Politics

Media Elite Won’t Learn: CNN’s Gergen Pans Trump Speech as ‘Nativist’

Political pundit who predicted Clinton win suggests promising to pursue American interests is out-of-bounds

President-Elect Donald Trump on Thursday promised to be president of America and not the world, prompting immediate outrage from CNN commentator David Gergen.

The former adviser to four different presidents kicked off CNN’s coverage of Trump’s Cincinnati speech by calling it “nativist.” And he called Trump, himself,  “pugilistic” and “narcissistic,” for good measure.

“It’s goodbye to globalization. He’s bringing America home. He is going to lead a nativist, nationalistic, populist movement. And if you want to join up with him, fine — but if you don’t, forget it.”

“This is goodbye to American leadership in the world,” he said. “It’s goodbye to globalization. He’s bringing America home. He is going to lead a nativist, nationalistic, populist movement. And if you want to join up with him, fine — but if you don’t, forget it.”

Considering he ran a campaign that took aim at globalism, Trump’s words Thursday night should have been no surprise. He said he would approach America’s relations with foreign countries based on what is best for Americans.

“You hear a lot of talk about how we’re becoming a globalized world,” Trump said. “But the relationships people value in this country are local — family, city, state, country — they’re local. We’ll compete in the world. We want to compete in the world. But we’re going to compete in the world where it’s a two-way road, not a one-way road.”

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Trump added that he will serve America, not the interests of people in other countries.

“There is no global anthem, no global currency, no global certificate of global citizenship,” he said. “We pledge allegiance to one flag, and that flag is the American flag.”

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The vast majority of Americans, including millions who voted against Trump, almost certainly regard those statements not only as common sense but a simple statement of fact. There is, in fact, no such thing as global citizenship. Other countries pursue their own national interests.

Trump specifically rejected hatred and bigotry “in all of its forms” and pledged not to fight wars in other countries. He said America would trade with other countries but demand that the terms of that commerce are fair.

It is legitimate to believe Trump simply is lying when he says those things. But evaluating the speech by its words, as Gergen did, it is hard to argue that those sentiments are somehow out-of-bounds. The fact that Gergen seems to believe that they are illustrates why Trump won in the first place — and why elites in the media didn’t see his victory coming.

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