Leroy N. Soetoro
2019-11-27 23:36:54 UTC
The fans who have stood and cheered at the end of Lin-Manuel Mirandas
masterpiece Hamilton may not fully realize it, but they are hailing the
life and the work of one of the greatest nationalists in American history.
The word nationalism has a pejorative connotation, especially when mixed
up with the negative feelings around Donald Trump. This assumption that
nationalism must be a malign force is lazy and thoughtless, as
demonstrated by Alexander Hamiltons much celebrated career.
At its most basic, nationalism is the idea that a distinct people, set
apart by their common history and culture, should be self-governing.
In the American context, it has meant asserting and protecting our
sovereign rights as a nation, creating a strong and capable national
government, building a formidable military, expanding across the continent
and excluding potentially hostile foreign powers from our immediate
vicinity. It also has insisted that the nation have a strong cultural
Hamilton advanced and, to a significant extent, defined these nationalist
projects. The most important was the first establishing our independence
from the British empire in the worlds greatest nationalist rebellion. The
American Revolution became an inspiration for peoples yearning to govern
themselves around the world and established the principle that government
exists to serve the people, not the other way around.
After serving as a crucial adjutant to George Washington during the
Revolution, Hamilton took a leading role in the next nationalist
undertaking: dumping the Articles of Confederation to create a sound and
durable national government. He was a prime mover behind the
Constitutional Convention, and wrote roughly two-thirds of the Federalist
Papers, making the case for the conventions inspired work.
Then, Hamilton helped put the new national government on a firm financial
foundation. He successfully pushed the federal government to fund the
national debt and assume the war debts of the states. He advocated tariffs
to bolster the manufacturing sector, and he convinced President Washington
to back the creation of a national bank all toward the goal of becoming
a nation as formidable as Great Britain.
Hamilton believed, as the historian Craig L. Symonds puts it, that the
country required all the accoutrements of world power: a vital domestic
industry, a healthy world trade and, to protect that trade and the
national integrity, a naval fleet.
As Hamilton wrote in his rousing finale of Federalist 11, Let the
thirteen States, bound together in a strict and indissoluble Union, concur
in erecting one great American system, superior to the control of all
transatlantic force or influence, and able to dictate the terms of the
connection between the old and the new world!
Its fashionable now on both the left and the right to say that America
isnt so much a nation as an idea. This would have been a nonsensical
statement to Hamilton and the other Founders. He believed that our
institutions, our power and our culture mattered a great deal. An
immigrant himself, he worried nonetheless that unchecked immigration might
threaten our cultural core.
In a pseudonymous newspaper essay in 1802, he wrote, The safety of a
republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment;
on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens
from foreign bias and prejudice; and on that love of country which will
almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education
Today, love of country is a dwindling asset. The left tends to view
America as rotten to its core. Millennials are notably less attached to
the symbols of the American nation and less drawn to patriotic pride
than their elders. Hamilton, surely, would view this as a desecration of
what he created.
America is powerful and free, in part, because Hamiltons nationalizing
program was so influential and successful. By all means honor (and
celebrate in song), Hamiltons brilliance and passion, his farsightedness
and determination, but no account of him, or our country, can be complete
without recognizing his all-important nationalism.
Rich Lowry is the author of The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us
Powerful, United, and Free (Harper Collins), out Tuesday.
No collusion - Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III, March 2019.
Donald J. Trump, 304 electoral votes to 227, defeated compulsive liar in
denial Hillary Rodham Clinton on December 19th, 2016. The clown car
parade of the democrat party ran out of gas and got run over by a Trump
Congratulations President Trump. Thank you for cleaning up the disaster
of the Obama presidency.
The Obama-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
approved Uranium One in fall 2010. With a little luck, we'll see
compulsive liar Hillary Clinton in jail before she dies.
Under Barack Obama's leadership, the United States of America became the
The World According To Garp.
Obama increased total debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion in the eight
years he was in office, and sold out heterosexuals for Hollywood queer
liberal democrat donors.