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America first: the nationalistic drift of Trump’s United States

The first decisions of the new tenant of the White House show signs of isolationistic and nationalistic closures, of tense relations with the rest of world: in a word, they signal the denial of the origins of a nation made by immigrants. The historical events of 20th century Europe should also serve as a lesson to “The Donald.”

The people of the United States have chosen as their President Mr. Donald Trump, who during the election campaign had announced that once elected he would have been the president of America First. As often happens, political observers tirelessly repeated that his program was so dangerous and absurd that even if he had been elected, he would have been unable to implement it. They were wrong. In fact, this kind of reasoning is always wrong. The same was said in Germany about Hitler and his Mein Kampf in the 1930s. The same was said in Italy about Mussolini in the early 1920s. Unfortunately the lessons of history are of no avail… Liberal Italian politician Francesco Saverio Nitti believed that if allowed to come to power the “Duce” would have relinquished his revolutionary Fascist program.
Now Mr Trump is the President of the United States. Not even fifteen days have gone by for him to pass from a program to real politics.

Trump is ushering into the United States, a great democratic Country made of immigrants and open to the world, a new, unprecedented historical era: the age of nationalism.

The President “veils” it with economic coverage, protectionism, with the need to protect US workers and industries. But in reality it all boils down to nationalism and selfishness, namely the hatred of otherness: building a wall to isolate Mexico, renouncing freedom of trade, weakening international organizations, fomenting those forces that are hostile to European unity; banning access to the Country by citizens of various Countries on racist grounds and motivated by religious discrimination… It’s not a question of protecting one’s Country. In fact it’s an affirmation of superiority to the rest of the world. 
In Germany they used to fiercely sing Deutschland über alles, namely, “Germany first.” Indeed, a People, a Nation, can indeed consider itself the best. However,

The history of humanity has taught us that things always end badly.

How can peace be ensured without international peace, without solidarity between the nations? How is it possible to ensure peace without international justice, without solidarity between peoples? How can we ensure the establishment of peace based on the mutual respect between peoples when the legitimate love for one’s homeland is replaced by despiteful, selfish nationalism? How can economic development be furthered without a considerable degree of freedom of movement of people and goods? In reality, nationalism is always aggressive, and it prevents peaceful relations between individuals, peoples and nations. A “nationalistic revolution” has been ushered into the United States.

For the first time the United States have decided to ignore their major global responsibilities, along with the economic and moral obligations of a great political, military and economic power,

a power also tasked with the responsibility of understanding an unstable world and always acting for peace. Trump’s USA has chosen the option of “each one for himself”, of selfishness, of the supremacy of the strong over the weak. We ought to reflect on the definition of nationalism conveyed by Pope Pius XI on Christmas 1930, whose historical circumstances reverberate still today: “Hatred and envy in place of the mutual desire for the good, distrust and suspicion in place of fraternal trust, competition and struggle in place of harmonious cooperation, ambition for hegemony and mastery in place of respect and care for the rights of aIl, even those of the weak and the small.”

 

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