Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Trump and Nationalism

“Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.” Charles de Gaulle

The basic definition of the term “Nationalism” provided by Merriam-Webster is "loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its own culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations.”

Unlike English, Hebrew has a distinction between what de Gaulle defines as “Nationalism” in the sense of Patriotism (Leumi), loyal to one’s People versus "Leumani" which would consist of the second part of his quote “hate for other People.”

The first, Leumi is what I would hope citizens of EVERY country should be, great patriots and loving their Nation first. I know I am one. The second, Leumani, no sovereign country, no Nation should possess.

Why did I suddenly choose to write about and discuss this term, you might ask?

Someone just sent me a clip of a speech by Trump where h declares himself as “a Nationalist.” For me, that amounts to nothing more than saying, “I put America First!” President Trump is merely declaring his loyalty to America, its economy, its citizens and their well-being first.

Who among us would not want their leader to have their interest in mind FIRST before those of others? Should it be an unacceptable trait of anyone’s leader? Should that word be a modern day “Scarlet letter?” Should it constitute a “four letter word?
Not for me, dear readers.

I am a proud “Jewish Nationalist.” I am a proud Zionist which for me is akin to  “Jewish Nationalist.” My People, My Nation comes first. Does that mean that I qualify for the second part of de Gaulle’s quote which means I hate others?

Not at all!

My busy schedule which is considerably less busy than that of President Trump, only allows me to dedicate all my efforts, time, energy, money and other resources for OUR Jewish People first. Yes, I do care about the pain and suffering of others. However, my charity begins at Home, here in Eretz Yisrael. That makes me a Leumi. I have always vowed that if our Jewish People and all Yisraelis live in safety and security and I am free to care and do something about eliminating the pain and suffering of others, I will gladly dedicate my self to helping them. Until then, I am and will forever remain a “leumi" in the de Gaulle sense of “patriotism!”

Likewise, President Trump puts America and Americans first. Putting one’s People first just like myself and many others does not constitute hatred or racism towards others. It simply means he is a Leumi (a patriot) and not, Leumani (a bigot whose “hate of people other than” his “own comes first”).

That is my kind of President. Isn’t it yours?