As far as America is concerned, the days of globalism are over, President Trump said in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.
“The future does not belong to globalists, the future belongs to patriots,” he said. “The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.”
In his address to the assembled world leaders, the president criticized globalist policies and emphasized a strong message of national sovereignty, touting an “exciting program of national renewal” in the United States.
“If you want freedom, take pride in your country,” he said. “If you want democracy, hold on to your sovereignty, and if you want peace, love your nation.”
Trump’s speech reiterated his familiar “America first” theme, a strategy to bolster American influence by emphasizing American interests and values and reasserting national sovereignty. The doctrine echos Jeffersonian sentiments of honest friendship with all nations, and entangling alliances with none.
“Wise leaders put the good of their own people and their own country first,” Trump said. “Like my beloved country, each nation represented in this hall has a cherished history, culture, and heritage that is worth defending and celebrating, and which gives us our most singular potential and strength. The free world must embrace its national foundations. It must not attempt to erase them or replace them.”
Regardless, leftist political analysts harshly criticized the president’s speech. NBC analyst Richard Haas criticized the speech as “insulting,” and more appropriate for a domestic audience than the international forum of the UNGA.
“This was very much a domestic audience-oriented speech. I would describe it as a 19th century speech for a 21st century world,” Haas said.
NBC’s Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell said the speech was tone deaf: “He’s running for re-election and running for re-election with a United Nations speech that was completely wrong in tone for this world body,” Mitchell said.
MSNBC’s Evelyn Farkas said the speech “sounded… more like a State of the Union address, which was completely inappropriate for this audience.”
— Evelyn Farkas (@EvelynNFarkas) September 24, 2019
Such critics from proponents of lowered national borders and increased foreign military intervention, while harsh, is not unexpected. The president’s realist policy grants that nations should act in their own rational self-interest, not assume conferences can solve the world’s problems. In the UN General Assembly, a body established to promote globalist international cooperation, Trump’s policy is not particularly popular.
Trumps main message on UNGA is that the future belongs to patriots and nationalism. And that is probably the main difference to us who believes in multilateralism and a world of cooperation pic.twitter.com/BQoyrXCPme
— Peter Eriksson (@MPPeterE) September 24, 2019
However, Trump’s nationalist foreign policy does not preclude cooperation with other nations in advancement of freedom and prosperity abroad. On Monday, the president held a conference to call for global cooperation to protect religious freedom.
Citing that 80 percent of the world’s population live in countries without religious liberty protections, Trump announced that the United States would dedicate $25 million to protecting religious freedom, religious sites, and relics.
“Today, with one clear voice, the United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution,” he said. “Stop the crimes against people of faith. Release prisoners of conscience. Repeal laws restricting freedom of religion and belief. Protect the vulnerable, the defenseless, and the oppressed.”
Trump also announced that his administration will work to form an unprecedented coalition of U.S. businesses to promote the protection of religious freedom in the workplace.
“Today, I ask all nations to join us in this urgent moral duty,” he said. “We ask the governments of the world to honor the eternal right of every person to follow their conscience, live by their faith, and give glory to God. The United States has a vital role in this critical mission.”