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The Moral Case For Trump's "America First" Agenda

Memo to the rest of the planet: Stop panicking over the victory of Donald Trump.  His “America First” agenda is not about abandoning the free world.  If anything, it is about saving the free world—from itself.  To do that, first we must save America.  In the process, by the example we set, we intend to help you see better how to save your own countries.  For now, though, without a strong and resolute America leading the way, there will be little left to save anywhere. 

America firstAmerica First is all about getting America’s own house back in order, so that once again we are the engine of liberty and prosperity so desperately needed by all peoples of all nations.  We’ve been on the wrong path for years now, especially during the Obama presidency.   

We should have been advancing the cause of universal morality, through which we protect persons and their property, we encourage and celebrate individual growth and excellence, and we seek to forge meaningful empathic bonds that cut across external group differences such as race and sex.  And we should have been championing bottom-up economic freedom, through which we empower sellers who believe that they can please buyers better to enter our markets, and we empower buyers to shop around and to give greater rewards to those sellers who please them better.   

Instead, we have allowed universal morality and economic freedom to be supplanted by the vacuum of moral relativism, which denies that any set of values is better than any other, and by the heavy hand of top-down government, which confiscates the fruits of our labors and redistributes them as the powers-that-be choose.  This unfortunate course has allowed the rich to get richer—as they almost always do in top-down systems—but at the cost of lost opportunities for the rest of us to elevate ourselves through education, hard work, excellence, and the determination to be of greater value to one another. 

The cries against Trump are reminiscent of those against Ronald Reagan in 1980.  But the changes Reagan brought—lowered taxation and regulatory burdens on us and our businesses, sound monetary policy to maintain the dollar’s purchasing power, and a stronger military—revitalized the United States, resulting in the implosion of the Soviet Union and the liberation of hundreds of millions of human beings from the clutches of ruthless communist dictators.   

Was that so bad for you?   

Obviously not—unless you personally stood to profit from imposing a costly top-down government on others, as many unelected bureaucrats in Brussels now stand to do by expanding the dubious authority of the European Union over its hapless member nations and their peoples.  The same chorus of dissenters can be heard on this side of the pond, where many unelected bureaucrats in Washington have accreted power and wealth (often by slithering between large private companies and the agencies that regulate them); they, too, decry the election results.  But they and their protestations should be dismissed out-of-hand, because they have contributed so much to our demise. 

We are on the cusp of a great new age, if Mr. Trump and his administration succeed in implementing even half of their agenda—from reducing taxes and regulations (to fuel a dramatic resurgence in small businesses and real job growth), to fixing our immigration debacle (to allow only those who share our commitment to morality and freedom to settle here), to returning education control to local communities (so that students get a quality education that hopefully emphasizes morality and freedom), to reducing crime in our cities (so that law-abiding minority members can live in safety as they pursue their dreams), to restoring a sound dollar  (so that the Fed no longer plays fast and loose with our currency and interest rates), to increasing our military power (so that America no longer negotiates from a position of weakness). 

As for America’s trade policy, it is a work in progress.  While Mr. Trump has given us cause for concern that he wants to wall off our commerce through steep tariffs or rigid import quotas, reverting us to the harsh trade barriers of the destitute 1930s, he also has given signs that he’s prepared to deal fairly with any country that’s ready to deal fairly with us.   

Hopefully, he will see that, when it comes to the exodus of American factories and jobs to foreign shores, by far the biggest culprit has been our own federal government.  Big Government, under the control of the so-called progressives, has taxed and regulated our small businesses into the ground, while mandating artificially high minimum wages and excessive payroll taxes that have raised the cost of labor to the point where the last thing any company wants is to hire our citizens.  We have every right to fix this, and if we do it right we’ll minimize any front-end suffering of our trading partners. 

There is so much work to be done.  But it is good work.  Give President Trump two years, and then ask yourself how it’s going.  I predict you’ll like what you see. 

 

Blaine Winship is the author of Moralnomics: The Moral Path to Prosperity (Moralnomics Press), available in hardcover from moralnomics.com and in e-book from amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

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