During President Trump’s recent press conference, a few reporters implied that the President’s identification with American nationalism was an endorsement of white supremacy. This assertion is either a deliberate attempt to taint the President or extremely misguided.
Loving America is a good thing inasmuch as America is a good country. Loving this nation and its people is proper inasmuch as the American people are a good people. America is not Nazi Germany and thus being a super-patriot, or putting America first, is what we should do.
In the Pledge of Allegiance, we Americans refer to ourselves as one nation under God. Nationhood and nationalism are normal, natural instincts. To equate American nationalism with something evil is strange and inflammatory, and reveals the accuser’s severe insecurity and discomfort with America itself. To imply that those who are nationalists in America are somehow white supremacists is itself a bigotry against the American people.
Unlike many on the left, including, sadly, many in the Jewish community who prefer trans-nationalism and universalism over sovereign American nationalism, I and many politically conservative Jews are proud to be American nationalists and consider it a badge of honor to identify with America as a nation.
Rabbi Aryeh Spero is author of Push Back and president of Caucus for America.