“Ask not what your country can do for you – – – ask what you can do for your country.”
John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, 1961.
By Steve Hunley
I’ll be the first to admit the United States has changed a lot in the fifty-seven years since John F. Kennedy spoke those immortal words. Regrettably, there’s hardly a Democrat in the country who would agree with those words today.
Virtually every president of the United States since George Washington has promoted and protected America before any other interest facing our nation. Still, despite what some would have you believe, no nation on earth has been as generous as America has been. Tens of thousands of children would literally have starved to death following the First World War had it not been for the war relief efforts of Herbert Hoover. Harry Truman’s Marshall Plan likewise fed millions of hungry Europeans following World War II, which also limited the spread of Communism. There is hardly a spot on the globe where America has not sent material goods and money to help the peoples of other countries. The spirit of giving and sharing has been a hallmark of the American way since this country was founded. We have given of our blood and bounty time after time. Yet there are those in this country who deeply believe in the globalism exemplified by Barack Obama. Donald Trump’s unabashed agenda of protecting American interests and right first has caused the globalists in this country to become unhinged.
While speaking in Europe following the end of his presidency, Obama said, “In the eyes of God, a child on the other side of the border is no less worthy of love and compassion than my own child. You can’t distinguish between them in terms of their worth or inherent dignity.” A warm and noble sentiment and it is certainly true. Every child should enter this world being wanted and loved. The fact is many are not wanted and aren’t allowed into this world. Obama’s notion seems to be we are obliged to care for everybody on the planet. It would be nice if we could do it, but we are having trouble taking care of our own. Opening our borders to anyone who wishes to enter them without following the law isn’t hospitality, but madness. I’ve never witnessed any of the people advocating such policies leaving their own front doors open and allowing whoever entered the house to stay there and live as long as they like.
Globalists seem not to have any pride in their own native country; worse still, they seem to take pleasure in demeaning their own country. Pride in one’s country and putting the interest of that country above those of other nations is hardly isolationism. The question of tariffs is one much talked about currently and most of the debate swirling around the attacks on President Trump ignore the fact if all nations were signatories to reciprocal trade agreements, there would be no need for tariffs of any kind. President Trump just recently acknowledged that fact by stating there shouldn’t be any need for tariffs at all. The tariffs on American products are higher in both Canada and Europe.
For instance, the tariff on American automobiles in Europe is 10%, while the tariff in the United States on cars imported from Europe is 7.5%. The trade imbalance between the United States and Japan was $70 billion last year. For every automobile America sends to Japan, the Japanese send 100 to the U.S. America had a trade imbalance of $64 billion with Germany last year. The Germans impose a 10% tariff on American-made cars imported into their country, while the U. S. imposes only a 2.5% tariff on automobiles imported from countries inside the European Union, which includes Germany. The flood of Canadian lumber dumped into the American marketplace imperils American jobs in Oregon, Washington, state, and Alaska. Canadian tariffs harm American wheat and barley farmers.
Tariffs are designed to protect particular industries. Is it fair to American farmers they have to endure an almost 300% tariff on US dairy products in Canada? Of course not. Canada is attempting to protect its own dairy farmers, yet squalls when President Trump moves to protect the interests of his own people and industries. Under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, we have continually shipped American jobs and money overseas by participating in foreign agreements that did not adequately protect American interests.
American generosity has not always brought gratitude from its recipients; all too often it has brought scorn. Some recipients have come to expect American largesse as their rightful due.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with our putting our own people first. It doesn’t mean we don’t care about other folks; it means we just love our own family more. John F. Kennedy’s words spoken at his inaugural should make us all think.