To say that American conservatives have grown to find philosophical discomfort in the phrase “nationalism”, is to me an apparent conflation with European nationalism that has been seemingly on the rise. Nationalism and Patriotism are nearly similar terms, but in practice are totally different ideologies. I would find nationalism to be a more perverse form of Patriotism, while certain “patriotic” ideals could be conflated to some type of nationalist outlook. In an American sense, Nationalism can be boiled down to the phrase “America First” which is usually met with some eye rolls. A patriot loves his country, and will die for his country, but this does not mean he is unable to find value in “globalist” ideologies. A patriot would find that a tax on imports for certain companies does greater damage both at home and abroad. A nationalist on the other hand projects policies that are seemingly utilitarian, what is best for the most Americans, is best for me. Patriots aren’t blinded by their own machismo, instead they are grounded in the ideologies that have made the country prosper, regardless if those policies were “America First”.
Article I am referring: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/446962/nationalism-trump-national-review-debates