Friday, June 2, 2017

America First?

 "They say that patriotism is the last refuge 
To which a scoundrel clings 
Steal a little and they throw you in jail 
Steal a lot and they make you king 
There’s only one step down from here, baby 
It’s called the land of permanent bliss" *

Trump ran on several promises, some concrete, measurable. A wall, that is never going to be built. A travel ban that will never happen. But, campaign promises are meant to be ignored, and nobody really believes them. Some of his promises were more abstract, dreamy, ethereal. Make America Great Again, it depends on how you define greatness, and the general state of the nation. Maybe you could think the country was already pretty great. Had, in fact, never lost its greatness, all perspective, all relative. And my favorite, America First. Nobody could argue the point. Marketing genius, two words, all wrapped up in red, white and blue bunting, you could carry it around town without a cart. Toss it out to crowds, shower it down on halls filled with screaming fans.

Of course, once he was elected he backed out of the Trans Pacific Partnership. Handing the keys to Asia to China without so much as a backward glance. Beijing had to marvel at their good fortune. Not only was he not starting a "currency manipulator" fuss (another campaign promise) he was in fact putting China first, to the dismay of allies and trading partners around the world.

Next, he turned his acidic attention to Europe, and basically told the world that Russia had every right to be in the Ukraine, and he wasn't all that keen on assisting anybody else who didn't ante up. Russia had to laugh all the way to Kiev. All of the sudden Russia was first, at least in Eastern Europe. 

A victory tour of NATO followed. Where allies and European leaders witnessed Trump acting like a caricature of the rude American.  Blustering, pushing and griping his way through allies and everybody else who stood between him and the camera. And then he came home, and proved it was not an act. Walking away from what is arguably the most important international agreement since the Geneva Convention. Because he didn't think Americans could compete. In effect pushing Germany and France into the role of leadership.  

I have to wonder when is he going to put America first anywhere? He doesn't think we can protect our country and preserve our freedoms. He is certain the American worker can not compete with the industry of the other countries. He certainly has no respect for the hard work that went into preserving the peace for the last 70 years. How little respect can one man have for a country and still be elected?

*Sweetheart Like by Bob Dylan