Prospects for international cooperation have dwindled dramatically since 2016 thanks in large part to United States President Donald Trump’s animosity towards multilateralism.
US shirking of international responsibilities has been enacted under the slogans “America First” and “Make America Great Again.”
What Mr. Trump never understood with his silly hubris is that all countries pursue their own national interests. Every country wants to be great. This is economic and strategic reality. All right-thinking citizens in every country desire to keep their nations first.
Citizens and residents will support policies that prioritise their own country’s development.
Making America great is nothing new. The US has always used the mantras of freedom and democracy to push its own interests first to the detriment of others.
Recently, the “America First” doctrine has launched trade wars with major economies around the world while the US withdraws from international and multilateral mechanisms and pacts one after another. This is causing chaos to the international order.
The US has threatened allies to increase military spending. That is a reasonable demand. However, amid the coronavirus pandemic, it blocked shipments to countries, mostly allies, in the increasingly fraught global market for coronavirus protective equipment — thus becoming a modern pirate state.
The “America First” approach — which Mr. Trump adapted to “Make America Great Again” — in fact reflects the US’s unprecedented selfishness. It basically translates into, “We don’t care about others or what happens as long as we are good.”
But it is simple unilateralism, bullying and blackmail.
However, “America First” hasn’t been able to make the US great again. The US is deeply mired with the coronavirus and profound economic woes. In other words, “Make America Great Again” is a unilateralism that has actually backfired.
Today, the US is denounced by countries and regions around the world, and western allies are gradually drifting away from the US alliance. More and more countries are seeing through Mr. Trump and his hubris and are condemning the selfish, unilateral nature of the “America First” doctrine.
It’s not wrong for the US to make slogans like “America First” and “Make America Great Again.” What’s wrong is the means it has adopted to realise these goals.
“Make America Great Again” cannot be a one-man show. It cannot be separated from cooperative interaction with the world.
Believe it or not, the world remains highly interconnected. Mr. Trump will never be able to win against the whole world by fighting against the world. The US will lose this war.
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