French President Emmanuel Macron took the opportunity of the ceremonies commemorating the end of World War I to speak to the problem of nationalism.
Macron: Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By putting our own interests first, with no regard for others, we erase the very thing that a nation holds dearest, and the thing that keeps it alive: its moral values.
That “old-fashioned nationalism,” a raging sense of both innate superiority, cut through with a deep seated fear of inferiority, was a driving force for both World Wars. It’s also been the banner waved by Donald Trump and forces of xenophobia and racism around the world. But apparently it took more than just a translator to make it clear to Trump that Macron was kicking his pet cause in the teeth. It took coming home and listening to his Fox friends walk him through the steps before he could generate the proper levels of dander upage.
Trump might have explained that by nationalism he doesn’t mean an amoral, aggressive white nationalist agenda based on old-fashioned hate. Except, of course, that is what he means. So instead he decided to do what he does most often: threaten like a dime store mafioso. Hey, France! Pay up, or the next time German invades, don’t look for the US to come bail you out. Hmmph. It’s clear that Macron isn’t afraid of Germans. Instead, he’s concerned about the philosophy that drove people who thought black uniforms and skull pins were keen. People like Trump.
But just threatening to turn over France to The Hun wasn’t enough to satisfy Trump. Because clearly asking people not to be Nazis has brought Trump’s temper to a Freedom Fries level of boil. An hour after posting about how he’d happily watch France be overrun, Trump was back to threaten to slap tariffs on French wine. And that wasn’t the end of it. Trump is still ranting.
Lafayette, we are ... profoundly embarrassed.
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