According to U.S. President Donald Trump, 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.” In sum, “globalists” are bad, according to Trump, because they are not narrowly patriotic enough; a true globalist embraces the whole human race, and thus is a traitor to his or her nation, or so the Trumpian creed of international relations preaches. There is also, as The Atlantic’s Peter Beinart points out, a history of using “globalist” as a slur directed specifically at Jews. Whether Trump intends to be anti-Semitic or not, he clearly does intend to belittle global concerns and global cooperation, as his opinion of the work of the United Nations and his “doctrine of patriotism” suggest.
Trump was lecturing on the evils of globalism at a recent campaign event for Sen. Ted Cruz,(now known as “Beautiful Ted,” surely the most preposterous fabrication Trump has so far indulged in. But back to our story . . . ) Trump believes, or said, at least, that “radical Democrats” want to restore the rule of “corrupt, power-hungry globalists”, the closest thing to which would probably be large, global, American corporations that Trump loves to love. Of course, if any radical Democrats do exist, they would be liberal enough not to love, or even like, big corporations. But “globalists” are bad hombres in Trump’s worldview. So Trump wants to distinguish himself by saying that he is a pure-blooded “nationalist”:
“You know what I am? I’m a nationalist, O.K.? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist! Use that word! Use that word!”
Let’s examine, if we must, Trump’s logic for a moment. If a globalist, as he says, wants the whole globe to do well, and if the United States is part of the globe, then a globalist wants the United States to do well–be free and relatively prosperous–along with every other nation. Such an egalitarian, generous, democratic idea of the world order disturbs Trump because it means that the wealth of the world would have to be shared, that there would be no clear winner, that America could not declare itself first among nations. Trump’s arrogant ego simply can’t handle being associated with anything but greedy dominance.
So President Trump declares himself a “nationalist,” which might imply that he believes that the world is made up of various nations and his first loyalty is to his own nation. But that is not what he really means; what Trump really means by “nationalist” is– be a national egotist, a selfish patriot. It might also be a way of signaling that he is a “white nationalist”, though he claims not to know of such a thing.
What Trump and many other Republican politicians fail to grasp is that if the whole globe, or at least a large percentage of it, is not doing well–economically, politically or ecologically–the United States will ultimately not do well either. No nation is an island.