There was a recent Trump rally in front of the White House where the “Make America Great Again” was one of its major themes. That is, it appeared to be a major theme until one of the participants let the world know that it was also about: “Make America White Again. “
The obvious White supremacist stance reminds me of the circumstances that led to the American Civil War. The South wanted to continue the policy of putting and keeping people in bondage and the North wanted to maintain the union without the peculiar institution.
The South stood in the way of America’s future as a beacon of liberty and equality before the law. The bloodiest war in the history of the United States that followed settled fringes of the issue that could be address by amendments to the Constitution.
The KKK, Jim Crow and the oppression of people of color continued well into the 20th Century before the Civil Rights Movements began to make inroads to undo some of those practices. The change that saw the United States become the greatest power on earth went hand in hand with the earned freedom and equality achieved by communities of color.
The current White supremacist activity seems to come from fear of an on-going demographic shift that is driving the majority community toward becoming a minority. “Make America White Again” is the cry of a set of people that feel in danger of losing their franchise on political power.
The somewhat symbolic civil war also appears to be caused by a perceived possibility of a changing of the guard in American politics and it is resulting in an America First Movement attempting to put its finger in a political dyke wanting to hold back an ocean of coming events. The focus of the Trump administration in joining this direction has come at the expense of the hard-won leadership in the world over the last 72 years.
America has the largest economy in the world, followed by China that is two-thirds its size and then Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom in that order. When the U.S. decided not to go with the Transpacific Pacific Partnership (TPP), it may have abandoned Japan to the designs of the economic, political and military power structure of China.
It is clear that China is making every effort to replace the United States as the most important leader at least in Asia. So as the United States vacates its positions of global responsibility the Chinese are delighted to take over.
President Trump has also stated that Japanese security is costing too much and has expressed the notion that the Japanese should take care of their own issues including becoming a nuclear power. This represents a profound change in foreign policy that could force Japan to think of itself as an Asia power first.
The Trump recent visit to Europe looked almost like a goodbye tour. The President first discounted the relative importance of NATO and then insulted Germany to the point of convincing its Chancellor to say that that Europe should go on without the United States as America could no longer be counted on to be there for its allies.
Of the five major world economic leaders, our country is getting close to being able to count only on our Brexit partner, the United Kingdom that is already a second-rate military power. Unfortunately, America is now also on the road to joining the ranks of isolated losers.