By Stanford Erickson
Stanford Erickson is a former longtime journalist who now writes books about U.S. presidents. He lives in Vero Beach, Fl.
MANY OF MY FAR-RIGHT FRIENDS ARE SURPRISED AND DISCONCERTED BY THE FEROCIOUS OPPOSITION TO PRESIDENT TRUMP SO EARLY IN HIS ADMINISTRATION BY MANY DEMOCRATS AND, YES, BY MANY IN THE MEDIA.
They should not be. In his inaugural address, Trump gave a clarion call to fellow Americans and the rest of the world: the Trump Doctrine.
“We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital and every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be only America first, America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”
His administration, he went on to say, will create a millennium in which “America First” will be it’s primary approach to governance. Bridges and tunnels will be built in America, infrastructure rebuilt in America, airports modernized, factories rebuilt. Also, no longer will we export and impose our culture on others, rather ours will be a beacon of light in a globe of darkness for others to imitate if they choose.
Not unlike Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address, Trump pronounced that the nation would again be turned over to the people, by the people and for the people. Also, similar to Lincoln, Trump said this new birth of freedom “will be protected by God.”
Those upset with the Trump Doctrine are more insightful than many who voted for Trump. They rightly understand that he is prepared to take our nation from one that, after World War II, has been economically and militarily subordinate to the well-being of other nations, to one that will restrengthen our own nation economically and militarily.
The Trump Doctrine is based on the premise that only when our nation is again strong enough will it be able to effectively continue leadership among other independent nations.
When I used to cover Washington D.C. as a reporter and editor, the joke among journalists was that the U.S. State Department had no U.S. desk. The State Department’s primary task was to take care of the interests of other nations. Our multinational trade agreements generally were developed for that purpose.
A major purpose of former President Bill Clinton’s support for NAFTA was to prevent further incursion into the Mexican economy by other nations, at that time primarily Japan, and grow the Mexican economy so its citizens would stay home. I remember interviewing then-Mexican President Carlos Salinas in the late 1980s and he told me, perhaps humorously, that if he did not get what he wanted from the U.S., he would send one million Mexicans over our borders.
Trump and his advisers know that some 60 years of economic integration of our economy with the rest of the world can only be slowed down and tailored to improve the lot of our own salaried workers. He believes in the need to protect our manufacturing basis as much as Japan, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany protect their farmers from U.S. agricultural products. But even more troubling for many Democrats and some in the media is Trump’s statement in his inaugural address that he is returning the nation to the people under the “protection of God.”
Lincoln was an agnostic most of his life until he became President. Slowly he became a believer because it became apparent to him that only providence could have made him president. His second inaugural address, highlighted in his Memorial in Washington, D.C., clearly indicates how spiritual he had become. His Gettysburg Address also underscores that.