Trump’s ‘America First’ Has Ugly Echoes From U.S. History
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivered his most comprehensive foreign policy speech to date in Washington, outlining a general vision for international relations that would reconfigure American responsibilities abroad to put “America first.”
Trump said during a speech organized by the National Interest magazine:
“My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else. That will be the foundation of every single decision that I will make. ‘America First’ will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.”
The speech included no dramatic new policy proposals that might generate headlines, such as his past calls to bar Muslims from entering the United States or to build a wall on the frontier with Mexico.
The real estate mogul said that a Trump administration would install a foreign policy vision that “replaces randomness with purpose, ideology with strategy, and chaos with peace.” He said that as president he would call for summits with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, and with Asian allies in the Pacific. Chief among his goals would be to update existing organizations to “confront shared problems, like terrorism and migration.”
Where he was specific, like rejecting the terms of last year’s nuclear deal with Iran, calling for more investment in missile defense in Europe and accusing the Obama administration of tepid support for Israel, he was firmly within the Republican mainstream.
Although Trump called for the United States to “shake the rust off of America’s foreign policy,” he delivered few specific proposals, instead focusing on outlining a broad framework the rests on demanding respect for the United States abroad.
It is extremely unfortunate that in his speech outlining his foreign policy goals, Donald Trump chose to brand his foreign policy with the noxious slogan “America First,” the name of the isolationist, defeatist, anti-Semitic national organization that urged the United States to appease Adolf Hitler.
At best the Trump campaign simply did not perform adequate research, which highlights how they are not prepared for presidential politics. At worst they are again appealing to white supremacists with another dog-whistle message.