Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot couldn’t help but note that in all of the disaster movies or alien invasion flicks everyone bands together as a global society fighting a foe. But in President Donald Trump’s world of America First policies, Boot wondered how Trump would respond to the Alien invasion.
“What if instead, we all burrow into our bunkers in the hope that the flying saucers will zap our neighbors instead of us?” he asked, taking the metaphor to the “America First” solution. “That is our choice as we confront a nonhuman enemy that is not alien to Earth but certainly alien to our experience. The coronavirus pandemic can either bring us together or drive us apart. So far it’s doing the latter, largely because of a lack of American leadership.”
Trump has told Americans that states must fend for themselves. Instead of the United States of America, it has become 50 individual states and territories bidding against each other in a desperate effort to get the resources they need. Boot called it “supply-chain chaos” with bids jacking up prices to the top bidder. “America First” has instead become the federal government comes first and states can figure it out.
“Didn’t we already do that during the Constitutional Convention in 1787?” Boot asked. “By limiting the federal role to a ‘backstop,’ Trump is ignoring centuries of efforts to enhance Washington’s capacity to address pressing national problems.”
Trump has “little interest in fostering a unified response domestically has even less interest in marshaling international cooperation to fight covid-19,” the Post columnist explained.
“I’m a cheerleader for this country,” Trump claimed in his Tuesday press conference.
After he finally realized it was a problem, he turned to look for someone to blame, creating a further rift between the U.S. and the rest of the world. At a time when the world should be working together to help each other, Trump is blaming everyone else for his failures.
Trump has attacked the virus as a “Chinese virus,” and attacked China for COVID. While China’s transparency isn’t exactly the best and barring American journalists from the country stopped sunshine on their response, the World Health Organization has nothing to do with that. Trump ultimately stopped attacking China when he had a conversation with President Xi Jinping. Tuesday, he shifted blame again by announcing he would no longer support the World Health Organization financially during a global public health crisis.
“Rather than working to strengthen the WHO and other international organizations, Trump is predictably using the present crisis to undermine them,” Boot wrote.
To make matters worse, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo completely destroyed a joint statement from the G7 because he wanted to call it the “Wuhan virus.”
“Now U.S. allies such as Canada and Germany are furious that Trump has been trying to block them from getting badly needed medical supplies,” Boot wrote. “The most recent flare-up occurred last week, when Trump ordered Minnesota-based 3M to stop exporting a small portion of its N95 mask production to Canada. On Monday, Trump announced a deal with 3M to allow the export of a few million masks to Canada while 3M imports 166 million masks into the United States, mostly from its factory in China. But bruised feelings among U.S. allies will remain because they see Trump’s lack of concern for their welfare. Trump hasn’t even bothered to extend sympathy to Spain and Italy, the European countries hardest hit by covid-19.”
The nations stepping up to help, Russia and China, aren’t exactly doing much, Boot explained. At least they’re making an effort.
“He sees the current crisis as an opportunity to close borders, shut down international supply lines and alienate allies — in other words, to pursue his nationalist agenda,” said Boot. “In the process, he is accelerating the destruction of the liberal international order built after World War II by the Greatest Generation.”
He closed by calling it a “tragedy” because the world will face huge issues globally that must be faced and “America First” isn’t the way to go. If a nuclear war breaks out somewhere else, Americans still die. If sea levels rise, they don’t merely rise around Europe or Africa, they rise in the United States too.
“We cannot wall ourselves off from the world’s problems, so we had better cooperate with other nations in addressing them,” Boot wrote. “Trying to impose an ‘America First’ solution on a global crisis will hurt America first and foremost.”
Read the full column at the Washington Post.