As the U.S. government is separating children from their parents and putting them in fenced enclosures. some wonder if Donald Trump is really making America great again. Lest we forget that this is just one disturbing incident that has occurred since Trump took office. When The New York Times ran an opinion piece about why Trump definitely isn’t making America great again, it provided much food for thought.
According to author Paul Krugman, it’s really the big picture that matters. And Krugman says that what is happening is that America is systematically rejecting many of its deep-rooted values. And those values are what really made America great in the past. America used to stand for human rights, freedom, and the rule of law. But not anymore, says Krugman.
Krugman explored what American goodness has to do with power. He came to the conclusion that the two went hand in hand. Our ideals — and other countries’ acknowledgment of them — gave us a new kind of power. The power of trust. When World War II ended, the U.S. and U.K. had conquered a chunk of the world. But instead of abusing that power, we helped defeated countries get back on an even keel and establish democracies that highlighted our core values — and we helped protect those values.
Although Trump says international trade has turned us into a “piggy bank that everyone else is robbing,” it’s important to remember that trade agreements not only made America richer but served to carry out secretary of state under F.D.R. Cordell Hull’s dream. He believed that “prosperous trade among nations” was an essential element in building an “enduring peace.”
Everything is related
All the things happening under Trump’s administration equates to turning our backs on the ideals that made us different from other powerful nations in the first place, says Krugman. Trump’s border atrocities, his attack on the domestic rule of law, his insulting democratic leaders and praising thugs, and his breaking up trade agreements undermine the very values for which this country stands.
And Krugman contents that rejecting those values will make us weaker, not stronger. In fact, he feels that America is throwing away its reputation of being a leader of the free world, both morally and financially.
American isn’t what it used to be
America isn’t close to the dominant power as it used to be, and Krugman says Trump is delusional if he thinks other countries will back down because of his threats. And if the U.S. is likely headed for a trade war, it will be interesting to see how his supporters feel about how it will end up: Some industries might flourish, but millions of workers will be displaced, which will be disastrous.
Krugman contends that Trump isn’t making America great again at all — instead, he’s ruining the things that made us great and turning us a bully — and a bully that will be far less effective than he imagines. And that is some scary food for thought.
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