Magazine September 11, 2017, Issue

The Case for Cultural Nationalism

President Trump speaks at a campaign rally for Senator Luther Strange in Huntsville, Ala., September 22, 2017. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)
It’s time to start taking E pluribus unum seriously again.

President Donald Trump’s feeble and vacillating response to the violent confrontation that white nationalists provoked in Charlottesville has emboldened those on both the alt-right and the radical left who claim that racism and American nationalism are the same thing. Most Americans of all races think otherwise. Unfortunately, the ability to promote or even discuss a common American identity that transcends race and religion is weakened by confusion about four terms: “nation,” “culture,” “race,” and “ethnicity.”

“Nation” can refer to a state, a purely political entity, whose citizens may belong to various ethnicities (Switzerland). It can also refer to the exact opposite

Michael LindMr. Lind is a visiting professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of The American Way of Strategy.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




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