Standing before a room full of foreign leaders and dignitaries, United States President Trump delivered a blistering rebuke of the unelected global elite who seek to undermine national sovereignty.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, President Trump added a new flavour to his now familiar America first slogan.
Instead of just America first, it is to be Poland first, Italy first, and Australia first. America, Poland, Italy, and Australians are to be government by, for, and for the benefit of Americans, Polish, Italians, and Australians. “We reject the ideology of globalism and embrace the doctrine of patriotism”, stated Trump.
Such statements have been backed up with actions.
Under President Trump, the US has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Human Rights Council, refused to participate in the Global Compact on Migration, and refused to recognise the legitimacy of the International Criminal Court.
Collectively, these global compacts, treaties, and courts, would have handed control of American energy and immigration policy and legal proceedings from Americans to unelected international bureaucrats.
However, it would be a mistake to think these changes means America will become isolationist. Rather, the Trump Doctrine could be summed up as sovereignty with cooperation and is defined by the following: bi-lateral trade deals with friends rather than opaque multi-lateral trade deals through international organisations.
Nation defence based on mutual provision of resources rather than being underwritten by America.
Acceptance of the right of other nations to chart their own future.
Respect for the culture, history, and traditions of the people of other nations.
Realism in international affairs rather universal liberalism.
And scepticism of the motivates behind, and effectiveness of, international organisations such as the UN.
Naturally, President Trump was greeted with mocking laughter by the global elite when he outlined the successes of his administration. Notably, though, no one was laughing during Iran President Hassan Rouhani’s highly entertaining speech, during which he took a thinly vailed swipe at President Trump when he decried leaders with “xenophobic tendencies resembling a Nazi disposition.”
Perhaps that’s because such accusations are common talking points of the political left and the global elite. Something they share in common with Iranian dictators, along with their love of censoring the speech of their political adversaries.
What the global elite don’t understand is that the Trump Doctrine reflects, rather than creates, a rapidly changing international order.
The primacy of nation-states is being reasserted across the globe.
In Hungary the 2018 elections saw Viktor Orban’s ruling coalition returned with a two-thirds majority on a platform of lower immigration.
In Italy around two-thirds of the vote in the 2018 election when to populist, euro-sceptic, and parties wanting lower immigration.
In Poland the governing party has based its policies on Polish national pride with the slogan “getting up off our knees.”
The Swedish election earlier this month saw the conservative Swedish Democrats receive their highest vote share in history.
The vote for Britain to leave the European Union in 2016 was a reassertion of control by the British of domestic laws, immigration, and trade policy.
The election of President Trump n 2016 was also about national sovereignty. Handing control of the American Republic back to the American people from the permanent political class in Washington D.C., Brussels, and Paris.
There is much to learn in Australia from President Trump’s successes.
The first is that there is nothing racist about shaping policy that puts Australian citizens ahead of non-citizens. That is the whole purpose of having a nation with boarders.
Australian citizens mean everyone from the indigenous whose heritage goes back tens of thousands of years, to tenth generation Anglo-Australians, to recently arrived immigrants.
Healthy patriotism is the antidote to divisive identity politics.
Second is to exit the Paris Climate Agreement. The Agreement hands control of our energy policy to unelected international bureaucrats; will impose a cost of at least $52 billion according to research by the Institute of Public Affairs; and will not make a difference to the global climate.
Third is to take immigration seriously. Many Australians are uneasy about the size and composition of our immigration program. And simply shifting immigrants to regions is insulting. It diverts the problem and is an affront to freedom association and freedom of movement within our national borders.
In putting Australia first, Government ministers would do well to remember these words from President Trump’s address.
“The passion that burns in the hearts of patriots and the souls of nations has inspired reform and revolution, sacrifice and selflessness, scientific breakthroughs, and magnificent works of art.
Our task is not to erase it, but to embrace it. To build with it. To draw on its ancient wisdom. And to find within it the will to make our nations greater, our regions safer, and the world better.”