Walter Russell Mead says Trump is right to defend nationalism

Historians in the News
tags: nationalism, Trump, Walter Russell Mead, Emmanuel Macron

Related Link Historian Walter Russell Mead on nationalism and 'America First' (Radio Interview)

President Donald Trump’s unleashed a tweet storm this morning against French President Emmanuel Macron, taking issue with Macron’s proposed European army and even threatening tariffs on French wine.

The flurry of tweets comes after Macron’s speech warning against the dangers of nationalism—widely seen as a rebuke of the American president, who declared last month that he is a nationalist.

US relations with its principal allies across the pond are in peril. “The oracles of conventional wisdom naturally blame Mr. Trump—and they’re not all wrong,” writes Walter Russell Mead for the Wall Street Journal. From trade to nuclear issues, Trump has presided over a cooling of relations with Germany, France, and the UK during a period in which partnerships ought to be strengthened.

“But if Mr. Trump is wrong about many things, on one big issue he is right. However tangled its history, nationalism is an important force in global affairs that world leaders should respect.”

“The instinctive antinationalism of leaders like Mr. Macron is rooted in the belief that Western Europe is the real Europe and that its history is a universal history with lessons equally compelling for the rest of the world.”

“The lessons of World War I were not the same everywhere,” argues Mead. “In Eastern and Central Europe, the war demonstrated the value, not the dangers, of nationalism. It broke the transnational bureaucratic empires that denied Poles, Lithuanians, Czechs and many others their freedom.” Nationalism later helped countries break out of the Soviet bloc and thus “confirmed their belief that the cause of nationalism was the cause of freedom” from that “multiethnic, bureaucratic imperial system.” ...

Read entire article at Fareed’s Global Briefing

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