Nationalism is the subject of the moment, and both the term and the idea come with more baggage than Paris Hilton and Khloe Kardashian after an afternoon of shopping on Rodeo Drive. I’ve had a few things to say about this controversial topic myself, but I am delighted to feature as this week’s special guest Colin Dueck of George Mason University, who is the author of a new book coming out from Oxford University Press next week: Age of Iron: On Conservatism Nationalism.
Dueck demonstrates that conservative nationalism is the oldest democratic tradition in US foreign relations. Designed to preserve self-government, conservative nationalism can be compatible with engagement overseas. But 21st century diplomatic, economic, and military frustrations led to the resurgence of a version that emphasizes US material interests. No longer should the US allow its allies to free-ride, and nor should it surrender its sovereignty to global governance institutions. Because this return is based upon forces larger than Trump, it is unlikely to disappear when he leaves office.