Opinion: ‘America First’ isolationism is destructive to nation’s economy and security

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America has been active in world affairs, especially since the end of World War II. In the year She played a key role in founding the United Nations in 1948 and organizing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other international bodies dedicated to promoting trade and security. However, there were voices in America that encouraged isolationism. For example, after World War I, Republicans blocked American participation in the League of Nations. Even today, the former president and the MAGA movement strongly criticize the so-called “globalists”; They mean people who are interested in strengthening international relations and helping other countries as much as we can. Isolationism used the term “America First.” But there are many reasons why America should be active in the larger world.

Above all, America’s security depends on the alliances and security commitments we make to maintain peace and order in the world. The post-World War II system of fundamentalism spread prosperity around the world, using security to protect free trade. The US economy is highly dependent on successful exports and American consumers love to have access to products from around the world. This business cannot be conducted securely without security agreements with our partners. A shift toward isolationism lowers living standards not just for Americans, but for people around the world. “America First” isolationism and protectionism are destructive to our economy and our security.

Another, perhaps more important, reason for America’s involvement in the world stems from our core beliefs and values. Our country was founded on the principle that all people are equal. Freedom and liberty, things we often take for granted almost 250 years ago, are not available to people in many countries. However, if we believe they are essential to a gentleman’s life, we should promote them whenever and wherever we can. Of course, our values ​​cannot be imposed on people like some systems of governance, such as we saw in the last century and today in many authoritarian regimes. Human choice is always infallible and subject to human ulterior motives, especially those related to the desire for wealth and power. However, it was built to reform and improve democracy. Peoples who do not have democratic systems do not allow the difference of human choice to choose their own leaders. They are not truly self-governing and cannot self-correct. America has only been able to correct its abuses by maintaining democracy.

By attacking globalists in America, isolationists deny the implications of the American vision. Segregation is contrary to America’s fundamental beliefs and commitment to be a land of equality for all people. It hampers America’s efforts to sustain democracy in a world where anti-democratic and undemocratic forces seek to disrupt, block, and even destroy democracy. In other words, those who deny American universalism and promote isolationism are clearly denying the fundamental American belief that all men are created equal and worthy of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We cannot force our belief in these great truths on others, but there is good evidence that people want to live in these truths rather than live in autocratic systems imposed on them. International engagement aimed at helping and uplifting others is a way to sustain our own beliefs and the democracy based on them. Our belief in these truths motivates us to join the peoples and peoples of the world in their struggle to live in freedom and justice. We believe that these truths are not just for us to live as Americans. They are for all men because “all men are created equal”.

So the next time you hear complaints about “globalists” and “globalists,” I hope you remember that we Americans not only benefit from the prosperity and security that “globalism” brings, but we also want to promote freedom and liberty. For many, many worlds because these are our guiding principles. Achieving peace, prosperity and security begins with pushing back the illiberal regime forces around the world that seem to be on the march. Promoting our values ​​on the world stage as we have done is important and rewarding.

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The Rev. Robert L. Montgomery, Ph.D., lives in Black Mountain.

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