Although disguised as patriotism, America’s current political and cultural climate is nationalistic. Many people think nationalism and patriotism are the same but nationalism is simply patriotism transformed into a sentiment of superiority and aggression towards other countries. Nationalism is a lethal idea that one’s country is superior to somebody else’s. Nationalism is inherently a cause of war and imperialism. On the other hand, patriotism is the basic way to liberty because pride in one’s nation-state and willingness to defend if it necessary, are the bases of national self-determination. Most Americans, including our president, only care about other Americans, which is nationalistic. In my opinion, I think America’s political and cultural agenda is set by the President, which brings me to the conclusion that America is nationalistic because of immigration reform, forced patriotism such as the National Basketball Association and The National Football League forcing players to violate human rights, and President Trump hiring a nationalist by the name of Steve Bannon.
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Immigration to North America began with Spanish settlers in the sixteenth century and French and English settlers in the seventeenth century. What people don’t know is the 70 million immigrants arrived because of the founding of Republican Party and now immigrants are responsible for the majority of the contemporary American population. Most Americans ancestors are actually immigrants. The new wave of immigrants that came to the United States has been perceived as hostile and our presidents have the fear that immigrants will harm American society or will not live up to “the American way of life” which is actually called xenophobia. The fears of President Trump and America is that low-paid immigration workers are going to replace native-born workers. Xenophobia is a dislike or prejudice towards another country, however, xenophobia isn’t really fear it’s a societal or a political problem. While three-quarters of America is for immigration reform, 65% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters agree, and 39% say immigration should be kept at its present level. With that being said that is why I think our political climate is set by our president. With Donald Trump being in everybody’s ear Americans have begun to buy-in and believe what he was saying, now Americans have moved from being patriotic to being nationalistic.
The American government and Trump have shown nationalism through immigration reform. For instance, Trump has passed 5 major immigration laws since the election just 2 years ago. The American government has increased border security, worksite enforcement, and overhauled the current immigration systems. President Trump became frustrated when lawmakers discussed protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries in a bipartisan immigration deal. Then, President Trump singled out Haiti explaining to lawmakers that immigrants from Haiti must be left out any and every deal. Then he continued to say “why do we need more Haitians” then stated, “take them out”. Again America political and cultural climate is set by the president and Trump has built his whole candidacy and presidency around his intense position on immigration, agreeing to build a wall along the Mexican border, and cut legal immigration a whole half among other positions. As a result, the Department of Homeland Security has decreased immigration rates.
Forced patriotism is when a country forces you to do something that’s not obligated. Some Americans feel as if America has a way of forcing you to do many things, such as how you dress, food habits, gender identity, culture, religious beliefs. Forced patriotism is a violation of human rights. How can you try and force people to do something they are not interested in doing, and the crazy thing about forced patriotism is if you don’t do what the government wants you to do you get in trouble. America is always saying things about our freedom but how can you be free if your government or president is forcing you to be patriotic. You can’t teach or force patriotism it has come naturally.
One example of forced patriotism is how Collin Kaepernick got fired because he kneeled during the national anthem. Nowhere in the federal law did it say that you couldn’t kneel during the national anthem. Actually, it says that we shouldn’t hold the flag horizontally and before every football game soldiers must stand out on the field and hold the flag horizontally which is actually disrespectful. By forcing players and people to stand while the national anthem plays, is a violation of human rights. Also, the government shows that it’s nationalistic by letting trump hire a nationalist by the name of Steve Bannon. Steve Bannon, who, by the way, is no longer in our government, is a self-described nationalist who advocates for immigration policies. According to David French, “Bannon has done more than any other person to introduce the evil alt-right into mainstream American life. So why would trump hire him? If America isn’t nationalistic. On August 18, 2016, became the executive director of Trump’s Presidential campaign because they said he brought discipline. Then after Trump won the candidacy he announced that Bannon was his Senior Counselor and Chief White House Planner. For the first year of Trump’s presidency, Bannon was the driving force of many of Trump’s ideas. Steve Bannon messed up a significant amount of things in America by always being in Trump’s ear. For instance, Steve Bannon was the main lead for Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. In addition, Bannon was promoted to a regular member of the Principals Committee of the National Security Council. Steve Bannon is a racist nationalist who has said things as bad as the racists within the alt-right movement. How can America be a patriotic country when you hire a nationalist as your executive in chief.
To sum it all up America is a nationalist country because the agenda is set by the President. He has shown a significant number of the earmarks of being a nationalist. First, he hired a nationalist to a key position in his government, next he forces patriotism, and lastly, he has been the driving force behind very unpopular immigration reform. When Trump makes a decision he doesn’t think about how the country will be affected by the decisions he makes, he only cares about America which is a characteristic of a nationalist. So with everything said in this paper now you know that America’s new cultural and political climate is nationalistic.
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