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The rise of nationalism

The liberal response to nationalism has been a rush towards the protection of minorities. However, this approach has failed to embrace intersectionality theory in understanding how sub-groups may act as agents of victimization. It is evident that even small groups may be instruments of oppression for some of their members. The observation is evident in the failure by the Muslim community to embrace gender equality, a practice that continues to cause friction with other communities where they immigrate. As a result, the most effective way for the modern society to allow the exercise of individual freedom is to provide a political identity that allows them to live their lives and is independent of the interests of particular cultural groups.

The biggest problem is that liberals gave up on their attempt to define nationalism. Instead, extremist right-wing groups who have an ultra-conservative view of the concept of a nation and its role in the identity of a person now drive the movement. The experiences that Germany and the United States have had with prejudice have led to the view that any form of nationalism may result in the excesses that mar their histories. Instead of inspiring patriots to hold the values and aspirations of their nations, many activists have been content in denouncing past injustices. The narrow approach has failed to provide a path for the future even as it seeks to deconstruct the history of their nations. The approach has surrendered the role of defining nationalism to bigots and racists in the society.

The example of a few political leaders demonstrates that many liberals recognize that active involvement in the continued effort to define nation states is important in enabling countries to achieve their goals. The observation is evident in the speech that President Barack Obama gave in Selma, Alabama in memory of the civil rights march and the sacrifices that were borne in the pursuit of racial equality in the United States (Sabato, 2017). President Obama noted the importance of continued engagement, in forging a common political identity, when he stated, ‘What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than this…What greater form of patriotism is there than the belief that America is not yet finished, that we are strong enough to be self-critical, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals?” (Sabato, 2017). However, the strong performance of the party and the fact that President Obama was succeeded by Trumpism demonstrated that more needs to be done to expand the participation of different groups in the continued effort of defining nationhood and determining its values.

The United States and Europe has a rich history of inclusive patriotism. However, more needs to be done to increase the engagement of different groups in nationalism and in forming the nations that they belong to. It is evident that a lot needs to be done to provide a sense of shared ownership of the society. The election of President Donald Trump and the continued rise of the European Parliament made some people to feel that their identity and understanding of their nation was being threatened (Serwer, 2017). The people felt that they were losing their way of life considering social-cultural changes in the world. The election of Donald Trump was in large part the consequence of the rise of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queering (LGBTQ) community after a Supreme Court ruling upheld same sex marriage, the election of a black President and the possible succession by a female president. The activities sought to break social, gender, racial and cultural practices that had defined white America for many years (Sabato, 2017). In addition, the continued growth of the Latina population across the United States presented the fear that white Americans would become a majority in the United States. The failure of the nationalism movement to create an inclusive definition of nationhood means that many people view their political identity as being tied to their cultural one.