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Making America Small Again: Trump’s ‘America First’

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NewsHubIn my “Amok” columns I have often used the term “American Filipino.” Grammar aside, it was more a recognition that the root word “America” should come first. And I applied the term equally to all who were here–immigrant or native born Filipinos in America. In that sense, it was a unifying term. It was also intended to pre-empt the tide of conservative, anti-immigrant, English only, America-centric sentiment that I sensed was growing in the country.
At the inauguration of Donald Trump, the 45 th president of the United States, that movement officially took over politics in America.
“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land,” said Trump. “From this moment, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”
Based on his very direct, campaign-oriented speech that could have been delivered at any of his 2016 rallies, it’s a simple message.
“We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength,” said Trump.
In other words, screw the world. You’re on your own.
“We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world—but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow.”
So get ready for American First.
And Philippines First. China First. Russia First.
Who’s ultimately first? Who knows? But don’t expect the U. S. to be the world leader, the world cop, the world enforcer.
There could be benefits to the racial strife that is on the rise in the U. S.
“At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice,” said Trump.
Maybe he should make sure that the ultra-conservative, nationalists and white supremacists he empowered get the message. There’s a greater sense of diversity, inclusion, even love in Trumpian patriotism. Supposedly.
So far many of his followers don’t get that message.
The bigger problem is where all this Trump Talk leaves the America’s standing in the world.
It appears that Trump’s vision is a Darwinian, selfish world. Cooperation limited. Worldview limited. It’s a strange populist, protectionist, isolationist view.
It’s a different vision that saw the U. S. colonize the Philippines at the turn of the 19 th century.
But even as that vision of American greatness has evolved through decades, the Trump message seemed very different from current notions. Apparently, Trump doesn’t want to be great in the way we have in many a generation.
Great again? Maybe like 18 th Century great? But as far as the 21 st Century? 22 nd? Trump seems to be willing to glow in twilight.
He’s saying, “World, you’re on your own. Big league.”
NATO? UN? Germany, Japan, South Korea, China, Russia? America is looking inward, going small, and taking care of itself.
And the Philippines? Do your thing Rod D. Dee, Trump doesn’t care. Congratulations, figure out your own problems, so says Trump.
Frankly, it’s a baffling vision from the man who says he wants to make America great again.
Trump seems to be espousing
just the opposite. Trump’s America is one of abdication, stepping down, giving up its role as leader. We’ll be your example, but it’s DIY, baby.
Trump 45? If he lives up to his world, it’s really America going backward.
As Obama goes on retreat to California, the hope of an inclusive America and of an America as lone super power leading the world goes with him.
Trump is making America small again.
Emil Guillermo is a veteran journalist and commentator who writes from Northern California.
Contact at http://www.twitter.com/emilamok

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