Donald Trump has long advocated for a different kind of foreign policy than what the previous four administrations largely pursued. The Trump agenda is characteristically one that places greater emphasis on the needs of America. Under the Trump doctrine, the merits of international relations are to be judged on the merits of American self-interest.
President Trump’s address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday was widely praised by his supporters as a powerful declaration of terms. As Fox News notes, Trump has vowed to put “America first,” and defend the country’s right to prioritize its rights and interests above the wants of other nations.
“America First” has been one of the chief slogans of the Trump movement. The phrase suggests that the government has, for too long, sought the well-being of foreign peoples at the expense of American citizens.
By championing “America First,” Trump calls for a referendum on international policies that have long placed the brunt of the burden on the US, whether in the form of money, military manpower, or receipt of migrants.
One of the overarching themes of Trump’s address was the idea of “sovereignty,” which posits that a nation has the right to seek what’s best for its own citizens without intrusion from foreign entities.
National sovereignty is diametrically opposed to globalism, which seeks to establish a single governing body over all countries. Under globalism, nations are not independent, and must submit their own needs to the whim of international decision-makers.
For Trump, sovereignty is key to the peaceful coexistence of the global community. “We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government,” he said.
“But we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation. This is the beautiful vision of this institution, and this is a foundation for cooperation and success.”
The President criticized what he considers an unfair burden on America. For Trump, the US has long given an inordinate proportion of resources to other nations without receiving enough in return. Trump asserted his duty to seek the well-being of Americans before that of any other country on earth–and did so in strong, clear language:
“The United States will forever be a great friend to the world, and especially to its allies. But we can no longer be taken advantage of, or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return. As long as I hold this office, I will defend America’s interests above all else.”
Trump vows to put America first. Do you agree with this?
Trump went on to say “America does more than speak for the values expressed in the United Nations Charter. Our citizens have paid the ultimate price to defend our freedom and the freedom of many nations represented in this great hall.” He declared that “America’s devotion is measured on the battlefields where our young men and women have fought and sacrificed alongside our allies.”
As covered by Daily Mail, Trump’s speech earned applause, particularly when he vowed to defend America from the “rogue” regimes of North Korea and Iran. World leaders witnessed the beginning of a new direction of American foreign policy–one in which the US is respected and leads its allies with strength.