The Post's View Opinion ‘America First’ is America at its worst

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
70,605
50,125
113
By the Editorial Board
May 14, 2022|Updated yesterday at 6:08 p.m. EDT

The history of U.S. foreign policy is, in part, a story of the ebb and flow of isolationist sentiment, sometimes elaborated into an ideology of “America First.” History also confirms that “America First” was America at its worst: the slogan of pre-World War II isolationists who urged the Roosevelt administration to avoid Europe’s troubles. The United States’ postwar rise to global responsibility marginalized such ideology — until Donald Trump rode to the White House in 2016 decrying the allegedly unfair costs of U.S. security commitments and trade agreements, then governed accordingly.
Sign up for a weekly roundup of thought-provoking ideas and debates
So it is no surprise that opposition to the Biden administration’s request for $40 billion in aid to Ukraine would re-emerge, mostly in Republican circles, or that the objections would boil down to “what’s in it for us?” The Democratic-led House of Representatives approved the assistance with a large bipartisan majority on Tuesday, but all 57 votes against it came from the GOP’s ranks. The measure is expected to pass the Senate; it is backed by the bulk of the GOP, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who made a surprise solidarity visit to Kyiv with three GOP colleagues on Saturday.
But Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), saying, “My oath of office is to the U.S. Constitution, not to any foreign nation,” slowed it with procedural obstacles. Mr. Paul suggests — hyperbolically — that spending less than 0.2 percent of U.S. output helping Ukraine will fuel inflation. “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy,” he said. Blake Masters, a Republican Senate candidate in Arizona, says America’s leaders “are buffoons who hate you so … they’ll keep defending Ukraine’s borders while turning their backs on ours.”
To repeat, such claims tap a deep vein in public opinion, which is why Mr. Paul and other Republicans make them. Of course our government’s first duty is to its own citizens. All the more reason to tell the America Firsters that security engagement abroad is not a zero-sum enterprise, but an investment in stabilizing situations that might otherwise spiral out of control, at much greater cost to the United States than, say, $40 billion. Russian aggression in Ukraine, which threatens not just that country but also the sanctity of international borders everywhere, represents such a situation. Not only is the U.S. investment comparatively modest, it is part of an effort to which NATO partners are also making significant contributions — and accepting what are in some cases painful sacrifices, especially by curtailing Russian energy imports. The probable applications of Finland and Sweden for NATO membership, along with Germany’s decision to ramp up defense spending, indicate that Europe is actually shouldering more of its own defense burden rather than free-riding off the United States. And that’s not to mention the burden — in combat — that Ukraine is bearing.
U.S. and NATO efforts are working. Russia’s war has stalled, as President Vladimir Putin backhandedly acknowledged by delivering a lackluster speech on Russia’s Victory Day on May 9. He could not credibly claim success or threaten escalation. Republican isolationist opposition to proposed aid for Ukraine, however, is music to Mr. Putin’s ears. It’s not too early to wonder — and worry — how much more powerful America Firsters will be if Republicans regain control of Congress in November.

 

Titanhawk2

HR Legend
Jul 14, 2011
11,927
5,207
113
What ever slant you want to put on it, make sure your house is in order before you worry about someone else's
 

LuteHawk

HR Legend
Nov 30, 2011
28,131
18,320
113
America has always had a warm heart to help other
nations under the stress of unjust wars. WWII was
a time for the U.S.A. to help turn the tide of German
and Japanese aggression. The attack on Pearl Harbor
simply speeded up our entry into WWII.

Ukraine is currently the victim of an unjust war by Russia.
America needs to help Ukraine as much as possible with
military weapons and financial assistance.
 
Nov 28, 2010
79,028
32,270
113
Maryland
It was a Republican campaign slogan in the 1880s, which means it appeared much earlier than most people think. But it didn’t become a national catchphrase until President Woodrow Wilson used it in 1915. He was using it to try to keep America out of the first World War.
Those 2 sentences illustrate just how effed up America can get. (Especially when you add that a short time later, Wilson was jailing and exiling people who spoke against entering WWI.)
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 13, 2006
24,020
31,290
113
In 1917-18 the government close German newspapers and forbid German in school. Up to that time Iowa had a pretty vibrant German community

 
  • Like
Reactions: cigaretteman

Jerome Silberman

HR Legend
Oct 30, 2009
11,793
15,761
113
It was a Republican campaign slogan in the 1880s, which means it appeared much earlier than most people think. But it didn’t become a national catchphrase until President Woodrow Wilson used it in 1915. He was using it to try to keep America out of the first World War.

Those 2 sentences illustrate just how effed up America can get. (Especially when you add that a short time later, Wilson was jailing and exiling people who spoke against entering WWI.)

"Don't be like Woodrow Wilson" is generally good advice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cigaretteman

An Iowa fan

HR MVP
Dec 12, 2019
1,587
1,432
113
Always in the Federal Budget there is money budgeted for foreign countries. All my life people have complained about it. Republicans, Democrats, men, women, the young, the old I have heard say stop giving money away to other countries.

Does this count as supporting "America First".? If it does why doesn't the Washington Post say something about this fact?

Washington Post is so biased that it is unreadable.