Trumpian Civic Nationalism Is Intensely Polarizing

Peggy Noonan writes in The Wall Street Journal:

“The Trump Wars of the past 18 months do not now go away. Now it becomes the Trump Civil War, every day, with Democrats trying to get rid of him and half the country pushing back. To reduce it to the essentials: As long as Mr. Trump’s party holds the House, it will be a standoff. If the Democrats take the House, they will move to oust him.

Because we are divided. We are two nations, maybe more. …”

This is the reality that President Trump will be facing.

We can have happy talk about finding a new solidarity in civic nationalism, but our common culture has already been so disintegrated by liberalism that force is the only thing really holding this country together. We saw that on display in Washington, DC where we had to spend hours walking around the barricades. Because of the confluence of multiculturalism, immigration and Islamic terrorism, the TSA had to cage us in like animals in our own Capitol to protect us from foreign and domestic enemies.

It is striking how the Left no longer accepts the norms of civic nationalism: free and fair elections, peaceful transfer of power, free speech, tolerance of dissenting views, the taboo on political violence, equality before the law, the rule of law and order, the value of citizenship, etc. In the name of social justice, the Left ardently believes we ought to do away with all of these things and violently impose a new orthodoxy of -isms and -phobias on the country. The PC Left now has the witch hunting mindset and zeal of the inquisitor armed with the faggot and the stake. They see themselves as being on the sides of the saints and the martyrs while their opponents on the Right are an army of demons.

David French writes at National Review:

“The word of the day is “polarized.” The New York Times declared that Donald Trump “will take command of a country unsettled after one of the most polarizing periods in modern times.” ABC’s chief political analyst went even further, arguing that the level of division was so bad that our political culture was “much more akin to where we were in 1861.” Writing in the Washington Post, Philip Bump rightly noted that Trump “didn’t create the country’s divisions” before wondering: “Will he heal them?” The answer:

No, he will not. He couldn’t heal them if he tried. …

This polarization has been a long time coming; anyone with eyes could have predicted it. I’m 47 years old, at the age when my law-school peers have grown up to sit in the halls of corporate, academic, and governmental power. And what were those peers like? Twenty-five years ago, some of them were in Harvard Law School, literally shouting down conservatives, booing them and jeering them when they dared open their mouths. They had no regard for civility or debate. They only wanted to win. And Harvard wasn’t alone. A generation of liberal elites has grown up steeped in a culture that believes that millions of fellow Americans aren’t just wrong, but evil — racist, sexist, homophobic, and drawn to religious faith as a vehicle for their bigotry. …”

I completely agree.

If you think this is just a problem for the “fringe,” you aren’t paying close enough attention to what is going on. In the eyes of the rising generation of leftists, it has become heretical to publicly voice a different point of view on taboo subjects like race and sexuality. These people believe state power and vigilante violence should be used to silence “hate speech” and anyone who questions their orthodoxy should be driven from employment, socially ostracized and physically assaulted.

Political correctness is a confession. Civic nationalism is an obstacle to the spread of the progressive gospel. Progress is the elimination of heresy. This is a titanic struggle between the forces of good and evil. That’s where we are going with this and for “civic nationalism” to triumph and prove successful it would require these people to undergo a total ideological conversion.

Is that realistically going to happen? I don’t think so. We need to brace ourselves for what is coming.

Hunter Wallace
the authorHunter Wallace
Hunter Wallace is the founder and editor of


  • See, I like what you’re saying, but my problem is that when you reject civic nationalism, you end up with ethnonationalism, as the top comment shows. Is deportation (or worse) fair to those who hold the same ideas as you but are of a different race?

    (No, I’m not a regular on this website. But I am trying to engage, since this article is actually really good.)

  • A few years ago, Mike Savage (aka Mike Weiner) called for a “new nationalism” with a strict “firewall” to keep out far-right racism. The Trump phenomenon is pretty much exactly what Savage called for, except maybe for the firewall. The question this raises is whether this firewall will emerge during the Trump administration. The elites behind Trump must be hoping that civic nationalism will take the air out of the sails of the real alt-right.

    We now have two versions of the mainstream right: civic nationalism and cuckservatism. Cuckservatism was destined to fail because white demographic decline meant that it could no longer control any of the branches of government. Trump and his elite cabal of backers got ahead of this trend and prevented cuckservatives from nominating yet another losing candidate for the presidency. I hope that cuckservatism just fades away, but that remains to be seen.

    Assuming that civic nationalism takes over the mainstream right, we may end up with a whole new set of ideological battles. It isn’t what the left thinks that matters. It is what is considered appropriate in the mainstream right. The mainstream right may just be trading one old cuckservative set of mental blocks for a new set of civic nationalist mental blocks.

  • the norms of civic nationalism: free and fair elections, peaceful transfer of power, free speech, tolerance of dissenting views, the taboo on political violence, equality before the law, the rule of law and order, the value of citizenship, etc.

    The problem is that none of these things are the norms of civic nationalism. These are things particular to post-Reformation Europe in general and even more specifically to Anglo-Saxon liberalism. Civic Nationalism is obviously based in civics which are a set of -isms as you put it, and as such a broad base of tolerance for diverse thought is antithetical to this.

    A traditional conception of nationalism allows for a broader base of tolerance for dissent because ingroup/outgroup distinctions are not firmly based on some creed which delineates the realm of acceptable and mandatory behavior of citizens.The homonoia of post-Reformation Europe is not based on a specific dogma and is the genesis of modes of belonging which are based on identity which is the dawn of nationalism.

    America has never been “Civic Nationalist” is precisely the problem. It has been Anglo-Saxon Liberal which required the dominance of an Anglo-Saxon elite over a tapestry of European groups who were familiar with the concepts of these folkways at least in part due to their relation to ecumenical Christianity from which they descend.

    Civic Nationalism enters onto the world stage probably through Isocrates, and through him Alexander the Great who actually attempted to and failed to apply these ideas by imposing a set of specific rules on disparate peoples to artificially make them one. What was taught to him by Aristotle as a description of the Hellenic self-awareness of their own ethnicity was codified into rules and abstractions for everyone. What was an observation of an organic ethnogenesis was rendered into basically Classical Antiquity’s version of Muh Constitution.

    Of course Alexander wasn’t Greek and so probably just didn’t get it intuitively, or balked at the reality that when your ethic is to treat Greeks as friends and non-Greeks as animals then he would be treated at best as a well-trained beast. I suppose we have a similar situation of a European-seeming people recoiling at the reality of their alienness, working to disprove our existence by inviting the rest of the world to be European and eliminating us all in the process of making us one. Or actually failing to do so just as every other attempt and simply inflicting misery (and generating profit and consolidating power).

    The most recent example we have of Civic Nationalism is probably Stalinism. Not a surprising comparison given the modern Left however I don’t imagine any of the race-blind “Civic Nationalists” on the so-called Right conceive of themselves as being in this company. However applying even this milquetoast set’s ideas would actually be almost as horrific. Rather you want to call it “Western Chauvinism” or “True Liberalism” what it would look like in practice applied to the flotsam and jetsam of the mixed up global population of the Earth isn’t going to be much different than what it looked like when applying our particular European cultural norms on Iraq.

    “Civic Nationalism” is basically just Shariah Law for white people. It is our Truth which can’t be gainsaid and must be imposed. What would it take to bring Negroes into parity with Whites in the US in terms of having the same civic values and cultural norms? Jim Crow and the KKK were only semi-successful so clearly something a lot more vigorous and violent would be necessary and of course totally undesirable for either party.

    If anything we accomplish will have any merit in the short term it will be in engendering a state apraxia among a broad base of the populous in regards to the motivation behind such a project. People accept race denial passively and need to be able to question its’ basis and no longer see it as the default which must be argued against and force these liberals from either side of the aisle to actually argue for their utopia. Which they very clearly can’t do.

  • Trumpism has to evolve from civic nationalism to ethno-nationalism. Whites and these unwanted parasites can not co-exist peacefully and their continued presence here will only lead the country into civil war. Most likely resulting in Balkanization (The death of the UNITED States of America.)

    Deporting illegals and imposing a ban on Muslims is a good start, but not nearly enough.

    • after that actually happens it might be easier to reason with the others that they have to leave as well. ban muslims, crush muslims, tell the rest gtfo or u get crushed too

      • I don’t think the blacks will ever leave, either voluntarily or with incentive. They feel we owe them something and they will fight for it. To be fair, many of them are not really African in any meaningful way anymore. Their roots are too deep here now. A fair percentage of the land mass will probably have to be broken off for them that they get to rule over however they want. Just so long as it is not allowed to spread into the rest of the country.

        Or not. That’s just my prediction.

        • that works to. I don’t think 300 years living among us makes them here to stay though. 5000-20,000 years in Africa is who they are and always will be. north America is big enough to put them somewhere and let them sink or swim on their own though. they act big but bow to fear almost instantaneously when so it goes down their destiny will not be their own

          • Gee, I guess the Indians might say that about Whites, eh? “I don’t think 300 years living among us makes them here to stay though.” Or are you saying that only those ruled by Abrahamic religions count for having rights? Face it white man, you segregationists only have a right to reclaim Europe in such a fashion as you seek but I suppose truth for you is whatever is good for whites, borrow that from the Jew did we

          • maybe you don’t understand. we cant be removed. we win every war. people gave up fighting against us. your delusional entitlement is only going to cost you in the end. im pro everything, including muslims, except jews. but until Europe and Russia have peace and security for all whites we are going to claim where we want and no1 can stop us

          • I see how the white man won WW II, haha (not, that’s why the Jews own Europe now), I see how the white man slaughtered his own over Jewish christianity in something called the Protestant reformation and I see how white men followed Jewish bolsheviks into a revolution that slaughtered how many goy?

            You are the one that’s delusional. Any success you have had has simply been by being lucky enough to be chosen by the chosen to exploit everyone else. But the Jew still needs folks like you to believe his crap and enable his order for him as your white race certainly has done since 1492 at minimum.

            Blacks were here as long as whites and you state as accomplished fact that he has to go? Don’t look now but Islams and blacks are eating your lunch and bitch slapping your leaders, white man with the inflated ego who tries to be a Jew

            Is that why you are so paranoid about Islam now? Because you dominate everyone else ? Lol!

          • we were chosen cause weve always won and always will. this year is going to suck for you :). blacks did not sail here son, they were bought and then brought here like little sheep

          • many whites were to, by the way, I am white, I just don’t bend my knee to the white race religion and you admit the Jews chose you so then you have to admit colonialism is Jewish. Do you want to get rid of the JWO or not? Be fare and learn about the Bacon Rebellion when blacks were indentured slaves as well

          • I don’t care what you r nor do I care about your pity for blacks. whites were brought here under indentured servant deals to pay for voyage, not like broken punks. England wanted more land do to high birth rates so to America they went. colonialism is taxing conquered/owned lands I don’t know or care who started it cause it means nothing. I was young and idealist as well but after 15 years in the working world I realized I don’t want to share space with blacks arabs or jews. I rather go 2 war

          • Ok, go burn down your neighbors house and then start sending them a tax bill or do you only like that idea when Jews do it?

        • they want to kill us off so they don’t have to hide their sick nature and slaving ways. they should be made to survive among themselves with no goyim or animals to abuse

      • Yeah. I’m well aware that he probably won’t become ethno-nationalist. If things continue to get worse he will have to make some hard decisions though. We’ll see what happens.

  • The danger is that the left alienates too many people and has too little to offer.

    If Trump’s policies actually work out, they could end up uniting a broad swathe of non-ideological, working Americans and creating a broad based prosperity. The left might find itself relegated to the fringes and the coasts. This would have the effect of making whites comfortable as their country turns non-white. But the end result is still Brazil.

    We need Trumpism to remain polarizing, we need the left to remain more appealing to non-whites, and we need tensions between the two groups to continue to increase.

    Maybe we need crypto-Alt-Right people infiltrating the left and… giving them better policies so that they can at least have some basis on which to appeal to blacks and hispanics.

Leave a Reply