To call someone nativist reveals more about the accuser than the accused. Rephrased slightly, the charge is that you are evil for preferring, maintaining, and defending the nation in which you live from outside influences. Isn’t that the least you would expect from someone who resides in a particular area? Strange, how those who hurl that adjective as some kind of smear seem to reside in nowhere, have no local customs, and have no reason to prefer one thing over another thing. Are not these “world citizens” just stunningly ignorant and irrational elitists?
Elitism is often a cover up for one or many deficits, and in this case, it is a deficit of perception. Whenever someone says that they are a “citizen of the world”, I love to ask them where they live, and then to continue to ask them about what makes where they live special. After all, they chose to live there as opposed to somewhere else, and they find it at least acceptable, if not beneficial, to continue living there, so they have a preference. If they pay taxes, then they have a stake in what happens around them. If they vote, then they exercise their preferences again. You get the idea.
Those who claim to be “citizens of the world” are simply taking everything around them for granted, and are seeking to remove any evidence of their own preferences so as to look like they are above the fray. Yet, these people are very much in the fray, as the above choices demonstrate. Perhaps they feel guilty about their decisions and are trying to be magnanimous (yet revealing their elitism)? In any case, someone who will not own up to their own choices and preferences is a coward, and that is at the root of these “global citizens”. They are afraid of offending someone or some group of people, so they disclaim any attachment to those in their own city, county, state, or country. They are the fearful ones, running as fast as they can away from responsibility.
Enjoying things from other cultures does not make one a “citizen of the world”. I appreciate very much certain things from Japan, England, Australia, France, Italy, and so on. However, I was not born there, and I do not live there. Patriotism is like loving your mother; you do not hate other mothers. Being a nativist is the same way. You cherish and love the land in which you choose to live, and if you cannot, you find a land in which you can. The Hollywood stars who have moved to other countries that they can love better (despite the US making them famous and rich) are at least consistent in that.
In the words of Barry Goldwater, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
There is no room for “global citizens” or “citizens of the world” in any rational conversation. Expose this shoddy defense and strip it bare. After all, if they were truly “global citizens”, then they would be living in a “global country”, with all the irony that implies.