French President Rebukes Trump’s “America First” Mantra

“Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” he said as Trump looked on uncomfortably.

President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday.Francois Mori/AP Photo

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President Donald Trump’s troubled trip to France took a turn for the worse on Sunday. After Trump faced international criticism Saturday for skipping a planned visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery to honor soldiers killed in World War I, he received a new rebuke from French President Emmanuel Macron, who took a barely veiled swipe at Trump’s foreign policy during a ceremony Sunday commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.

“Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” Macron said at the Armistice Day event, speaking in French. “By saying, ‘Our interests first, 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.”

Macron’s words might normally be unremarkable. Nationalism, often defined as excessive devotion to a nation state, has long been faulted as a cause of wars, particularly the First World War. But Trump has described himself as a nationalist and touted an “America First” approach while questioning the country’s longstanding alliance with Western European states.

“I’m a nationalist,” Trump said during a political rally in Houston last month. “OK? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist. Use that word.”

After Macron’s remarks Sunday, Trump “appeared to grimace while offering muted and delayed applause,” NBC News reported.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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