“America First” would be a harmless phrase were it not loaded with dark undertones. It harks back to the America First Committee, a group advocating U.S. neutrality in World War II. Some members were Nazi sympathizers, while others simply wanted to keep America out of another bloody conflict in Europe. The attack on Pearl Harbor […]
On this Fourth of July, Americans live restlessly under a presidential administration hostile to the ideals embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Most Americans despise the president — a blustering, feckless lout who ignores those documents as he undermines freedom of the press and the free exercise of religion. He has appointed […]
The overwhelming majority of economists agree that prosperity requires countries to specialize in what they are good at producing, rather than trying to make and consume everything domestically. And the only way that specialization can work is if countries trade with one another and also allow a degree of capital and even labor mobility.
It is unclear whether Trump is bothered by the ugly history of the phrase. What is clear is that he is determined to make the words his own. He has used them to sell his promises to impose trade barriers, keep manufacturing jobs inside the U.S. and restrict illegal and legal immigration.
We are now on the verge of one of the greatest U-turns in the history of national policy and politics. It may well change the basic workings of our government and private institutions and the role of the United States in the world. The impact is likely to be profound. Since government is a national looking glass, Americans will see themselves reflected in their government in an altogether different way from the Obama years. Many will look at that reflection and insist, “That’s not who we are.” But to the world—and to many Americans—that is who Americans will be, unless we organize and resist.
Listening to Trump assume the leadership of the Republican Party, a degrading event compared to death by many Republicans, inevitably brought thoughts of that party’s founding president.