One of the most frustrating things about the intensity of today's partisan politics is the efforts made to control language and change definitions.   If i say "X" and you say it's a "dog whistle" for those who believe "X" means "Y" or something else, how will we ever get anywhere in conversation?  We need to agree on some definitions.

President Trump says he's a nationalist and some people say President Trump is a White (or Orange) Nationalist.  What's the difference?

If you believe the Southern Poverty Law Center, White nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of nonwhites. Groups listed in a variety of other categories - Ku Klux Klan, neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, racist skinhead, and Christian Identity - could also be fairly described as white nationalist.

What about Webster - White Nationalism is one of a group of militant whites who espouse white supremacy and advocate enforced racial segregation.

In January of this year the Democratically controlled House of Representatives passed Resolution 41 that included the language - Whereas a 2006 Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) assessment defined a White nationalist as follows: 
To be a white nationalist is to be pro-white. The domestic white nationalist movement seeks to promote, honor, and defend the white race. They believe the white race is under attack from Jewish interests that dominate the government .

By those definitions White Nationalism is closer to racism than to patriotism but what about just nationalism?

Some political scientists use nationalism to mean an extreme devotion to the nation, in which loyalty to the nation outweighs all other interests. Others use the term in a less negative way to mean simply the belief that a community sharing certain common attributes (shared values, culture, language, race, or religion) is entitled to self-rule.

In this latter understanding, every citizen who is loyal to the nation is a nationalist."

 

KIT's businessman, blogger, consultant and political commentator pal, Tim Bryce. has a column out about this subject -- "There is a lot of confusion over the expression “White Nationalism. Democrats and the media have somehow twisted it to mean the development of a nationalist identity driven by white supremacy....Democrats want to taint the expression as they are more interested in “globalization,” whereby they want to embrace a set of worldwide concepts, such as climate change, immigration, socialized medicine and economics. They see nationalism as an impediment to their programs and, as such, try to vilify it by changing its meaning."

And that's the problem of language manipulation. If you are a nationalist you love your country,  If you are proud of your heritage and your country, are you a "white nationalist"?  If you think it does, does that automatically align you with the Klan?

Tim Bryce says that is a word trap. "This redefinition of a simple concept is a clever trick by the Democrats and Media to make whites feel ashamed of their race, and to mischaracterize their intentions. Frankly, it is an insult to our intelligence."

For more on the topic and a clearer path to a common definition, check out Tim's latest work here. timbryce.com