Country First: A Fascist Idea?
“Country First” is a fascist idea. There ought to be a fairly large number of people, things and groups that are more important to you than your “country.”
While hyper-nationalism is a key component of fascist ideology, it doesn’t follow that loyalty to country is fascist. McCain isn’t advocating blind obedience to government authorities. Rather, he’s expressing a profound sense of duty to stand up for our shared ideals.
This excerpt from the speech captures that spirit:
And, finally, a word to Senator Obama and his supporters. We’ll go at it — we’ll go at it over the next two months — you know that’s the nature of this business — and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and my admiration.
Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, and that’s an association that means more to me than any other.
We’re dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our creator with inalienable rights. No country — no country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn’t be an American worthy of the name if I didn’t honor Senator Obama and his supporters for their achievement.
One presumes McCain doesn’t quite literally mean that he values his citizenship above, say, his family, friends, and former comrades in arms on a day-to-day basis. I’m rather sure he doesn’t. But he’s willing to risk all those things, and his life itself, in support of a higher calling.
America was quite literally founded on the idea of individual rights. But while we’ve declared those rights to be inalienable and God-given, they nonetheless have to be guarded and defended by men like John McCain[*].
*To clarify, I’m referring to those willing to put their lives on the line to defend the country as McCain did in his younger days. While I think McCain’s past service tells us something about what kind of president he’d be, I’m not arguing by extenstion that Obama wouldn’t protect the country were he elected.