Despite the fact that a candidate for either party has not yet been selected, this presidential election cycle has already created enormous controversies over certain candidates and the type of people who support them.
In particular, there are those who have expressed intense alarm at the rise of nationalist rhetoric among certain candidates and their supporters. While it is natural for liberty lovers to point out the flaws in their political solutions, the only thing surprising about the appearance of nationalism in the political scene is that anyone is surprised at it. Whether it takes center stage in this election or some future one, nationalism in America will continue to gain support as long as we have a centralized government that so wonderfully complements the ideology.
While various media outlets have written about the “hatred” or “racism” underlying the nationalist movement, what they fail to address are the root causes of this anger and resentment.
A recent column by Fred Reed, a retired Marine and expat living in Mexico, offers an indirect explanation as to why this system is guaranteed to produce resentment and animosity. His column concerns the chief reason for the U.S.’s poor image abroad, but it could equally apply to the fed’s domestic policies (emphasis added).
They hate us because we meddle, and have meddled. They hate us because we are the most murderous nation on the planet. They hate our insufferable smugness.
……Why do we not behave more sensibly? Americans obviously are not stupid people. Dummies don’t build Mars rovers. Yet we seem to have a wanton, almost genetic non-grasp of how others think — which means that we can’t predict what they will do. Often Americans just don’t care what others think. This of course plays into the hands of Hugo Chavez and bin Laden.
That’s why they hate us. We meddle.
For too long, the feds have also meddled in the most intimate affairs of private citizens. Everything from what they eat and where they live to how they educate their children and what they can put into their own bodies are controlled by unelected bureaucrats thousands of miles away who are willing and eager to use the barrel of a gun to enforce their decrees. This situation allows those who wield the power to impose their vision as to how society should operate and function. Only a fool thinks such an arrangement won’t produce justifiable outrage, an outrage easily exploited by political opportunists.
It’s one thing to disagree with someone; it’s another to use the government as a club to coerce them to behave as you wish, or force them to pay for policies and programs that go against their beliefs. It’s also quite another thing to accuse them of hate when they try to snatch that club away and use it themselves.
Just as the pathological inability to see things from the perspective of others affects our foreign policy and causes blowback, it also might explain why the growing nationalist movement has caught many off-guard. Too often we care only when the rights of our particular group or groups we empathize with are violated. However distasteful people may or may not find one another, we all have the same rights, and those rights are violated with impunity by the same government, albeit sometimes in different ways.
Our centralized government perversely incentives people to vote for or support measures that benefits them, but at the expense of others’ rights. This has been the status quo for too long, and for many Americans this has meant egregious infringements on their freedoms, all while being told they need to suffer oppression so that others will not be oppressed; or worse, that the injustices committed against them aren’t even happening. As long as the situation remains a zero sum game, in which one must either be among the oppressed or the oppressors, it is only natural people prefer to take up the oppressor’s sword, rather than continue submitting to political cuckoldry.
We see this hypocrisy most vividly within the context of presidential elections, which are more or less contests over which person the country deems most fit to use the Ring of Power, even though every time we see the same disastrous results. What’s even more absurd is the idea that nationalists are the problem for seeking to use the One Ring for their own purposes (as if other political groups don’t try to do the same) and not the idea of having so much power over so many be granted to one man.
Those who accuse nationalists of neo-Nazism should bear in mind that National Socialism demands the very system we have in place. Hitler’s Third Reich was only possible thanks to the centralization efforts made by Otto Von Bismark, who unified the various German states the same time our own Civil War turned a compact of states into an “indivisible” nation. This unification by Bismark enabled Hitler to carry out his ultimately genocidal vision as described in his book Mein Kampf.
It’s not surprising that Hitler also wrote he “would totally eliminate states’ rights altogether”:
“Since for us the state as such is only a form, but the essential is its content, the nation, the people, it is clear that everything else must be subordinated to its sovereign interests. In particular we cannot grant to any individual state within the nation and the state representing it state sovereignty and sovereignty in point of political power.”
Hitler also wrote the “mischief of individual federated states…must cease and will some day cease…. National Socialism as a matter of principle must lay claim to the right to force its principles on the whole German nation without consideration of previous federated state boundaries.”
If people are terrified at the prospect of nationalists coming to power, then they must realize that it is only because the country has abandoned the Tenth Amendment and allowed the federal government to go beyond its limited role as articulated in the Constitution that nationalists pose any threat. Nationalism without a centralized government is an impotent ideology. It is only through such a government that it gains the power to effect its principles.
It is not enough to simply condemn nationalism. Those who have turned to it must be offered a better alternative, one in which their rights are protected as well.That alternative, of course, is decentralization. We must seek to nullify all unconstitutional federal actions and reduce the central government, leaving the feds only those powers delegated to them.
All who oppose these efforts, yet also ridicule nationalists, are no different than the English and French who hissed at Germans for supporting the Nazis while at the same time insisting the terms of the Treaty of Versailles were perfectly fair and legitimate to the German people. If history is any indication, their efforts to quell such movements will be as equally futile.
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