President Trump openly calling himself a nationalist is worrying, coming from a man whose ideals have had strongly racist undertones, infers By Lydia O’Connor of The Huffington Post. Him using this term stands out because it is largely associated with white supremacists and xenophobia. The president embracing it normalizes the hateful fringes of nationalism. Trump cannot claim to be ignorant of this; his anti-immigrant rhetoric has often catered to racists, which benefits him politically. His own past, particularly comments regarding the Charlottesville protests, suggests a lack of desire to call out bigotry. Trump promoting nationalism is dangerous.
Critics of Donald Trump calling himself a nationalist misunderstand the term itself, argues The Washington Examiner. He explained himself that he used this word in contrast to globalists, people that care more about the world and less about America. Trump wants to pursue the best interests of his country and its people. Just like “America First,” this ideology strives to act only to benefit America. The nationalism he embraces is far from that of Adolf Hitler, for example. It is closer to that of Scottish and Catalan people who want independence. American nationalism has always been inclusive, across race, religion and creed. Trump is justified here.