Against Nationalism: Macron-Trump Divide Widens

Written by | Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Standing next to US President Donald Trump, French head of state publicly denounced nationalism during the World War I Armistice Day commemoration, calling it a “betrayal of patriotism”. President Macron warned that the “old demons” that led to WWI a century ago were resurfacing and said that “giving in to the fascination for withdrawal, isolationism, violence, and domination would be a grave error.”


“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” he said, according to a translation of his remarks. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values.” To that end, Mr. Macron’s American counterpart publicly called himself a nationalist last month during one of his rallies: “A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly not caring about our country so much, and you know what, we can’t have that.  I’m a nationalist. Okay? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist. Use that word.”


According to observers, the Trump-Macron bromance has shifted away from what it used to be and both leaders started openly voicing their different opinions on policy issues. Mr. Macron, who is considered Mr. Trump’s favourite European leader, was clear on his positions on the Iran nuclear deal, climate change, free trade and international cooperation. “We can choose isolationism, withdrawal, and nationalism. This is an option. It can be tempting to us as a temporary remedy to our fears,” French President said in April at a session in the US Congress. “But closing the door to the world will not stop the evolution of the world.”

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