Speaking on the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a forceful rebuke against rising nationalism, calling it a “betrayal of patriotism” and warning against “old demons coming back to wreak chaos and death.
“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” Macron said while speaking Sunday at the Arc de Triomphe beside Trump and other world leaders. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. In saying ‘our interests first and who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace, and what is essential: its moral values.”
“Let’s add up our hopes and not our fears,” Macron said. “Let’s reject the fascination for turning in on ourselves, violence, and domination.” He listed climate change, poverty, hunger, inequality and “ignorance” among the global challenges to be tackled jointly.
Macron’s remarks were seen by many as a rebuke of President Trump who proudly declared himself a nationalist last month.
“You know, they have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist,” Trump said at a campaign event for Sen. Ted Cruz in Houston last month. “And I say, ‘Really? We’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I’m a nationalist. OK? I’m a nationalist.”
Reporters noted Trump’s immediate reaction to Macron’s rebuke:
Quick snapshots of President Trump’s reaction as President Macron wrapped his armistice speech, strongly rebuking nationalism and calling it “a betrayal of patriotism” pic.twitter.com/xwzM8UNnYH
— Monica Alba (@albamonica) November 11, 2018
Trump reaction as Macron calls nationalism “a betrayal of patriotism.” pic.twitter.com/1nuw6axme4
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) November 11, 2018
#Paris At the end of Macron’s beautiful #WWIMemorial speech a visibly angry #Disgraceful #Embarrassment #BabyTrump refused to clap. After about 10 seconds of everyone’s applause he gave a couple of light golf claps. Macron has said that Nationalism is the enemy of Patriotism.
— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) November 11, 2018