Trump’s Threat To American Greatness
The United State’s global leadership in the post-World War II era has resulted in a more prosperous and peaceful world, while also increasing the welfare of its citizens. There is much to critique, of course, in the history of American foreign policy. Our intentions have not always been noble and the gains not evenly distributed. Overall, however, America’s role has been beneficial and remains indispensable to ensuring international stability.
The positions advocated by Donald Trump on foreign policy, trade, and immigration constitute the greatest threat to this global order since the Soviet Union. He has promised to unilaterally withdraw from our treaty commitments, pullback all military troops stationed overseas, and fail to uphold our alliance obligations. Trump has declared that he will build literal walls to keep out foreigners and figurative walls to keep out goods and services produced abroad. The United State’s enemies and competitors have long sought to reduce America’s ability to project military and economic power. Trump has failed to explain what America will win by voluntarily reducing our international influence.
Donald Trump proclaims that these policies will make America great again. But this portrait of American greatness bears no resemblance to our past. In his farewell address, Ronald Reagan described his vision of America as “a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.” I cannot think of a starker contrast than Trump’s image for America.