Jon Wayne Taylor and I listened to Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech as we blasted to Best of the West to test the STI Hex Tactical and DVC 3-Gun pistols. We were both highly unimpressed. With the speech (the DVC is a peach, review to follow). It was as pedestrian as Times Square and logically inconsistent. His “America first” theme promised projection of power and non-intervention. Wait. What? Don’t The Donald’s speech writers know the history of the term “America first”? Apparently not. Wikipedia . . .
The America First Committee (AFC) was the foremost non-interventionist pressure group against the American entry into World War II. Peaking at 800,000 paid members in 450 chapters, it was one of the largest anti-war organizations in American history. Started on September 4, 1940, it was dissolved on December 10, 1941, three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor had brought the war to America.
Charles Lindbergh was the AFC’s most prominent proponent. While history makes the movement’s idiocy self-evident, it’s worth excerpting a bit of the anti-semitic aviator’s argument against waging war against the Nazi regime.
It is not difficult to understand why Jewish people desire the overthrow of Nazi Germany. The persecution they suffered in Germany would be sufficient to make bitter enemies of any race. No person with a sense of the dignity of mankind can condone the persecution the Jewish race suffered in Germany. But no person of honesty and vision can look on their pro-war policy here today without seeing the dangers involved in such a policy, both for us and for them.
Instead of agitating for war the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing it in every possible way, for they will be among the first to feel its consequences. Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devastation. A few farsighted Jewish people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority still do not. Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government.
Just for fun, substitute the word “muslim” for “Jewish.” The wider issue: there’s no point in projecting power unless America is ready to use it.
Where should we use it? When should we use it? Trump offered precious little insight. Taylor reckons America should follow the advice of General George Marshall, champion of American military expansion (by a factor of 40) and architect of the post-war Marshall Peace Plan (for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize):
We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on one hand and overwhelming force on the other.
While being a “symbol of peace” is not the same as nation building, America should at least be committed to establishing the rule of law abroad. That’s how you create the “stability” that Trump trumpeted is his vague, milquetoast “policy speech.”
There’s only one way to do that: boots on the ground worn by soldiers with guns in their hands. Not someone else’s boots. Ours. Lots of them. “There is nothing more effective at destroying the enemy’s resolve than staring in the eyes of soldiers holding guns ready to kill them,” TTAG resident war hero opines.
Clearly, Americans are tired of endless war. Clearly, that’s the war we’re fighting. We’re fighting militant Islamic extremists who enter our country (speaking of loaded terms, no “Vaterland” terminology for me thanks), and the territory of our allies, to subjugate, rape, torture, kill and terrorize innocent civilians.
The flag is America’s symbol of freedom, but the gun is the means of its protection and expansion. Gun control advocates do more than leave citizens defenseless against criminal attack. By degrading and destroying our ability — and responsibility — for self-defense, they degrade our fighting spirit. Our desire to identify and protect the values of independence and liberty that we hold sacred, both here and abroad.
Donald Trump is a Johnny-come-lately to firearms freedom. While he’s saying all the right things now, we can no more trust him with our gun rights than we can trust him to create a plan for a successful American foreign policy and implement it effectively. His “ideas” on both fronts are better than Hillary Clinton’s, certainly. But nowhere near good enough.