The word "semantic" means "related to the meaning of things". I understand, for example, the difference between syntax and semantics. But people also say "X is just semantics", "they're just arguing semantics", or things like this NYT article:
[Trump's] blood pumps red, white and blue, or so he assures us. In his dreams and decisions, he sees his country above all else. “The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponent,” he told Republicans in Cleveland on Thursday night, “is that our plan will put America first.”
But this lavishly professed love is a largely semantic affair. It’s fickle. It’s reckless. Under its guise, he’s apparently prepared to jettison values that really do make America great and alliances that really do keep America safer. His patriotism brims with grievances.
The rest of the article describes how Trump's patriotism is perhaps disingenuous, but I can't see any way it could be described as "largely semantic". Is there perhaps a separate, non-technical meaning of "semantic"/"semantics" when used like this?