America First

by Brad Nelson1/27/17

There’s some question arising whether Trump’s “America First” is a proper concern for national interest or whether it harkens back to Lindberg’s “America First” which was pro-Hitler in practice.

Jonah Goldberg has an article on the subject that is worth a read for background material. Michael Barone has a thoughtful one as well in which he makes the observation:

In an earlier passage in his speech, Trump made clear what he had in mind. “At the center of this movement” — which brought him to the presidency — “is a crucial conviction, that a nation exists to serve its citizens.” Not people in other countries, not foreigners who are visitors or legal residents or would like to live here someday. At many points in American history, that statement would have been unremarkable. Not so today. As scholar Walter Russell Mead writes in Foreign Affairs, “many Americans with cosmopolitan sympathies see their main ethical imperative as working for the betterment of humanity in general.”

. . . In response, many of those countrymen, in Mead’s words, see “the cosmopolitan elite as near treasonous — people who think it is morally questionable to put their own country, and its citizens, first.” Trump, as he took care to make clear, is speaking for them. For cosmopolitan elites, any form of nationalism is akin to Nazism.

My opinion:

Few people today who matter likely remember previous connotations of “America First.” And this is for better or for worse (we probably should not forget our history). But if the notion rankles some people it’s not because of “nationalism,” per se (for they love inter-nationalism…a bigger state, but still a state). It’s because your typical libtard has come to believe two things, which are directly connected:

1) He thinks of himself as a “citizen of the world.”

2) America, as a state, should be politely (perhaps even ignominiously) dissolved because of its past crimes against humanity.

This is an entirely different (and destructive) view compared to normal views of interests and hierarchies (including international interests, which are legitimate and do exist). Let’s say you or your son are playing for a baseball team. When trying out for the team, you certainly put your interests first. Once on the team, your interests do not dissolve but become a subset of a greater interest, which is that of the team.

Libtards, corrupted and despoiled by indoctrinated guilt and self-hate, have foolishly transcended this. They are now akin to the baseball player on a team who wishes for his opponents to win because, gosh, his own team has such a history of success (no doubt built upon cheating or unfair advantages) that now he considers himself “a baseball player of the league.” For him, the Black Sox scandal would be a badge of honor…as long as the game was being thrown so someone else can win.

No one knows exactly what nature Trump’s “America First” will take. We have no idea whether this will be at the expense of America’s interest in the world which has always been to foster freedom, to (in the words of Kennedy) “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

It is not at all clear the Trump and his supporters view the traditional Kennedy view of self-interest as some kind of economic treason. (Krauthammer has more on this subject.) We don’t know if Trump has the opposite view of the “internationalists” with the same faults…in this case by harming America’s interests by defining them too narrowly.

But nuanced thought is out these days. And my guess is the generally wasteful wars in the Middle East, along with the invasion of law-breaking illegal aliens, has many in fly-over country more than willing to try out Trump’s swinging of the pendulum in the other direction, even if too far. We shall see.


Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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9 Responses to America First

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    The barking over “America First” (which would have been more reasonable had someone used the slogan in 1948 rather than 2016) reminds me of an incident in the 1998 Senate race in Kentucky. Jim Bunning ran an ad of his opponent speaking with wild gesticulations at the Funny Farm event (a Kentucky tradition). He used some classical German music, which seemed suitable — but was also music used in the Nazi propaganda movie Triumph of the Will (the movie that got Leni Riefenstahl black-listed — an act never criticized by liberals angry over the treatment of Stalinists in Hollywood). So naturally there was a lot of barking, even though hardly anyone would have realized this (not even me, and I’ve actually seen the movie for one of my history courses at Purdue).

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      My older brother thinks Trump is a little unbalanced. There’s no doubt that he is, unless it’s sort of an act, the true essence of “the art of the deal” which is to show a front of belligerence, trying to thus gain “hand” in any battle, and then letting the speaking-softly follow. But it has been apparently accurately reported from within the White House that his impulse-control (regarding the battle over inauguration attendance) is still a problem. It will always be a problem.

      Clearly this is a man who is not entirely crazy for his meeting with the British PM went well while there is much gnashing of teeth over the way he bitch-slapped the Mexican president. But in the case of Mexico, they need us more than we need them. And they have acted like a parasite state in regards to illegal aliens.

      This is what we signed up for so I’m not going to hyper-ventilate every time Trump bitch-slaps someone. And he has carried through on some of his promises including barring travel from some of the dicier regions of the Middle East. (I’m certainly not up-to-date on the exact particulars.)

      The stock market is up and over the magical 20,000 barrier. Confidence is high (which worries the hell out of me). But surely business was suppressed under our America-hating, business-hating Agitator-in-Chief. And with his malevolent presence now gone from the oval office, one could call the present state of affairs a normal rebound to the way things should have always been. But bubbles do worry me.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        But bubbles do worry me.

        What worries me is how they mitigate the drop in the economy once they start raising interest rates. For much of the 2000’s, the world has been living in a low-interest dream. This has helped the finance industry most, and once interest rates go up, I think it will hurt them badly. But will governments bail out the industry once again?

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Mr. Kung and I often spoke of the metric of “how things looked” during the campaign. “How things look” can, of course, be a useful way to deceive people.

    But this is a good metric for Trump: President Trump Makes Surprise Trip to Receive Navy SEAL Killed in Yemen. Trump jumped on Marine One at 3:00 pm yesterday and honorably received the remains of the first combat fatality under this administration.

    Photo ops can just be photo ops. But they can also be a way to communicate to a culture what is important. Contrast that with our evil, traitorous, anti-America former president. I can respect a man who does what Trump did. I have no respect for the kind of emasculated wimp who can’t even be bothered to wear an American flag on his lapel. Good riddance to the Ivy League anti-American corrosive evil wimps such as Obama. As one poster said, “Every day by contrast, he makes Barack Obama look like an unpatriotic fool.” Another said, “The putter in his golf bag had more of a spine.”

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    By the way. Boycott ESPN and everything it touches. They have gone crazy.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Here is another example of why government must be reined in and shrunk. These bureaucrats have been putting themselves and illegal aliens first to the tune of billions in fraud each year.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/09/groups-want-trump-to-close-loophole-allowing-illegal-immigrants-to-abuse-tax-credits.html

    This is how big government works.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Looks like Sweden is enjoying the “diversity” they have invited to invade their country.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/727574/Sweden-chaos-Police-pushed-breaking-point-unprecedented-violence-crime

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This is apparently the sort of thing Trump was talking about with his “last night in Sweden”. He never said it was a terrorist attack, contrary to what the newsliars claimed. (It’s so much easier for them to knock down straw men rather than engage the actual argument.)

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Reality clashes with multicultural fantasies.

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