Jul 222016

I didn’t watch a single minute of the Republican convention, which means I didn’t see or hear any of Donald Trump’s speech last night. I haven’t seen many excerpts or reactions today that surprise me.

However, I’ve seen more than one person up in arms about this:

Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo. As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America first, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect. The respect that we deserve.

The American people will come first once again. – Donald Trump, July 21, 2016

Boys and girls, that the President of the United States should think first of the welfare of the American people should not be a controversial notion. Of course, the United States should be a good world citizen, but we are best equipped to be such when we are strong.

There will always be a biggest kid on the block. Throughout recorded history, when it hasn’t been obvious which nation is that biggest kid, there has been widespread war. (If that thought makes you uncomfortable, or you doubt it, or both, go have a look.)

The most powerful nation is in the best position to propagate its values. And despite the shots on the chin the United States has taken over the past several decades, liberty still has its first, best opportunity to thrive here.

The “community of equals” world model, evidently favored by our esteemed president and the generation of tongue-clucking hand-wringers who’ve come of age during his administration, is woefully naive because it ignores human nature. There are several world citizens who are considerably more likely to ignore or discount opportunities for mutually beneficial agreements, and just take by force—whether land, blood, treasure, or all of the above.

American strength is one of the most effective mitigators of such. You don’t build strength to go to war; you build strength to avoid war.

Whatever else Mr. Trump has to say notwithstanding, he’s not wrong about American exceptionalism.

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 Posted by at 6:58 pm

  2 Responses to ““The American people will come first once again.” – Donald Trump”

  1. There can be a biggest kid in the block, we can be the biggest kid on the block, without being a bully.

    I, being I suppose one of the tongue-clucking hand-wringers, find that statement incredibly chilling. Because it’s impossible for me to read it without seeing it in context of Trump’s campaign rhetoric and the apocalyptic tone of that entire speech.

    And seen through that lens, this is what I took from it. Trump believes that America is in shambles, that America is not respected and he will MAKE the world respect us. He will put “American” people first.

    But based on his campaign, “American” people specifically don’t include refugees, Muslims, immigrants (certainly not those from Mexico). And based on the platform his party accepted, it doesn’t include LBGTQ folks. And given his noxious attitudes toward women and mocking attitude toward a disabled reporter…I doubt it includes those groups either. So what he really means is that he will make America great “again” for white males….which is why so many white supremacists are eager to climb in bed with him.

    I’ve never found trying to make people respect you to be effective. (Respect is earned not forced). Instead it reads as code for violence and bravado and going off half cocked.

    So I don’t hear a message of spreading liberty and freedom. I hear a message of violence, intolerance, and bigotry. And, not to be cliched, but historically a lot of harm has come from similar rhetoric (we were great, but now we aren’t, and it’s all THEIR fault…let’s take our country back). Think Hitler. Think Mussolini. He’s skating way too close to that edge for my comfort.

    • But is the biggest kid on the block going to be slimed as a bully no matter how it really acts? Yes, because there are other countries who want to be that biggest kid.

      You mention religious freedom, women, and LBGTQ folks. Should we talk about what it means to be a Christian in Saudi Arabia? To be a woman in Afghanistan? To be gay in any of the ten countries–total population over 410,000,000–where such may be punished by death? Should we discuss human rights in China?

      Should we compare any of the above to being any of these people in the United States?

      Yeah, Trump’s a jerk. I get it. And I agree. But the United States is bigger than he is. If freedom’s going to make it anywhere, it’s going to be here. I repeat from my post: “liberty still has its first, best opportunity to thrive here.” American interests are human interests.

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