David Gushee presents three ways that are being used to critique the heavy dose of Trumpian nationalism that was administered to the Americans and to the world during the first week of Trump's presidency (Read the article here). Gushee argues that people who do not agree with the President's policies are criticizing him using alternative patriotism, transcendent values, and alternative primary community paradigms.
The alternative patriotism paradigm is based on a different national vision. Those who believe in American exceptionalism and see America as the best country in the world are using this argument to critique President Trump's policies. They are as patriotic and nationalistic as Trump supporters are but think that American interests are being damaged by what the President is doing. Gushee puts Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and most of their supporters in this category and explains:
Here the assumption is that every American is and should be committed to American well-being and national self-interest, but the question is how best to get there. The reigning paradigm on this side has been that the United States is best served by being wired into global economic, alliance, and governance relationships and playing by shared international norms, that our long-term best interest is served by being open rather than closed to the rest of the world, and that showing a compassionate face to the world better reflects who we really are as a people and engenders goodwill toward us.
President Trump's policies can also be criticized on the basis of transcendental values paradigm. Transcendental values are universal values that transcend nationalities, races, religions or ethnicities. These values acclaim humanity, do not prioritize any nation or race or religion, and consider divisions based on these notions/philosophies/moral systems not only abhorrent but also dangerous.
The transcendent values strategy is to say that US policies should reflect values that many of us believe in at the core of our being — such as tolerance, inclusion, ecological sustainability, hospitality, care, mercy, and justice. These values, we say, matter more than other, more parochial values, including the mere value of national self-interest.
The final paradigm that is being used to counter President Trump is the alternative community paradigm. I think it will be better if the paradigm is labeled as alternative nation paradigm. People, who believe their primary allegiance is not to America but to another nation, can critique President Trump using this paradigm. Gushee considers himself part of the group that is using this paradigm to criticize President Trump:
The alternative community paradigm is the most radical. Adherents of this paradigm grant that nations are inclined naturally to advance their self-interest, but then say that their particular community of people simply does not believe that the nation is their primary community.
For some, their alternative primary community might be defined by another identity marker, such as national origin, immigrant status, gender, or race. For others, the alternative community is religious. If your primary identity is, say, as a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, then your primary commitment is to follow his Way, not to advance any nation’s self-interest.
While I am attracted to all three approaches, this last paradigm is where I stand most fundamentally. My primary identity is as a follower of Jesus. My primary community is with others thus committed, wherever they may be found here or around the world.
While Gushee thinks that the alternative community/nation paradigm is powerful, I think the only paradigm that can really challenge Trumpian nationalism is the alternative patriotism paradigm. Nationalism is very powerful and getting more powerful in the US so anyone trying to criticize Trump, without giving primacy to the US, is delegitimizing oneself and so likely to fail. Most Americans today will not follow or even listen to people who believe in transcendental values or claim to be part of another nation.