U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump has a very selective nostalgia on decades and trends that have collectively framed the American identity.
Trump seems to have an appreciation for the 1950s, when social harmony between people from all walks of life was not a pressing issue of the American electorate, while not embodying the parts of history that appeal to the better angels of our nature.
One particular aspect of that history is the idea of the international mindset.
This is the idea that when our politics, morality, economics, and communication become asymmetric, the prime goal is to form a world order whose universal principles are refined over time through empathy for the concerns of differing countries.
This international mindset was first framed in American political discourse by President Woodrow Wilson with the creation of the League of Nations, and refined by successive presidents such as Franklin Roosevelt, who helped create the United Nations and the Bretton Woods Institutions (the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank).
While the United States committed terrible atrocities during the time that these institutions were functioning, such as the institutionalization of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, the enabling of a state-sponsored genocide in Guatemala during the Reagan administration, and the abandonment of a ballistic missiles treaty during the Bush administration, the world has made considerable progress in creating a world order based on consensus.
We saw this during the Paris Climate Accords that pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the creation of the World Trade Organization, and the imposition of the Iran Nuclear Deal that has bolstered the reformist movement in the Iranian parliament.
Donald Trump represents a threat to this world order.
He has called for the dismantlement of the Iran Nuclear Deal and the Paris Accords. He would dismantle years of bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico on issues such as trade liberalization and the drug trade, and he would enable a rising global culture of demagogues that is supported by Vladimir Putin and numerous other authoritarian leaders such as Kim Jong-un.
That is why with good reason Donald Trump has been listed on the Economist Magazine’s list of global threats.
His strong-arm approach to China emulates Khublai Khan’s strategy toward the Song Dynasty, which destroyed years of industrial progress that had benefited thousands of Chinese people.
So, how can you stop Donald Trump from reversing progress within American foreign policy?
As the vice president of the UA College Democrats, I implore you to register to vote on campus and vote against Donald Trump!
Aspiring Educators, NextGen Climate, Hillary For America, the Organization for the Development of People, College Democrats, and many other non-partisan organizations stand ready to mobilize millennials around the issues that matter to us.
The deadline for registration is Oct. 11. See our article on the front page for more information.