In the People's Interest

Trump’s policies threaten our place in the world


Patriotism is defined as love of and loyalty to one’s country. Sometimes it is pitted against globalism, which transcends boundaries. But this is a false dichotomy. Trump’s opposition to patriotism is jingoism, a boastful, so-called superiority and an aggressive, warlike foreign policy.
But is Trump truly patriotic? Or is he just a jingoist and his words merely trumpery? Is jingoism the direction he’s driving the country? Because of his pique at being upstaged in his slow response to the coronavirus pandemic, he has turned his ire towards the World Health Organization, withdrawing us from its Congress of 195 nations. Does that make us superior? No, instead we lose any international advantages previous Presidents have worked for. We become a bit player. Trump cedes to others our position as a world leader, one we have maintained since World War II.
Many of his withdrawals further diminish our standing: the Paris Agreement; the UN Human Rights Council; UNESCO; the UN Arms Trade Treaty; the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and now the Open Skies Treaty (Russia); the Iran Nuclear Deal; the Trans-Pacific Partnership; and more. He has questioned the value of NATO, an alliance that, following the devastation of World
War II, has helped prevent warfare in Western Europe. He has threatened to pull out of the World Trade Organization. He reminds me of “a poor player/ That struts and frets his hour upon the stage” (Macbeth, Act V, scene vi), one who hides his moral culpabilities behind his jingoism.
Yet it is only with globalism that we stand front and center on the world’s stage. Globalism affirms our international leadership and patriotic love of country for all the world to see. Withdrawing from our alliances, i.e., isolationism in the age of Trump, endangers our influence and threatens our prestige among nations.
Jack Kligerman

Bozeman Daily Chronicle Letter to the Editor 6/14/20

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