA!” Or you’ll hear people chanting, “Brazil! Brazil! Brazil!” That’s nationalism. Or just go to your local citywide events like concerts or block parties, and you’ll see nationalism being played out in the lives of people as they enjoy the freedom we all have to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. That’s nationalism. Stand at the exit doors of an international airport when our military troops come back home and people are thanking our brave men and women for all that they do to help keep our families and freedoms safe. That’s nationalism. When you thank a cop for protecting you in the restaurant while you’re eating with your family, you’re expressing your nationalism.
I know that not everyone supports this President or that President, but the reality is that they are our Presidents for a time. We may not like what they say or do and we certainly may not agree with their policies, but that doesn’t mean that we ought to be fighting each other over their mistakes or good fortunes. That goes along with our Congress as well. I certainly don’t agree with every policy, every law, every regulation, and every politician, but that doesn’t mean that I am all of a sudden going to stop being patriotic–or as some would say, nationalistic. Rather, I’m going to do my part to bring peace to a hurting Nation to the best of my ability in the area where I live. I am going to be an active part of my community and try my best to bring reconciliation to the racial divide. I’m going to do my part in helping those in need and those who are broken and destitute to the best of my ability. I’m going to do my part to bring true justice reform to our Nation if at all possible. I’m going to do my best to help the unwed mothers and the orphaned children. I’m going to do my best to support those who are dong something about these and other issues in our great Nation. But I will not lose sight of the great nation which affords me the opportunity to do these things. And by the way, I may even say or write things where I express my dislike of a policy or even of a person’s actions, but that doesn’t mean that I am unpatriotic. It simply means that I disagree with their stance or their unethical ways; certainly there’s nothing wrong with this freedom of speech either.
I was born in the United States of America. In the countries which I have been privileged to travel, I can say unequivocally that I would rather live right here than anywhere else in the world. I have freedoms that others in foreign nations do not have. This is why so many are trying to cross our borders. I only wish they would come legally even though I understand that we have a broken system right now. But that doesn’t dismiss the current laws that we have. And from my understanding, if you break a law, you’re liable to have to pay the consequences of breaking those laws which means those who are entering illegally should also be held to account for the same thing!
Do we have a perfect nation? By no means! But we have a free nation for now. And by the way, why do so many people attack those who love this nation? If you go anywhere else in the world there are nationalists just the same. Have you ever met someone from Germany? They love Germany. Anyone from Israel? They love Israel. Anyone from Africa? They love Africa. Anyone from the Philippines? They love the Philippines. Anyone from Bermuda? They love Bermuda. Anyone from Japan? They love Japan. Anyone from France? They love France. Anyone from Italy? They love Italy. In other words, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with nationalism–even if you’re from the United States of America. We ought to love the Country where we live. We ought to support the Country where we live, even if we don’t agree with everything that’s going on within her borders. We ought to seek reconciliation among the racial divide instead of declaring the talking points of any political party. We need to seek to help others to the best of our ability with the resources which we have been entrusted with by God Almighty. But it doesn’t mean that we are in the wrong just because we love our Country.
As with every President that I have ever heard give a speech or the speeches that I have read, I say, “May God bless you! And may God bless the United States of America!”
* From https://www.dictionary.com/browse/nationalism, accessed August 3, 2019.