The American Interest

Trump’s Global Vision

On April 27, Donald Trump gave a long speech on foreign policy.  It was his first attempt to present his views on world affairs in detail.  Refreshingly, it contained no reference to promoting freedom, democracy, and “human rights”; confronting tyranny and evil; or making the world a better place in the image of the exceptional nation.  Trump’s team of advisors prepared a coherent case for “offensive realism” instead: Nation-states are the principal actors in the international system, they actively pursue self-interest in what is still a Hobbesian world, and America is not and should not be an exception to that timeless principle.

This is anathema to the elite consensus.  The tone of media reaction was set by the New York Times: Trump’s “strange worldview . . . did not exhibit much grasp of the complexity of the world.”  In other words, he has not internalized the ideological assumptions of the neoconservative-neoliberal duopoly.  But to those who do not subscribe to the Beltway Weltanschauung, Trump offers a solid summary of what has gone wrong with America’s role in the world, and a viable new approach.

“My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else,” Trump declared at the outset.  “America First will be the major and overriding theme...

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