Nathan Ganapathi March 25, 2019

Hitler to Donald Trump – Why the debate on the difference between nationalism and patriotism keeps continuing?

Are nationalism and patriotism different

Nationalism isn’t patriotism though many may mistakenly believe both to be the same. The debate on the difference between nationalism and patriotism came to the forefront once again when a few months back, President Trump called himself a nationalist at a Houston campaign rally that he did for Ted Cruz. His words reminded many of Hitler.

Despite the common misconception of nationalism and patriotism being the same, they aren’t. They can be called two sides of the same coin with a thin line demarcating them. Patriotism is taking pride in one’s nation and having an eagerness to protect it, if necessary. In other words, it’s the basis of liberty. In contrast, nationalism can be called twisted patriotism where a feeling of superiority and hostility is prevalent toward other races and countries. Nationalism can be called an extreme form of patriotism that involves supporting one’s nation – no matter whether it’s doing something wrong or heinous. Thus, there shouldn’t be any doubt when it comes to understanding nationalism vs. patriotism.

When US president Trump declared 20 January, 2017 as the National Day of Patriotic Devotion, some words in the official proclamation reminded of Hitler. Hitler massacred the Jews because he wanted the “purest German bloodlines” to survive. Many found words in his proclamation having an absolutely martial ring and encouraging white-identity politics. And when he called himself a nationalist in the October 2018 Houston rally, a lot of backlash was there.

Many found what Trump was doing to be similar with what Hitler did to manipulate the German people to support his regime’s propaganda and even join the Nazi Party. And they say everyone should be very worried because a majority has started taking nationalism and patriotism to mean just the same.


Call to action:

Do you see Trump calling himself a nationalist a danger? Would you say his words remind you of Hitler? Let me know what your views and opinions are in the comments section below. Continue the conversation by reaching me on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. Don’t forget to check my book Hitler’s Greatest Speeches.



Schwartz, Ian . “Dem Rep. Meeks: Trump Declaring Himself A Nationalist Reminds Me Of Words That Came From Hitler.” RealClearPolitics, October 23, 2018.

Wood, Sarah. “Nationalism Isn’t Patriotism, Nationalism Lead To Nazi Germany.” Medium, October 23, 2018.

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Nathan S. Ganapathi

Nathan S. Ganapathi

Nathan S. Ganapathi is a barrister and solicitor of the Gana . . . [Read More]


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