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1/24/17

USA: It was always 'America First,' President Trump. What's new?

As if it has ever been anything but America First!

Either President Trump lacks the intelligence and the education needed to appreciate the dynamics of the modern world or he has cynical contempt for the intelligence and education of his voters.

In either case, the inaugural address of America’s 45th president trumpeted an obtuse self-interest, whose only moral compass is the conviction that might is right, a self-interest so near-sighted as to be self-defeating, one that panders to ill-informed prejudice at home and promises to cede more elbow room to rising powers hitherto hemmed in by overarching American presence. Hide that smirk, President Xi!

Politicians who come to power feeding and feeding off a majority’s imagined sense of victimhood have to genuflect, once in a while, to the bogey they rode but would, if they have sense, concentrate their energiesBSE 9.03 %, having assumed power, on building up an alternative, real agenda — say, development .

Some do not.

Hitler chose to persist with the Jews, pursuing their extermination to the Holocaust and associated politics by other means across the globe. Trump told Americans they were the victims of elite selfishness and grandiose altruism that saw America sacrifice its own security and prosperity for the benefit of others.

His inaugural speech promises to reverse that selfishness and altruism, to bring back to America jobs, prosperity, greatness, and, implicitly, a way of life in which men were men, brought home the bacon for the wife to cook, cheerfully looking up recipes from Good Housekeeping and other such trusted guides of the homemaker.

Lying is not a term that should be used to describe the exalted office Trump occupies. So, let us say Trump’s commitment to liberty extends to snapping the the restraining bonds of truth and mere facts.

The reality is that American policy has always put, surprise, America first

True, America funded the Marshall plan, to rebuild Europe. But that, too, furthered American prosperity and security. American entrepreneurs thrived, American factories hummed and gave Baby Boomers their day jobs as America supplied the wherewithal for rebuilding a bombed out Europe.

European nations rebuilt themselves as loyal members of the anti-Soviet alliance led by the US. Keeping the communist menace at bay was not just a virtue in itself but also a handy excuse for toppling the liberal democratic government of Iran, supporting the authoritarian governments in Arab lands, including in Israel, and imposing American hegemony over the most plentiful source of oil of those times.

True, China runs up a huge trade surplus with the US. But the bulk of the value added in the production of iPhones shipped from China to the US accrues to Apple and its investors.
  
His inaugural speech promises to reverse that selfishness and altruism, to bring back to America jobs, prosperity, greatness, and, implicitly, a way of life in which men were men, brought home the bacon for the wife to cook, cheerfully looking up recipes from Good Housekeeping and other such trusted guides of the homemaker.

Lying is not a term that should be used to describe the exalted office Trump occupies. So, let us say Trump’s commitment to liberty extends to snapping the restr ..
America championed free trade, not because it would kill American jobs but because it would give American firms the run of foreign markets. At a later stage of globalisation, the same free trade rubric allowed big American banks and other financial firms, and their cousins from Europe, to gain hegemony over global finance.

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