“We salute one flag and that is the American flag. And we’re going to make sure the American flag gets the respect it deserves, alright? … Patriotism will be celebrated in our cities and taught very, very strongly to our children.”
Thank You, Tour
“The territorialization of the patriotic sentiment has its modern roots in the political state that emerged in the Renaissance, but it was not brought to high intensity until the French Revolution. Then it was that the idea of France, ‘one and indivisible,’ became the mainspring, working through Jacobin decree and military successes in the field, of what think of as modern nationalism and patriotism.
Patriotism, as we have known it for nearly two centuries has been inseparable from war and revolution. Each of these forces, destroying or diminishing as they have the more ancient ties of race, locality, religion and kinship as effective allegiances….”
Twilight of Authority — pg. 58
Many have been those who have opined that Trump ran upon a “civic nationalism.” But the question has to be asked, at least, what kind of Nationalism does Trump envision. Though I consider myself a Nationalist, I recognize that not all Nationalisms are created equal. The kind of Nationalism I envision is a grass roots nationalism that grows up out of allegiances that are more fundamental to an allegiance to the nation that is just the consequence of those former and prior allegiances.
There is a Nationalism that exists that is posited on the destruction of the allegiances I consider primary. Allegiance to religion, race, people group, locality, clan and kin are the bedrock allegiances that when existent create natural loyalty and allegiance to the nation. However, there is a patriotism that we might call “un-natural.” Un-natural because it reverses the process and is built top down. The demand is for the patriotism to the Fatherland without a prior patriotism to the former allegiances mentioned. This kind of nationalism absolutizes the nation-state and so seeks to destroy all other allegiances and patriotisms in favor of allegiance to the Father-land. This is the kind of nationalism that finds children being encouraged to report on their parents. This is the kind of nationalism that expects ministers to read their Bibles through the flag.
I don’t know which kind of patriotism Trump is touting but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this kind of “patriotism” talk concerns me. Trump talks about local, local, local. I like that. But is he really going to give us a patriotism that devolves power from DC so that the local can be genuinely local again and so worthy of plights of fealty?
If he does so, I’ll be the first to congratulate Trump.