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I finally understand ‘America First’ and it’s not so bad

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I have always struggled with President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy. Its historical links to Charles Lindbergh and anti-Semitism bothered me. A year ago, then-candidate Trump’s inability to elucidate a clear set of goals frightened me. And as president, Trump’s foreign policy gaffes and flat-out alienation of some foreign leaders is quite troubling.

In his Warsaw speech, I think we’ve finally seen the outlines of what “America First” really means, and to me, it’s not so bad.

To explain, I have to go back into history, and to the roots of our current Western globalist presuppositions.

Four fantasies

On January 6, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt stood before Congress and delivered a speech that reverberates in Washington, D.C., and throughout the country, today. It was called the “Four Freedoms” speech, and in it, FDR outlined “four essential human freedoms.”

They were freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. In a speech, these concepts sound absolutely wonderful. In practice, they are impossible to achieve. That’s because of the most troubling aspect of FDR’s speech: These freedoms were not for America—they were for the whole world.

The first three freedoms were postfaced with the words “—everywhere in the world.” The freedom from fear was defined thusly: “translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.”

These “Four Freedoms” were really four globalist fantasies. Even Roosevelt know they were nothing more than rhetoric. He used them in a speech asking Congress for money to pay for armaments!

In FDR’s speech, patriotism was defined as an act of sacrifice to these world principles. Roosevelt called for more defense dollars, raised from taxes instead of war bonds. “If the Congress maintains these principles the voters, putting patriotism ahead pocketbooks, will give you their applause.”

The world has been applauding ever since. Congress, and the military, addicted to tax dollars, has used the “four freedoms” to fight five wars since World War II. America has become the human rights super-hero of the world, and has been held accountable when we fail to live up to the super-hero status.

President Barack Obama was the pinnacle and embodiment of FDR’s globalist fantasies. Obama bought every word of FDR’s vision. “The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society,” Roosevelt said.

It’s impossible.

The great, unsolvable problem of the “Four Freedoms” is that, in scope, and in the human experience, they cannot be fulfilled. In fact, the attempt to fulfill them will result in one or more of those freedoms being consumed by the others. As an example, the freedom from fear where nations are disarmed would make impossible the protection of the freedom of speech and freedom to worship. Standing against evil is a business that requires arms and force.

Roosevelt knew that once the Nazis were defeated, another great evil or threat would rise up. The UN, as wonderful an idea it was for nations to solve their differences without war, was pie-in-the-sky. Within 4 years, the UN flag would fly over hundreds of thousands of American soldiers fighting Communist Chinese. So much for “freedom from fear.”

But the West ate up the “Four Freedoms” and used it as the basis of European pluralistic society. Meanwhile, America footed the bill for 46 years of standing up to the Soviet Union. In Germany, where paying taxes is considered the highest form of patriotic duty, they still yearn for Roosevelt’s vision. They can’t stand our current president.

America First

Thursday, in Poland, citizens heard and understood a vision that marks a break from FDR and Obama. President Trump illustrated the value of American leadership in a way not seen since Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate.

After Trump’s speech, I believe I understand “America First” as Trump intended it to be understood. It’s an undoing of FDR’s four fantasies, and a restoration of America’s freedoms and our leadership among nations that value those freedoms (not try to sell them like snake-oil).

You see, the U.S. Constitution—and the Declaration of Independence that preceded it—never promised Americans FDR’s “Four Freedoms.” The Constitution barred our government from interfering with free speech and freedom of religion. It never promised that other governments would do the same.

Our founders never promised a freedom from want or fear. Those things are part of being human. Charity and comfort cease to be what they are when the recipients of those virtues claim ownership of the fruit and demand the tree. Instead of war bonds purchased by individuals as a patriotic act of sacrifice, a tax is a burden on all.

The world cannot be sold on buying a Coke and singing in harmony. Religious freedom must be defended. Freedom of expression must be defended. Most nations–even in the West–don’t offer those freedoms to the degree America does. The West has been buying FDR’s four fantasies for so long that they believe “just a little more time” and we will see it happen.

Then Brexit. Then radical Islamic terror. Then Russia destabilizing Ukraine and invading Crimea. Then Syria, then Iran, then North Korea–shall I go on?

I believe Trump sees “America First,” at least the way I see it, is to mean that we will run our country in the way that allows America to help others, but not to guarantee their own freedoms. Those freedoms are for their own citizens to purchase, not demand. The Poles who heard Trump’s speech understood this, having paid a high cost.

“Our citizens did not win freedom together, did not survive horrors together, did not face down evil together, “ Trump said, “only to lose our freedom to a lack of pride and confidence in our values.”

Our freedom. Our values. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness—on these we stand. Unfortunately, speeches don’t govern, or tweet, or make deals with tyrants. But in principle, I support Trump in what he’s finally managed to elucidate to America and to the world.

If Trump’s “America First” succeeds, FDR’s four globalist fantasies may finally cease to ring. And that’s not such a bad thing after all.

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1 Comment

  1. Thomas Cosgrove

    July 7, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Stop sending me so many emails. You are overwhelming me.

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Democrats

16 states hit 9th Circuit to sue President Trump, as expected

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16 states hit 9th Circuit to sue President Trump as expected

It was one of the most replayed parts of President Trump’s announcement regarding his national emergency declaration last Friday – a sing-song moment as the President predicted the declaration would be made, Democrats would sue, they’d go through the 9th circuit, and their decision will hopefully be overturned by the Supreme Court. So far, he’s been absolutely correct as 16 states have filed against the declaration.

New York, California, 14 other states sue Trump in Ninth Circuit over emergency declaration

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/new-york-california-sue-trump-in-ninth-circuit-over-emergency-declarationThe attorneys general of California, New York, and 14 other states on Monday filed a lawsuit in the Ninth Circuit against the White House’s recent national emergency declaration over border security, claiming President Trump has “veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making.”

President Trump sarcastically had predicted the lawsuit last week. He’s slammed the Ninth Circuit multiple times as “disgraceful” and politically biased.

My Take

This is their right, and while it may annoy those who support building the border wall, it would be a mistake to condemn these states for trying to stop it. This is part of the way our nation is intended to operate. If one or more states feel the need to challenge the authority of Washington DC, they should be able to make their case before the courts. If the courts make decisions based on the Constitution, then the end result will be the accurate and righteous one.

That’s how this was all intended.

I’m not suggesting the 9th Circuit is going to treat this fairly, nor am I confident the Supreme Court will make its decision solely on the Constitution, but until things are changed, this is what we’ve got. Attempts to subvert any component of this system from the President’s right to declare the emergency to the states’ rights to challenge it to the courts’ responsibility to make a ruling about it all would be to denounce the foundation upon which this nation was built.

There was a way this could have been avoided. Had the President and the GOP decided to have the debate over the wall while they had power over the House, Senate, and White House, they would have been in better position to get the wall going by now. Unfortunately, they an improper political calculation to hold off on the wall debate until after the midterm elections, and now it’s costing the American citizens. It costs us money to sit here through the shutdown and the legal battle over the national emergency declaration. It’s costing us time; the wall should be much further along by now. It may end up costing us the wall altogether if they aren’t able to make a strong case before the Supreme Court.

We are in the midst of a crisis at the border, one that has been going on for decades. Let’s not exacerbate the crisis by adding a Constitutional crisis on top. This needs to play all the way out.

 


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Media

Liz Wheeler on the most disgusting part of the Jussie Smollett scandal

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Liz Wheeler on the most disgusting part of the Jussie Smollett scandal

There are plenty of things about the Jussie Smollett scandal that should disgust us. The instant reaction by celebrities, politicians, and the media is right there at the top, especially when we consider how many are now saying, “let’s wait for the facts.” The notion that a successful gay black man thought it appropriate to make himself seem like a victim is also up there.

As One America News Network’s Liz Wheeler points out, we should also be disgusted that Smollett chose this victim status over being a strong leader and role model for less privileged black and gay people who could have looked up to him for his strength instead of now being scornful of his weakness.

What does that say about America when the left tries so hard to build the narrative that everything is wrong, they’re unwilling to recognize the real problems that are plaguing America. Why? Because they’re the biggest part of the problem.

 


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Democrats

Leftist media pushes back on Green New Deal criticism

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Leftist media pushes back on Green New Deal criticism

It’s been an up-and-down couple of weeks for proponents of the Green New Deal. Before details were released, it was already being heralded as the greatest thing since President Obama’s election. Then, the details came out and even many on the left were taken aback by the ambitious and incoherent provisions of the deal as detailed in a FAQ section on Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s government web page.

But that was just a draft. They took it down. At least that was the story.

Unfortunately for proponents, they were caught a little flat-footed as questions started pouring in about, well, all of it. Even if we dismiss the less-draconian concepts such as eliminating air travel or the less-sane ideas like taking care of those who are unwilling to work, the left is still stuck with a proposal that the most frugal estimates put at costing around $7 trillion while other’s consider the decade-long cost to be in the HUNDREDS of trillions of dollars.

This is, of course, ludicrous. There’s not enough money in the entire world to pay for the proposal if its cost is somewhere between the lowest and highest estimates, but that hasn’t stopped leftist media from regrouping. Now that the dust has settled a little bit, they’re doing everything they can to recommit to this concept. It’s not that they suddenly believe in this fairy tale. It’s that they don’t want this to be the issue Republicans attack in the 2020 elections.

One article in particular that I read from CNN (yes, sometimes I need to see what the other side is thinking) really struck me for its honesty about the situation. Though I stopped reading it in paragraph two when it referred to “non-partisan” PolitiFact, I went back to it just now to digest the awfulness fully (see the sacrifices I make for our readers!).

To be clear, much of what this article says is correct. It asserts the GOP will take the tenets of the Green New Deal and use it to scare voters into thinking it’s even worse than Obamacare. From 2010 through 2016, Republicans attacked Obamacare incessantly and it worked, giving them the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and the White House in 2016. Unfortunately, they stopped there and didn’t actually go after Obamacare with the same fervor they held in their campaign rhetoric and now the Democrats have turned the issue on its head.

But here’s the thing. Obamacare may have been bad, but the Green New Deal truly is worse. It’s not even close. Even if we take at face value the notion that the Green New Deal is simply an ambitious framework around which real legislation can be forged, we have to look at the core issues entailed in order to see the true damage it can do. This is a socialist document. It’s a call for the same levels of insanity that drive the Medicare-for-All movement. Within its frivolous attempts to change perceptions of air travel, cows, and job creation is a deep-rooted desire to convert Americans to needing more government.

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The Green New Deal represents the far-left’s desire to make more American dependent on government. At the same time, it aims to increase the levels of dependency for those who are already in need of assistance. It wants Democrats to latch their wagons on the notion that if we become a militantly environmentalist nation, that will serve the dual purpose of giving us fulfillment while saving the planet.

I believe most leftist journalists understand this, but they see in the ridiculous framework a path through which Republicans can be defeated wholesale in 2020 as long as the left can control the narrative surrounding the Green New Deal. They fear another Obamacare counterinsurgency that would wipe out the anti-Trump gains they made in 2018, so they’ve adopted a stance that the Green New Deal isn’t as bad as Fox News says it is. Meanwhile, they’re doing everything they can to say, “look over here and not at the Green New Deal.”

The politics behind what the Green New Deal represents is more in play than the tenets of the proposal itself, at least in the eyes of leftist media. It’s not that they want to promote the concept. They simply don’t want the concept to derail their party in the next election.

 


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