President Donald Trump told the world leaders assembled at the World Economic Forum in Davos they should all embrace economic nationalism, and pointed to America’s success as proof of that.
Obviously, Trump has made these points before, even at Davos, but as he enters his fourth year as president, and as his policies have begun to bear real fruit — not only with America’s booming economy, but also popular trade deals with China, Mexico, and Canada (the “experts” said could not be done), a decrease in illegal immigration, and a foreign policy that has so far kept America out of debacles like Iraq and Libya — Trump is able to make his case from an undeniable position of success.
The whole speech is worth watching.
The president opens his remarks by laying out the facts, the list of successes under his administration, which he deserves to take credit for, and which will no doubt be a key part of his re-election argument. But here’s the pertinent part where he urges other nations — for their own good — to throw off the suicidal failure of globalism and embrace economic nationalism:
America’s newfound prosperity is undeniable, unprecedented, and unmatched anywhere in the world. America achieved this stunning turnaround not by making minor changes to a handful of policies but by taking a whole new approach centered entirely on the well-being of the American worker. Every decision we make on taxes, trade, regulation, energy, immigration, education, and more is focused on improving the lives of every day Americans. We are determined to create the highest standard of living that anyone can imagine and right now that is what we’re doing for our workers, the highest in the world. And we’re determined to ensure that the working and middle class reap the largest gains. A nation’s highest duty is to its own citizens. Honoring this truth is the only way to build faith and confidence in the market system.
So after back-filling his case with the facts, the facts that prove the Trump approach is flourishing in the very same America the so-called experts told us would face an irreversible and inevitable economic decline, Trump is making the moral case for economic nationalism.
He’s explaining to world leaders that their obligation is to their own people. No one else.
In other words, they need to stop worrying about world opinion, because world opinion is a trap that only enriches the super-wealthy, a trap that says you have to destroy your own country from within with the refugees and illegal immigrants who steal working class jobs, depress working class wages, and dilute your culture.
Here’s my favorite part:
Only when government’s put their own people first will people be fully invested in their national futures. In the United States we are building an economy that works for everyone, restoring the bonds of love and loyalty that unites citizens and empowers nations. Today I hold up the American model as an example to the world of a working system of free enterprise that will produce the most benefits for the most people in the 21st century and beyond. A pro-worker, pro-citizen, pro-family agenda demonstrates how a nation can thrive when its communities, its companies, its government work together for the good of the whole nation.
Trump’s making two points here: 1) economic nationalism is the only way to avoid socialism, and 2) if every country embraces this policy, it is what’s best for the world.
Because economic nationalism invests everyone in the system, reassures everyone the system is looking out for them — from the working class to the middle class, the stupid and suicidal idea of socialism can’t gain traction. If you like your job, if you’re making a good living, if you feel like you have a future because wages are going up and your 401K is climbing, you are not going to want socialism.
As far as every nation embracing this philosophy, Trump is taking a humble approach towards nationalism, an approach that defies the ugly side of nationalism-nationalism that creates Hitlers, Lenins, Maos, and Ho Chi Minhs, the left-wing socialists (sorry, Hitler was a socialist) who use national pride to enslave their own people and who seek to spread their madness across their borders.
If everyone is looking out for their own, if everyone is on board with economic nationalism, which is just another word for individual liberty and getting the oppressive government out of the way, then everyone wins — the world wins.
It’s only when a nation becomes buttinsky that things go sideways, whether it’s neocons looking to democratize the Middle East at the expense of American lives and trillions of dollars, or Putin moving into Ukraine.
If we all just look out for our own, if we all just fight as hard as we can to help our own prosper, everyone wins — except the fascist elites, those real-life Bond villains who seek to control the world under the terrifying auspices of what’s best for us.
If everyone worries about their own backyard, Trump is saying, the whole world will look great.
Imagine a world where everyone minds their own business and focuses on fixing their own country instead of meddling in everyone else’s.