Americans should be first and foremost for America and her interests. Belgians should be for Belgium and her interests. Canada should be for Canadians and her interests and so on and so on.
However, after a century of doing some serious heavy lifting to keep the world stable and safe for democracy, some “one-world” foreign leaders are questioning Donald Trump’s position that America’s president should put America first in terms of priorities.
On Wednesday, Trump stated that his foreign policy platform would entail a commitment to put American interests first and foremost and that European and Asian allies would be required to fend for themselves more unless they were prepared to offer more economic aid for U.S. defense infrastructure.
Predictably, some foreign leaders have taken issue with receiving a bill for a service that they always assumed would always be free.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier blasted Trump for his position and said,
“I can only hope that the election campaign in the USA does not lack the perception of reality.”
“The world’s security architecture has changed and it is no longer based on two pillars alone. It cannot be conducted unilaterally.”
Steinmeier further claimed that world security requires significant muscle and that can only come from powerful nations like the U.S. and Russia.
Of course, the news is likely jarring for those who routinely rely upon American might to facilitate the modern world. I, too, enjoyed it very much when my parents paid for my housing, food, clothing and various associated bills.
When it came time for me to assume the responsibility of self-sufficiency, it was unwelcomed but anything but unfair.
While some might assume Trump’s position is heartless, consider this: the U.S. provides the heavy funding for United Nations efforts. We fight costly wars on humanitarian grounds that provide no economic benefit to us and we substantially support developing nations with food and funding. We offer military might to allies as well.
Further, it is the U.S. military that fronts the cost for the security that keeps global commerce going. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if the U.S. was not positioned all around the globe keeping global shipping lanes safe. Our protection allows for China to sell and ship their goods. Our protection allows for Saudi Arabia to ship their oil. And what has been our thanks? Uneven trade balances with China and Japan and paying a premium for Saudi oil- the same goods that our costly protection allows to be shipped.
Now, with the U.S. $19 trillion in debt, Trump announces that it’s time to trim the fat and the freeloading rest of the world has a problem with that?
The United States of America has done more for the world than any other nation could ever hope to match or repay. That’s alright; we’re not looking for accolades. We’ll settle for a simple “thank you” and an effort to refrain from biting the hand that has fed the world.
*Please note: this article was written in English and not German, Japanese or Russian. You’re welcome.