Trump embraces America First, gives the republic a chance to survive and its foes apoplexy

Trump’s 27 April 2016 speech on foreign policy is not perfect; indeed, parts of it merit strong criticism. But Trump has now said to the American people what no one, save Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul, has been willing to say since 1945. That is, the U.S. government exists for only two reasons: (a) to pursue and defend the republic’s genuine national security interests and to wage war only as a last resort, and then slay without mercy those who dared attack them, and (b) to protect and advance the well-being, jobs, liberties, unity, and prosperity of American citizens. In short, Trump seems to believe — as did the Founders — that if the U.S. national government does not make the furtherance of America’s interests its first and absolute priority, it has, to paraphrase Mr. Jefferson, no possible reason to exist, and its citizens, in turn, have every possible justification, and the unavoidable moral and legal responsibility to themselves and their posterity, to ruthlessly destroy it and replace it with one that can be relied on to always act only on their behalf and in their interests.

Now, we can all sit back and calmly listen to the howling condescension, rabid charges of racism and xenophobia, and loud blubbering about “abandoning America’s democratic values” that will be directed at Trump by the Neoconservatives, the internationalists, the media, the Israel Firsters, the Saudi and other Arab tyrants, the effete and freeloading Europeans, the theory-palsied Ivy Leaguers, the felons and felons-to-be, like Mr. and Mrs. Clinton, and the endless procession of thieves and murderers who masquerade as African and other Third World presidents and prime ministers.

As Trump faces the storm being brewed by these dregs of America and the world, I hope he feels no obligation to respond to the violent and denigrating attacks of his critics. The main obligation Trump now has is the quite onerous one he voluntarily assumed. That is, to never stop talking to his fellow citizens about his determination to prove that the absolute responsibility of their national government is to their well-being and the republic’s survival, peace, and prosperity, and that the welfare, political systems, religions, wars, civil rights, sexual inclinations, attitudes toward women, defense, and survival of foreign states and peoples are none of America’s concern and will never elicit its intervention.

Trump obliquely quoted John Quincy Adams in his speech, but should have quoted him directly and at bit of length. On 4 July 1821, Adams said, in the same speech that Trump drew from, that those who challenge or damn the idea of what is now known as “America First” should always remember that

America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundations of government. America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. … Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

This is the true meaning of “America First”, and it seems to be the meaning with which Mr. Trump intends to imbue the content of his foreign policy. I, for one, am eager for him succeed in this republic-preserving task. He will do so, however, only if he reeducates Americans about what and why the Founders intended the substance of U.S. foreign policy to be, and how well that policy of non-interventionism and neutrality served American interests for nearly a century and a half.

Mr. Trump, then, has a splendid if daunting opportunity to kindle the just barely burning flame of non-intervention and neutrality into a steady fire that will liberate America from its status as the world’s doormat; Americans from paying for the wars of others with their taxes and children’s lives; and the current citizenry and its posterity from the unnecessary interventionist wars that have made the office of the U.S. president into the home of spendthrift and civil liberty-negating tyrants.

Finally, God bless you, Mr. Buchanan and Dr. Paul, for making sure Mr. Trump had this opportunity, and God rest you, Colonel Lindbergh, for manfully opposing, at devastating personal cost, the same kinds of blackguard interventionists who are now attacking Mr. Trump’s foreign-policy stance.

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9 Responses to Trump embraces America First, gives the republic a chance to survive and its foes apoplexy

  1. KHarbaugh says:

    Patrick Buchanan was without doubt the real deal: he truly believed what he said both verbally and in his many books, such as A Republic Not An Empire.
    My impression of Trump is that he is a mere salesman, whose goal is to make the sale, nothing more or longer-lasting.
    He is not committed to the ideas he expresses and the goals he holds up.
    His claims about what he will accomplish if he is elected don't pass the laugh test.
    Exhibit A: His claim that if elected, there will be a wall protecting the U.S. from Mexico which the Mexicans will pay for.
    And on the foreign policy front, it seems to me that his speech put him squarely in the Israel-First camp (presumably influenced by his son-in-law).
    Not the change that is so badly needed.
    Or did I miss something?

  2. David says:

    I too don’t trust Trump. I am thrilled at his speeches emphasizing a prudent, sober, noninterventionist foreign policy–which bring the issue into public discourse. But I doubt he, if elected, will not bow to the wishes of the Israel sycophants and other traitorous voices.

  3. jeffneu2006 says:

    I know you love Dr. Paul but you should ask him why he writes article after article ripping Trump as some idiot who doesn't understand the world, and is essentially on par with Hillary Clinton. Perhaps it may be because of his bitterness that his national political career reached its height during his famous exchange with Rudy Giuliani? Who now just happens to be a Trump supporter. To paraphrase Ann Coulter: I don't care where you stand on issues as long as you eventually arrive at the right issue in the end. Paul seems to be unwilling to be of any help today.

    • Liberty says:

      Paul is reminding us why principles are important. George Bush initially ran on stopping nation building. However, that changed very quickly.
      There is a difference between doing something that seems right at the time vs doing something because you must. We always knew where Dr. Paul stood as his positions were always from principle. You could be confident no matter what he wouldn't change his mind as for him it is what he must do, it is what the constitution says he must do.
      With Trump, the concern is without principle, his position may shift without notice. I see that as a very valid concern. I applaud him when he is right, but fear that those positions may be short lived.

      • Mike Scheuer says:

        Thank you for writing. I could not agree more. Dr. Paul always was and still is a rock on the issues of neutrality and non-intervention. I also agree that Trump is an apparent rock that could turn out to be a pile of sand. For me, though, there was no other choice in terms of trying to preserve the republic. His opponents for the nomination were all ardent interventionists, save for the younger Dr. Paul, and I could not discern his true position on the foreign policy-related issues. As I have said here before, I could be dead wrong about Trump and soon look more like gullible dumb ass than anything else. That said, Trump sounds like he respects America, has kindled support from working and adult Americans who know they have long been swindled by both parties, has identified the policies that are killing the republic — intervention, debt, free trade, immigration, and lawlessness — and has spoken as if personally cares about his posterity, both in terms of his own family and all Americans. That\’s enough for me to stand by him as long as he stands by what he says he believes and then acts on those believes and promises if elected. MFS

  4. Thane Eichenauer says:

    If there is something to critique about Donald Trump's positions why shouldn't Ron Paul offer a comment? Do you have an example article that you feel unfairly is critical of Donald Trump?

    • Mike Scheuer says:

      Thank you for writing. There is no reason not to critique Trump, and I have heard Dr. Paul do so on multiple occasions and his criticisms always merit consideration. I did not find anything at all unfair in Dr. Paul\’s criticisms. He and Trump are adults, come from quite different political schools, and that they disagree on many issues should surprise no one. Trump, like myself and most anyone else, would be a fool not to listen and think about what Dr. Paul says. Still, Dr. Paul is a by-the-book Libertarian and the country is, sadly, not ready to give the presidency to a Libertarian, not least because the Republican Party did everything they could to destroy Dr. Paul with everything from defaming comments, false accusations, rigging the 2012 nominating convention, and unleashing the Israel-First lobby against him. The unfairness toward and lies about Trump come from both political parties, their respective media acolytes, and the domestic and foreign crooks who drain taxpayers money because they have corrupted the Congress. Happily, criticisms from these entities seem to make Trump more popular. MFS

  5. jeffneu2006 says:

    I cant help but think Trump or someone in his campaign has been reading you extensively For example you recently wrote about NATO and a few days later he addressed a similar take on NATO, and also Trumps continuous use of 'America First'. I think you'd make a great speech writer for Trump.

  6. Andzhelo says:

    Well let's be honest Donald Trump is the only nationalist who is ruining, hence a vote against trump could be a vote against nationalism which would end the neocons and show that the internationalist are spiritual bankrupt. Pat Buchanan is speaking about this but the media ins't listing and professor Scheuer, ( Ron Paul)
    Hey Mike what's your thoughts and the history of american interventionism since 1916-2016 since both were presidential elections about foreign policy? Good to see you on the john Fredrick's show!

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