Some say President Trump’s policies are isolationist.
I must admit I don’t see a lot of commonality between the policies of this president and the proposed policies of true isolationists like Rand Paul and his father, Ron. I don’t think the President’s withdrawal from agreements (or non-agreements) like the Paris Accords, the Iran JPOA (Joint Plan of Action – the “Obama/Kerry Iran “deal”), proto-trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or negotiation of ratified trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are examples of isolationism, they are examples of something else entirely.
In broad terms, what the President is doing is raising the price of America’s global participation – we aren’t going to accept less than the rest of the world just because they think we can afford it. It isn’t isolationism because President Trump constantly signals America is more than willing to be part of the global market, just not on discounted terms. You want us to engage? Do it fairly and don’t expect us to subsidize global trade or defense.
In historical lore, a sin-eater is said to be a person who supernaturally takes on the sins of a person or household through the act of consuming a ritual meal, and thus absolving their souls and allowing that person or household to exist or rest in peace.
America has always eaten the sins of the world and in the process, saved the soul of mankind from being forever blackened by the horrific evil men do to each other from time to time. Often this “sin eating” produces not only peace but it also advances the cause of humanity.
Toward the end of WWII, American intelligence folks began to realize just how far advanced the German technology was. We all know about the V-2 but it is a documented fact that they were well advanced on a stealth bomber, advanced guidance systems for bombs and missiles, electric powered “Elektroboat” submarines, infrared night vision – and the Russian and Chinese AK-47 owes much of its design to the German SturmGewehr-44 design and the tapered steel cartridge designed for it. They had even cranked out a jet fighter, the ME-262 and had tested the Lippisch P-13a, a ram-jet powered, delta-winged fighter. If we had not destroyed a “heavy water” facility in Norway, throwing their scientists at least a year behind, they would likely have had an atomic bomb before we did.
While it was clear Germany didn’t have the productive capacity to bring these technologies to bear, America never wanted this tech and power to fall into the hands of our enemies, current or future. In sort of a Marvel Cinematic Universe/Avengers/Tesseract sort of way, America didn’t throw away the science simply because it originated from Nazi science. We knew the same “science” that had produced evil in the hands of the Nazis could produce good in the hands of American and British scientists. So, the US executed Operation Paperclip in which disillusioned Nazi scientists were secreted out of Germany and co-opted to work for the Allies. Their work allowed the US of A to become the lone super-power and an overwhelming force for good in the world. America ate the sins of the world and produced unparalleled advancement for all in the Western world.
America has always had a tradition – ostensibly a mission – of being the world’s sin eater. Spanning economic, military, healthcare, disaster relief and international aid issues and situations, we ate the world’s sins. From the Marshall Plan to militarily liberating countries to propping up the UN, America ate the world’s sin. For too long, America carried the world economy on her back and since WWII, the world has been blessed with Pax Americana – but now that the world has enjoyed decades of the “peace dividend” created as a result, it is time for the EU, China and the rest of the world to pitch in.
Every president until Trump adopted the position that America should be a global pin cushion, and a cheap one at that. Trump is ending that by raising the price.