Scandal-torn president Donald Trump continues to add questions about his embrace of Nazi-like “nationalism” by responding angrily after French president Emmanuel Macron called embrace of the term “a dangerous trap” that is “the opposite of patriotism.”
Macron remembered what he call the “bloodiest episodes” of 20th century European history and tied them to Nazi atrocities.
Trump, Macron and other European leaders, said Trump has a lot to learn about history.
The American president responded with his usual bluster.
“By the way, there is no country more nationalist than France, very proud people — and rightfully so,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!”
Such responses left European leaders laughing at Trump, pointing to the president’s huge losses in the midterm elections last week.
That brought more anger and bluster from Trump:
“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!” Trump claimed in another tweet.
That brought a sharp response and correction to Trump from French Ambassador Gérard Araud, who suggested France has already learned that it cannot rely on an ally like America with its current president.
“You should listen to Europe that has bred two WW and a genocide in two generations,” Araud wrote on Twitter. “Nationalism is dangerous. Subject to miscalculation and misperception, it always carries the risk of conflict. Patriotism and cooperation.”
Washington historian Margaret O’Hara says Trump’s latest bluster sows just how he little knows about the dangers of nationalism.
“My inclination is that he does not really know the history because he’s, self-admitted, not a big book reader and not someone who marinated in this stuff,” O’Mara told The Washington Post. “Trump may or may not be thinking about Lindbergh when he talks, but it’s very effective for the political base he’s trying to reach — positioning himself as the adversary of these global elites, against internationalism.”
Post columnist Ann Gearan says Trump’s “America First” and his latest embrace of “nationalism” provides more linkage to white power activists and not a majority of Americans.
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke says Trump is “really referring to white nationalism.”
“There is no ethnic or racial group in America more Nationalist than White Americans,” Duke claims.
Presidential historian Allan Lichtman at American University notes:
I generally see a progression on the part of the president to becoming more reckless, to really articulate controversial, outlandish things without regard to the consequences. The more outlandish things he says, the more cheers he gets at his rallies and that’s what he cares about.
Trump embraces racists because they are his base. Without them, he would just be another failed “reality show” TV host.
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