My response to Jon Miller’s crazy nationalism video

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For some reason, Jon Miller is continued to be pushed as a conservative. He makes conservatives look bad (or he is a troll in it for the money) and he needs to quit or be fired. Nationalism is not good. Period. I am an American Exceptionalist and a patriot (So I would not try to get five draft deferrments to get out of serving in the military.) so I believe that the America (with all its flaws) is better than any country now or any that has ever existed. A nationalist would think that the American people are better than people in any other country. That is not a conservative value. A conservative would agree with the concept that the United States must put the concerns of its citizens first but it is not an American value to think that we are better than people in another country. Conservatives believe in our founding documents. The Declaration of Independence states that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…..” It does not say that all Americans are created equal, It says all men (we recognize this to mean all people). Nationalism is a fundamental perversion of conservatism. Donald Trump does not believe that America is exceptional as Jon Miller states. He even said so.

Trump believes American people are better than people in other countries. There are not different kinds of nationalists. Either you are one or you aren’t. Miller says Lincoln was a nationalist. He was NOT. Even when the country was split, he never thought that the people in the Union were better than the people in the Confederacy. It might be easy to believe that he was a nationalist because he was focused on the war in his own country and did not have time to cooperate with other countries. Some may think it might have even been harder to cooperate with other countries in his time and that he was an isolationist. However, to say that Lincoln was a nationalist is insane.

From a Congressional Research Service Report:

From September 4 to 14 of 1864 naval forces of the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands compelled Japan and the Prince of Nagato in particular to permit the Straits of Shimonoseki to be used by foreign shipping in accordance with treaties already signed.

July 14 to August 3 of 1864 Naval forces protected the United States Minister to Japan when he visited Yedo to negotiate concerning some American claims against Japan, and to make his negotiations easier by impressing the Japanese with American power.

Look at the interactions that The United States, being represented by Lincoln, Sward and Stanton had with Great Britain, France, Mexico, Russia, The Netherlands and Italy. The United States had to engage with other countries to survive. In fact, the very fact that the Union won was an example of globalization. It proved that a democratic government could work and that it was on the world stage to stay. After this, democracy spread like wildfire.

There is not a political and cultural definition of nationalism as Miller seems to think in the video. He says that a system of free government based on our Declaration of Independence and constitution defines nationalism!! It defines our American Republic, not nationalism!! Comparing Trump to Lincoln here is profoundly stupid and just plain wrong.

George Washington was speaking of patriotism in the quote in this video. There is a difference between patriotism and nationalism. Washington led a coalition of countries (United States, Vermont (yes, it was a country), France, Spain, The Dutch Republic and Mysore) in a War against Great Britain. For a supposed nationalist, he looked to many other countries for help.

Roosevelt was not a nationalist either:

  • He was not a big fan of tariffs and cut tariff rates.
  • He helped Panama break away from Colombia so that the United States could build a canal across that country (which was and still is a big boost to globalization).
  • He helped bring an end to the Russo-Japanese War.
  • He led the roughriders in Cuba during the Spanish American War.
  • He was a proponent of the Monroe Doctrine.
  • He was a proponent of the Open Door policy which advocated for opening up Chinese trade with the world.
  • He wanted to keep US forces stationed in the Philippines after the insurrection.
  • He had US forces occupy Cuba for three years.
  • He sent the Great White Fleet around the world to prove that America had a major navy.
  • He threatened to go to war with Germany in Venezuela. He promoted the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.
  • He helped lessen French influence in Morocco and prevented Germany from starting a war there.
  • He tried to get the roughriders together to go fight in World War.
  • He discovered a river in Brazil.

If Miller is looking for nationalist presidents, he should focus on Wilson and Hoover. Wilson was a nationalist and isolationist before World War I. The United States stood by as the free people of the world were being killed and threatened. Hoover was a nationalist. He promoted tariffs which, in part, led to The Great depression.

Winston Churchill was more of a globalist than a nationalist:

  • He, with Roosevelt, Stalin and Chiang Kaishek led the largest military alliance in human history freeing people from tyranny in many countries.
  • Churchill served in the military of South Africa and tried to join its parliament.
  • He once wrote an article calling for a United States of Europe and helped found the Council of Europe.
  • He is considered one of the Founding fathers of the European Union.
  • He also was Prime Minister when the UK sent troops to fight in the Korean War.
  • He sent troops to Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising and involved the UK in the Malayan Emergency.
  • He helped negotiate a peace in Indochina.
  • He helped establish (along with leaders from other allied countries) the UN.
  • He helped start a coup in Iran that installed the shah.

Trump thinks that America First means no foreign treaties or allies. This ignores the fact that some of these international treaties and alliances do put Americans first. It is not a sound way to conduct foreign policy and it is reckless. Miller’s only fact is that Brexit was an example of nationalism. It would probably have been better to reform the EU rather than to exit it and possibly destroy it. Continentalism is not a bad thing. It means that whenever you country has to go to war, it does not have to do it alone. Allied soldiers from other countries will always be with your soldiers. It means better trade relations and cooperation. Miller keeps mixing up the definitions of nationalism and American Exceptionalism. He is phenomenally ignorant on this issue. This is an unbelievably ill informed video and Miller should be embarrassed and frankly he should open some history books and start reading.