America First. And if not, who, or what?

If the term “America first” makes you uncomfortable, why, exactly?  Maybe it reminds you of Deutschland uber alles, or the isolationists of the 1930’s.  But if you don’t want to put your country first, who or what would you put in its stead?  Humanity?  Gaia?  The UN?  Peace?  Christianity?  World justice?  If Hillary Clinton doesn’t believe in America first, let her explain why.  I can’t wait to hear.

If  a country fails to make its own welfare, and that of its citizens, its principal goal, it will find itself at a great disadvantage in this world.  For that brief post Cold War moment when we were the only superpower, and the hegemon of the world, we sacrificed our own interests for a higher cause, a peaceful new world order.  But those days were fleeting, and never to return.  We were an accidental superpower from the beginning, and it’s a role unsuited to us.  We have no territorial ambition, and no reason to involve ourselves in foreign wars.  If attacked, we will destroy our attackers, as we did in World War II.  We are the great maritime nation of the world, and will fight to preserve our freedom of navigation in international waters.  And, for mainly sentimental reasons, we might fight for the Anglosphere, fellow maritime nations all, and our cousins.  But for no one else, nowhere in the world, unless to oppose a clear and present danger to our people.

And if our immigration policy, or our trade policy, or any policy, is not grounded in our own self interest, for whom and for what are we sacrificing ourselves?    The poor and homeless of the world?  We have always been a charitable people, but charity begins at home.  Our society seems like it’s coming undone, and preserving our way of life must be our top priority.

After the turn of the 20th century we took in more immigrants, in percentage terms, than any time since, including the last 30 years.  After that burst of new Americans, we decided to call a time out, and do some much needed assimilation.  Immigration was drastically curtailed, and all the Eastern and Southern Europeans who were recent arrivals integrated seamlessly into American society.  Today, you can’t tell them apart from any other American.  The same will be true of our recent immigrants, from all over the world, white, brown, black and yellow.  50 years from now they’ll just be Americans, like any other.  But for the time being we must cut back, and once more take the time to assimilate the new arrivals.

For if I will not be for myself, who will be for me?  And if not now, when?

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