President Donald Trump has declared himself a nationalist. Speaking at a rally in Texas last night, Trump said that he is not a ‘globalist’ but rather embraces the idea of nationalism. While campaigning for Senator Ted Cruz, Trump delighted a crowd with a statement that will surprise nobody. However, his remarks were strangely worded.
“A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country so much,” Trump said.
“And you know what? We can’t have that. They have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned, it’s called a nationalist, and I say really, we’re not supposed to use that word,” the President said. “Nationalist. Use that word, use that word.”
It is hardly surprising that Trump would brand himself a nationalist. He has pursued what he calls an ‘America first’ agenda and consistently claims the US is being ripped off and exploited by other countries, even long-term US allies. But his choice of words is significant.
‘Globalist’ is a word frequently used by the hard right and conspiracy theorists for a supposed international cabal that seeks to take power away from nation states, particularly the US, and create some kind of shadowy world government. ‘Globalist’ is frequently a synonym for ‘Jewish.’
However, Trump’s claim that globalists want ‘the globe to do well’ is an odd choice of phrasing. The United States is part of the globe, and Trump appears uninterested in its welfare. Moreover, it is hard to see how the US can do well if the rest of the globe is suffering. The country cannot be separated from the planet.