Trump Draws Criticism for Declaring Himself a 'Nationalist'

Trump Draws Criticism for Declaring Himself a 'Nationalist'

President Donald Trump declared himself a “nationalist” for the first time while speaking at a rally for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) Monday.

“Radical Democrats want to turn back the clock. Restore the rule of corrupt, power-hungry globalists. Trump told supporters in Houston. “You know what a globalist is, right?” 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.”

“You know, they have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist,” he continued. “And I say, ‘Really? We’re not supposed to use that word?’ You know what I am? I’m a nationalist. OK? I’m a nationalist.”

“Use that word. Use that word,” he added.

Democratic Response:

CNN host Don Lemon pointed out the term has become “a favorite of the alt-right and is loaded with nativist and racial undertones. And 'globalist.' Well, globalist has been used as a slur of sorts, sometimes even against those in the administration, often with anti-Semitic overtones.”

Michael McFaul, President Obama's former ambassador to Russia, wrote that “Trump is a 'nationalist,' except when he lets the Russians, North Koreans, and Saudis tell him how to act. Tough guy in front of a crowd of fans, but not when sitting next to dictators.”

Republican Response:

Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, who was pardoned by Trump earlier this year, compared Trump's nationalism to that of Ghandi.

“Last night Trump called himself a nationalist, which is sure to provoke the media left to once again accuse him of fascism. Yet Gandhi was a nationalist, as were Mandela, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln. Nationalism by itself is not fascism,” he wrote on Twitter.

“When [Trump] calls himself a nationalist he is in the great tradition of unapologetic nationalists like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln,” he added. “Let the media squeal in its bovine ignorance. Trump is in an honorable American tradition.”