Angelina Jolie on ‘narrow nationalism’: ‘I am a patriot but I am also an internationalist’
2nd January 2019

Last Friday, Angelina Jolie guest edited the BBC Radio 4 program Today. We knew she was doing it ahead of time – Angelina has become more involved in the media, and even more specifically, she’s become more involved in British media. BBC Radio 4 even posted some nice photos of Angelina hard at work behind-the-scenes:

— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) December 28, 2018

As part of the one-time gig, Angelina did grant an interview, and she ended up spilling some interesting information about where she is politically and personally:

Angelina Jolie hinted Friday that she might enter politics – and even seek the White House.

“If you asked me 20 years ago, I would’ve laughed… I always say I’ll go where I’m needed, I don’t know if I’m fit for politics… but then I’ve also joked that I don’t know if I have a skeleton left in my closet…I am pretty open and out there. I can take a lot on the chin. That’s good. I honestly will do whatever I think can really make change,” she told host Justin Webb.

The California-born humanitarian and special envoy the UN Refugee Agency discussed a wide range of issues, including social media, sexual violence and the global refugee crisis – but also waded into politics.

“Right now I am able to work with a UN agency to do a lot of work directly with people in need,” she said. “I’m also able to work with governments and I’m also able to work with militaries, and so I sit in a very interesting place of being able to get a lot done without a title and without it being about myself or my policies,” she continued. Jolie added that “for now,” she would stay quiet.

That comment prompted Webb to press her on whether she could be on the list for the Democrats’ next presidential nomination, she coyly replied: “Thank you.”

And when asked about the rise of nationalism under President Trump and his pursuit of an “America First” agenda, Jolie drew a distinction between patriotism and “narrow nationalism.”

“I am a patriot but I am also an internationalist and I love and value other people and other countries,” she said. “To be a patriot is to be very proud of your country and even your country first but you do not think your country is better than others.”

[From Page Six]

I understand the distinction she’s making about patriotism and nationalism/jingoism, even if I think she could have explained it better? Americans are brought up believing in American Exceptionalism, that we are the best because we were born in America. For many Americans, those beliefs soften with age, and we consider ourselves patriotic Americans, some of whom might be exceptional and some whom are not. What Trump and the Republican party have done is to make the patriotism conversation into some kind of white nationalist, jingoist, narrow and ignorant calling card – American Exceptionalism on steroids, only it’s just smoke and mirrors. I remember during the Bush administration, there were thinkpieces written about how Bush represented the decline – and eventual fall – of the American Empire. I think about that all the time, how America is a fallen empire now, and how even post-Trump, America and American patriotism will never be the same.

As for what Jolie says about possibly getting more involved in politics – do it, Villainess.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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