Trump’s vision put the country behind China

“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First,” said President Donald Trump during his inaugural address. The phrase alone has a long and troubling backstory.

History suggests the phrase was a Republican campaign slogan in the 1880s, “but it didn’t become a national catchphrase until President Woodrow Wilson used it in 1915,” wrote Sarah Churchill, professor of American literature and humanities at the University of London, 10/22/18, Vox.  Sarah explains that former President Woodrow Wilson used in 1915 as part of his efforts to keep America out of World War I.  As he tap danced to placate isolationist, he himself was an internationalist. In the name of leadership, Wilson felt it was important to maintain neutrality.

Sarah went on to say, “But then the phrase gets taken up in the name of isolationism almost instantly, and it is quickly connected with other ideas that were also on the rise at the time, especially the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. It became linked to anti-immigration movements, and sympathizers of fascism, and was popularized by Charles Lindbergh, the famous American pilot who lead the “America First Committee” — a group of some 800,000 Americans who wanted to keep us out of WWII.” What began as an antiwar slogan to remain distant from the world became an unequivocal fascist and xenophobic slogan.

Author of her book, Behold, America Sarah continued, “If you’re in an anti-immigrant and xenophobic debate, then ‘America First’ will kind of magnetically accrue those anti-immigrant sentiments. Put America first, native-born people first. It connects back to the nativism of the 1840s and 1850s, and it sounds broadly anti-immigrant. In a moment where people were very concerned about waves of immigration, which was a big motivating force for the KKK, it was only natural that America First would become a rallying cry for nativists and racists.”

What may sound innocuous enough was really a dog whistle to those who want to keep out everyone “ who is not white, not Protestant, not what they saw as a native-born American, an old-style American.  And that was their notion of what America was supposed to be,” opined Sarah. She continued, “So America First did have very strong resonances with ideals like “Make America Great Again,” which was a phrase that they nearly echoed as well. The idea then, as now, was that the true version of America is the America that looks like me, the American fantasy I imagine existed before it was diluted with other races and other people.”

Now 2021, these United States of America has become so inward-looking it has lost sight of the world. Believe it or don’t, understand it or not, we are all part of the same planet where we drink the same water, breathe the same food, and just a moment ago, flew the same airplanes. No country can act on its conscience when it is unconscious of the facts.

As the U.S. has preoccupied itself in so many ways, we have not kept our eyes on the ball.  In the late 1980s we were convinced the Japanese would usurp the U.S. as Number 1 in GDP.  That did not happen, in  my opinion, thanks to two advantages the U.S. enjoyed.  First, we were the only country in the world where an explosion of new births took place between 1946 and 1964 when Baby Boomers showed up 76 million strong.  Second, unlike Japan, we welcome immigrants during the same period.  To have a strong economy you need a significant number of people. 

Now we see that “China will leapfrog the U.S. to become the world’s largest economy by 2028,” according to economic think tank, The British Centre for Economics and Business Research, Newsweek, 12/26/20. As we have been so busy studying our navels, the report suggest that “the economic fallout of the pandemic means China will surpass the U.S. five years earlier than previously estimated.” (Bold added) 

Per Reuters, the CEBR wrote, “The COVID-10 pandemic and corresponding economic fallout have certainly tipped this rivalry in China’s favour.” With the U.S. embroiled in arguing over the political statement of wearing a mask, thanks to tough measures, certainly abetted by China’s authoritarian system, appears to have stopped the pandemic in its tracks.  At the same time the U.S. has become the epicenter of the COVID-19 as the number of cases and deaths continue to multiply.

When it comes to your favorite team becoming Number 1 in the league, that team immediately gets a target posted on its back.  Every other team knows exactly who must be toppled. The U.S. has about 4% of the world’s population, but 25% of coronavirus cases, according to CNN. To be Number 1 in the world is certainly not my idea of a job well done. The U.S. did a great job of developing the vaccine and a terrible job at distributing what we need today. 

Here’s what we should do to survive:

Add a 4th W to Wash, Watch, and Wear with Wait to join large groups.

Here’s what we should to thrive:

China just finished its economic development targets for the 14th Five Year Plan period. That’s right, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has undertaken this  monumental task fourteen times.  What’s your plan for you and your family?  Make no mistake about it, the Chinese are coming. Ahead of schedule.

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