Why is nationalism bad? Because it means something very specific. Perhaps Charles de Gualle said it best:

Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.

— Charles de Gaulle


“We don’t need nationalism. We need common sense. We need the idea that sovereignty does matter. That borders do matter. That’s not nationalism,” Glenn said Monday on radio.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images

This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.

GLENN: Let’s go quickly to Christian in Ohio. Hello, Christian. You’re on the Glenn Beck Program.

CALLER: Hi, Mr. Beck. Thank you so much for having me on. My question is, real quickly, I know nationalism was the cause of World War I and World War II, but don’t we need nationalism now in Europe to save Europe, save the Western society from Islamic terrorism?

GLENN: No, we need common sense.

STU: I feel like the beginning of that little throwaway disclaimer, that it started World War I and World War II is worth focusing on for a moment.

GLENN: Yeah, we don’t need nationalism. We need common sense. We need the idea that sovereignty does matter. That borders do matter. That’s not nationalism. That’s not nationalism.

CALLER: Isn’t that part of nationalism though? Don’t we need someone big enough to get — to hold people together to bring it together?

GLENN: See, this is again — again, you can’t take a term that is well-defined and just make it — Milquetoast it out and make it what you want it to be. So I understand what you’re saying, that you want to believe in your strong country, you want to believe that — in the borders and everything else. And I’m saying to you, yes, that is a return to common sense, but nationalism is something very, very different. Nationalism — as de Gaulle said, nationalism — patriotism is a love for the people of your country and your country. Nationalism is a hatred of everything else.

And that’s what’s happening in Europe. Le Pen is focusing on much more on, we hate these things. We got to get rid of these things, instead of saying, we are — France, we’re strong France. And we need a return to common sense. We’ve made a lot of mistakes.

And it may sound very, very similar, but it depends on the background of the person who is saying it. That’s why it’s so easy for countries to slip into nationalism. Hitler was the best at doing it. He used the right language, and everybody was like, “Oh, well, he’s a Christian just like me. He just wants a strong Germany.” No. No, he didn’t. Be careful. Nationalism means something very specific.