Thursday, June 14, 2018

Trump Doctrine: "We're America, Bitch!"

Do readers wonder what the rest of the world thinks about Trump?

Let's hear from a Canadian. 

Or maybe we shouldn't bother. We are America. What do we care what Western democracies think?

Trump's words and behavior at the G-7 meeting in Quebec reinforced that a policy change was underway. The Western Alliance is dissolving into something else.

Click: National Review
Trump had spoken at the United Nations and said clearly and proudly that the era of globalism and multilateral treaties was changing. All countries should look out for their own interests, he said, and in fact they already do look out for their own interests and always have, but Americans were too naive to realize it, so we got played.   

Trump arrived late to the G-7 meeting, did not sign the accords, criticized Canada and its Prime Minister personally, accelerated the trade war, and said the G-7 should become G-8 to include Russia. The "body language" of change is unmistakable.

Trump was underlining the policy shift away from the post-WW2 bipartisan formula to protect American interests based on multilateral trade and multilateral treaties, led by the developed democracies. That has been American policy, therefore NATO, ASEAN, TPP, NAFTA, UNESCO, the UN. 

Click: The Atlantic, June 11, 2018
An Atlantic Monthly article this week articulated the Trump point of view as "No Friends, No Enemies."  Rules-based multilateralism means our allies and trading partners get too comfortable. They need to feel some risk and doubt about the USA or else they don't fear and respect us, and therefore we give away too much in defense cost sharing and foreign trade. The essay concluded with the metaphor that expresses the new understanding that the USA was not the biggest dog among many in a pack, but rather the top dog, the one who made its own rules for its own benefit, including at the expense of others, summarized as "We're America, Bitch!" 

America on top. White Christians on top. Men on top. Trump is president and there is a new sheriff in town. The social order is restored. Make America Great Again.

How does all this look from Canada?

Sandford Borins is a political scientist teaching public management at the University of Toronto.  

Borins says Trump is an imperialist and the world resents it, and should resent it. He says what Trump is doing is dangerous and will have generational consequences. Trump is making trouble.

Here is the beginning of his short essay. Click the link on the caption to go to his site and read the whole blog essay.

Click: Sandford Borins.


  1. American power is not the sole property of Regressive "patriots" and should not be flaunted to the rest of the world.

    American leaders have historically been reticent to use "hard power" preferring to keep military and economic hammers in the background. This has been wise, particularly in the face of much upheaval in the developing world. Leading with threats is absolutely the worst way to negotiate anything. At best it will bring a short term advantage, with significant risks as other countries counter the aggression and attempted extortion.

    Lacking a forward looking vision Regressive influences are attempting to promote American domination by force and in an interdependent world economy this is a losing strategy. The US is much more dependent on its allies and client states than these would be imperialists believe and "It's America, B***h" is a hollow adolescent catcall that invites humiliation.

  2. Maybe it’s about America. Maybe not. Two of Putin’s priorities would be undermining the US State Department (thank you, Mr. Tillerson) and driving a wedge between the US and our (NATO) allies. If I’m wrong, I’ll buy you lunch.


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