President Trump became a laughingstock on the world stage
by Destin Piagentini
On Tuesday September 25, Donald Trump stood before the United Nations general assembly to give a speech, reporting on topics including American domestic progress and the diplomatic role of the United States both now and in the future. Before a minute had elapsed, a confident Trump proclaimed, “In less than two years my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” From within the chamber of the general assembly, laughter could be heard echoing throughout. President Trump paused, “So true.” Trump was puzzled, thinking the room was laughing with him. Speaking through his own laughter, Trump was forced to acknowledge the sentiments of the room: “Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s okay.” In truth, this lighthearted (but important) moment was merely the prelude to a speech offering a dark interpretation of contemporary world affairs.
Trump’s address started with a focus on American domestic gains: “America’s economy is booming like never before.” Among the accomplishments of America, Trump specifically cited a stock market at record highs, an additional $10 trillion in wealth since his election, and low unemployment rates – especially for minorities. Trump then shifted his focus to America’s relationship with other countries: “From Warsaw, to Brussels, to Tokyo, to Singapore—it has been my highest honor to represent the United States abroad.” Trump made sure to mention his recent summit (and friendship) with Kim Jong Un, and praised the United Arab Emirates for their financial support in helping the Syria crisis, a crisis which Trump denounced and gave hope for eventually taking down the al-Assad regime.
As Trump continued on, however, his vision for America’s role in the future of international affairs become bleaker. Trump denounced China’s trade history with the United States, stating that the U.S. “will no longer tolerate such abuse,” while reiterating his administration’s controversial tariffs. In addition, Trump denounced the United Nations Human Rights Council (which the U.S. recently withdrew from), calling it a “grave embarrassment.” Later on, Trump promised to reevaluate foreign financial assistance with Secretary Pompeo to ensure that only the nations with America’s “best interests at heart” receive the aid they need. Even further, Trump plans to ensure that the U.S. will not lend more than 25% of the UN peacekeeping budget in an effort to hold other nations accountable. The president also mentioned illegal immigration, stating that they will not adopt the UN’s global compact for migration. Among all these policies, Trump’s vision for American diplomatic relations can be best summed up in just one quote: “We reject the idea of globalism and embrace the doctrine of patriotism.”
While Trump focused a lot on distancing America from other nations, some of the countries Trump praised raise questions. Most notably, Trump praised North Korea for their cooperation with America, despite still resembling a dictatorship and being suspected of committing multiple human rights violations against its citizens. Trump also praised Poland for their strides in reducing reliance on Russian energy, while also reprimanding Germany (an ally) for their overreliance on said energy.
The future of the United States’ involvement in world affairs remains uncertain. Trump’s claims certainly indicate that he seeks to go after a tougher approach when aiding other nations, and withholding America from globalist junctions like the UN Human Rights Council or the UN compact on migration. Only time will tell how Trump plans to implement these ideologies, but, for the time being, the U.S. appears to be moving towards a direction of increased self-reliance.