“In many ways, this major foreign-policy speech, delivered in the Commons, was also a lament for an idea of America destined to become obsolete in the Trump era. That was evident in this line, which I saw as the killer moment of the entire speech:
“Many of the voters in last year’s presidential election cast their ballots, animated in part by a desire to shrug off the burden of world leadership.”
Freeland uttered this condemnation (and yes, that’s what it was) after articulating a long list of the ways that the U.S. had once acted as that world leader — as a nation Canada admired.
Political translation? Don’t pay attention to the slogan on those baseball caps. Trump is not “making America great again.” He’s making things worse.” excerpt from the article published at ipolitics, “A Foreign Policy Manifesto and a Finger in Donald Trump’s Eye, 6th June, 2017.
America has never achieved greatness, though as an experiment, it has aspired to it. The electoral college, that collection of votes required to win the Presidency, stands as a refutation of the democracy that generations of Americans have projected to the world; not all votes are equal and not all citizens are equal.
America, a beacon of republicanism, stands defiant against its own citizens’ hopes and aspirations as it tolerates a President who repudiates the role of the Supreme Court, separation of powers in the structure of government, and bullies his staff and the public to utter the words and phrases that he coerces them to say as he rationalises his version of ‘truth’ that has so little truth in it.
Trump has Narcissistic Personality Disorder and, quite probably, Attention Deficit Disorder. He took an oath on January 20th, at the beginning of his term in office, supposedly without believing in the Constitution that he “will to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” He doesn’t understand the Constitution and is unlikely to grasp it even if it was presented to him in ‘ten bullet points, with his name liberally sprinkled throughout the text.’
Every time I hear that slogan, it reminds me of America’s reluctance to enter the Second World War, preferring instead, to sell products to both sides in what was thought, erroneously as it happened, to be a European war. Americans joined the War following the attack on Pearl Harbour which gave President Roosevelt the Congressional support he needed to join the conflict in Europe.
By War’s end, Poland, the country first attacked by German forces, which brought European powers into conflict in the first place, was betrayed by Churchill, Roosevelt and the Allies in an effort to appease Stalin at the Yalta Conference, as that country was divided, yet again. It remains a cruel irony.
Professional. Retired. Canadian.