In New York, Trump will expose UN pretenses while putting America first
It has been obligatory for American presidents to give lip service to the "value" of the United Nations as an organization vital for world peace. U.N. diplomats love to hear that kind of stuff because they think it justifies their massive expense accounts and other perks that come with living high on the hog in New York City.
Donald Trump will pay a visit to New York this week. He will address the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday (where many representatives are expected to sit on their hands or walk out) and then chair a meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday. He is expected to blow up the pretenses about the U.N. held by most people in the world – the most important being that the U.N. actually matters. It doesn't.
Trump will refuse to pretend that the U.N. is anything except an anti-American, anti-Israel organization that uses both countries as whipping boys to justify oppressive and aggressive policies. He will also make no bones about putting American vital interests first and foremost on his agenda, and if the U.N. doesn't like it, the U.N. can go hang.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters in a preview of Trump's visit, that the president's focus "will be very much on the United States," its role and the relations it wants to build.
"He is looking forward to talking about foreign policy successes the United States has had over the past year and where we're going to go from here," she said. "He wants to talk about protecting U.S. sovereignty," while building relationships with nations that "share those values."
In his four-day visit to New York, Trump will deliver major speeches and meet with representatives of a world order that he has so often upended in the past year. Like a year ago, North Korea's nuclear threat will hover over the gathering, though its shadow may appear somewhat less ominous.
The American people do not elect a president to stand up for other country's vital interests. We elect a president to stand up for American interests.
the rest of the world (and many liberals here in the U.S.) don't see it that way. Because the U.S. is so big, so powerful, so rich, it is our responsibility to subsume our vital interests in the cause of "world peace" and harmony. Because our economy is so much bigger, we must sign trade deals that put the U.S. at a disadvantage, real or perceived. Because our military is so powerful, we should allow other nations to threaten our interests because it wouldn't be a fair fight if we engaged them as enemies.
Presidents have bought into this to one degree or another for 70 years. Through it all, the U.N. keeps up the pretense that it is an organization dedicated to world peace. I'm sure there are some very nice, very idealistic souls from many countries at the U.N. But they are vastly outnumbered by cynics who use that idealism for their own personal aggrandizement.
We can be sure Trump's "American First" speech will not go over well at the U.N. There will be criticisms here at home that Trump is encouraging the forces of nationalism at the expense of world cooperation and peace-seeking. Perhaps his political opponents should put up a candidate in 2020 who proclaims that it is more important for a president to stand up for the interests of other nations and submerge U.S. interests in the cause of "world peace."
If they do, a Trump landslide will be assured.