Unpatriotic Nationalism

[T]he president’s defiant nationalism is strangely lacking in basic patriotism. He is quick to question others’ loyalty — Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country” — but remarkably slow to demonstrate loyalty of his own.

Recall that a month after the presidential election — when the extent of Russia’s assault on the U.S. electoral system was becoming clear — Trump’s transition team accused the U.S. intelligence community of making up the threat. These are the same people,” they wrote, that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

At that moment, I recall thinking for the first time: Trump and his team are willing to sell out the people defending our country for political reasons. They must have known that U.S. intelligence was accurate, and still they employed arguments favorable to Russian intelligence. It was unthinkable — until Trump forced us to think it.

Now, the Mueller report uses about 100 pages to detail all the contacts between Russia and Trump campaign officials. They could have rung the alarm on Russian information warfare at any point. But the Mueller report recounts not a single call to inform proper authorities. Instead, the Trump team anticipated and welcomed the practical assistance of a hostile foreign power. And they then tried to conceal that assistance in an escalating series of deceptions.

Michael Gerson, Democrats should call attention to Trump’s patriotism deficit

April 28, 2019


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