Is Nationalism Bad? Should We Look to France?

During an Armistice Day centennial observance in Paris on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said the “ancient demons” that caused World War I and millions of deaths are growing stronger.

The French leader said, “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. In saying ‘Our interests first, whatever happens to the others,’ you erase the most precious thing a nation can have, that which makes it live, that which causes it to be great and that which is most important: Its moral values.”

Along with most of you reading this, I am certainly glad that our founding fathers did not look to France for any political advice. George Washington, America’s first President of our Constitutional Republic, reflected in his Farewell Address after two successful terms in office that “…along with the peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad.”

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Was George Washington a prideful dictator who didn’t care about the rest of the world? Did he perhaps consult with demons and desire to start a world war?

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By common sense and reason, Donald Trump arrived at the same conclusion as Washington.  On Monday, the President tweeted:

“Just returned from France where much was accomplished in my meetings with World Leaders. Never easy bringing up the fact that the U.S. must be treated fairly, which it hasn’t, on both Military and Trade. We pay for LARGE portions of other countries military protection… I told them that this situation cannot continue – It is, and always has been, ridiculously unfair to the United States.”

I would add that it is not only ridiculously unfair, but it is unconstitutional, that is to say, unlawful.  Let me say that again in clear certain terms. When Americans allow their government to operate outside of the clear authorizations of the Constitution, things become ridiculously unfair to THESE United States. Therefore our founding fathers made these types of actions by the federal government both unauthorized and illegal. Any congress or president who acts outside of these powers become the adversary to what Washington called “the anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad.”

Make no mistake, our Founding Fathers were not interested in sustaining other countries, nations, or empires with the wealth, citizenry, military, or political infrastructure of America.  They were interested in very few and defined duties which lead to the peace and prosperity of American citizens, who were then free to help the rest of the world with their personal resources and morality. The evidence of this successful thinking can be witnessed in the thousands of missionaries and billions of dollars sent by Christians and non-profit organizations to the underprivileged and poverty-stricken of our world.

Washington knew,

“’Tis folly in one Nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its Independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favours and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favours from Nation to Nation. ‘Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.”

I am grateful that experience is finally discarding this illusion in America.

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