Nationalism, Optimism, and How I Think About the Future Now that Trump Is President

Trump Innauguration SpeechI’m sorry to say, I just watched a President Trump deliver his inauguration speech. I wish it were Hillary up there. Actually, I wish it were Biden, telling us how he is going to build on everything Obama has done, but alas.

I’ve never heard such a nakedly nationalistic speech from an American politician before. As a student of history, I know there is a school of thought which says that nationalism is a sickness responsible for centuries of human misery. That in the struggle to secure one nation against another, or pit one nation against another, or compete, one nation against another, we humans have caused nothing but war, suffering, and injustice.

The thought that nationalism could somehow be a sickness, or that it is a bankrupt idea, is not exactly in vogue right now. Nationalist movements are sweeping much of the Western world, and I fear what is to come.