The necessity of nationalism

America needs nationalism. But it may be impossible.

A flag.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Wikimedia Commons, Tatomm_iStock)

Forget for a moment about the ideological divisions between liberals and conservatives, socialists and capitalists, populists and establishmentarians. The fissure that is likely to have far more of an impact on our future is the one separating those who warmly support nationalism from those who stringently reject it.

In the popular imagination and conventional wisdom, the debate between nationalists and their globalist opponents mirrors the ideological clashes of the past, with the former falling on the right and the latter leaning to the left. While that's sometimes the case, it isn't always. The real distinction is between political analysts and actors who recognize and respect the importance of fostering social cohesion at the national level as a precondition of pursuing other social goods and those who deny the importance of such cohesion and even reject its legitimacy on moral grounds. Those who affirm the need to foster cohesion can be found on either the right or the left, and their critics can as well.

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