Hillary Clinton, giving an address in the context of her election campaign and criticizing her opponent Donald Trump, called Vladimir Putin the “godfather” of global nationalism. That’s really ridiculous, and here’s why. Liberals have a very specific understanding of the meaning of words, especially the word “nationalism.”
Usually nationalism is understood as a critical attitude toward those who don’t fit into a single national group with you. Nationalism isn’t characteristic of Russians at all, because Russia is an empire and foreigners have never been received with hostility here. Throughout the ages, many foreigners have held key government positions in Russia.
During one of his public appearances in Ukraine, former Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski was asked whether a Ukrainian could become the rector of the University of Warsaw like, for example, Ukraine native Viktor Sadovnichiy, who became rector of Moscow State University. Kwaśniewski evaded answering the question, but it’s clear that it’s not possible.
Nationalism is very strong in Poland and a non-Pole can’t rise above a certain level there. In Russia, a foreigner can land any of the most senior positions. Thus, literally just days ago, a commission of rabbis recognized Russia as the best place in the world for Jews to live.
So Russians are of course not nationalists, and Putin isn’t a nationalist. The point is something else entirely. Clinton is a globalist, and of a very specific sort at that; she thinks that the world belongs to the bankers and that it’s the bankers who set the rules of the game. And anyone who disagrees with that and wants to disrupt globalization is, in her way of thinking, a nationalist.
Among them are Donald Trump’s supporters, those who voted for Brexit, the citizens of China who don’t want to give up their special path and, of course, Putin — together with those who vote for him. In other words, we’re dealing with a striking example of how words in the mouths of politicians lose their original meaning.