We’re All Nationalists

by | Jan 21, 2017

That’s the inescapable conclusion after observing the quite impressive turnout for demonstrations around the country today.

The marches today are in support of women’s rights and anti-Trump, both entirely sensible positions.

But to put a finer point on the matter, we must concede that the marches are really just in support of American women’s rights.


Well, it should go without saying that Trump, like Obama and Bush before him, represents a much greater threat to the rights of women in other countries than he does to the women in America. The women (and men and children, for that matter) in Libya, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan have suffered, and continue to suffer, immensely as a direct result of US foreign policy. And the right that US foreign policy has threatened and violated in those places is the most fundamental of all–the right to live.

Yet even though this threat is undeniably real and severe, I can recall no commensurate protests against it in the Obama years. The reason for that is nationalism.

What today’s demonstrations show us is that, for many people, the perceived and possible threat to women’s rights in America presented by Trump is more important and worthy of dissent than the senseless deaths of thousands of innocent women in the Greater Middle East during the Obama years.

The only upside is that there were massive antiwar protests when Bush was overseeing the destruction instead of Obama. Perhaps now that a Republican has returned to the White House, US foreign policy will be worth protesting again.

About Eric Schuler

Eric Schuler is a contributor to The Libertarian Institute, with a focus on economics and US foreign policy. Follow his work here and on Twitter.

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