America First

Michael Anton aka Publius Decius Mus answers questions:

MA: President Trump often used the phrase “America First” on the campaign trail and still uses it as president, including in his inaugural. For him, it obviously means something so simple and uncontroversial it’s almost tautological: the purpose of the American government is to serve the American people. Not foreign people, not the world’s people, the American people. That is the purpose of any and every government: to serve the people who enact and consent to that government.

Trump’s enemies try to make this into a big scandal because the phrase “America First” was the name of a famous committee in the late 1930s and early 1940s that wanted to keep the United States out of World War II. It was primarily an isolationist movement, but there were anti-semitic elements that supported it. What the Left has tried to do—with much success, unfortunately—is retcon the committee as primarily an anti-Jewish group when that’s not what it was. It’s classic guilt by association: here is this group that a lot of anti-semites supported, therefore the group was anti-semitic and anyone who says anything good about it is an anti-semite.

Now, I disagree with the America First committee’s isolationist stance. But that’s easy for me to do in hindsight. However, to the average American in 1940, it was not obvious why the United States should get involved in another European war. It took great strategic vision and foresight to see that clearly, and most just didn’t see it. FDR, who did see it, was very constrained in what he could do for the Allies before Pearl Harbor. Even after Pearl Harbor, absent Hitler’s mystifyingly idiotic declaration of war on the United States, public opinion probably would not have supported U.S. operations in Europe. In fact, in fighting the war, FDR prioritized the European theater over the Pacific against U.S. public opinion, and had to downplay the fact that he was doing so.

The point here is, the wish to stay out of World War II was the animating cause of the America First Committee and that wish was perfectly respectable and reasonable, if ultimately wrong-headed. That’s why I say it was unfairly maligned.

So what does “America First” mean in the current context?

It means prioritizing American interests in our foreign policy and the American people in our domestic policy. Which is what every state—at least every government that is acting as it should—tries to do.

This is such a “well, duh” statement and idea that the fact it would be super controversial shows how corrupt our intellectual discourse has become.

But there’s another layer here, too. There is now, and has been for some time, a broad consensus from the center-right all the way to the far left that America’s only legitimate role is to be a kind of savior of and refuge for the world. It’s not a country with citizens and a government that serves those citizens. It belongs to everyone. Everyone has a right to come here, work here, live here, reap America’s bounty. We have no legitimate parochial interests. Rather America exists for others. This standard does not seem to be held to any other country, although one sees it increasingly rising in Europe.

So Donald Trump’s forthright stance against that, insisting that this country is ours, belongs to us, and demands that we prioritize our own interests, sounds like the most horrible blasphemy against this universalist consensus. I think that explains so much of the freakout against his presidency and the travel executive order, for instance. People ask, “How can he do that? Doesn’t he realize that America belongs to the whole world?” And Trump’s response is: “Don’t be silly, of course it doesn’t. It’s ours and we must do what’s best for us.” No prominent leader has said that or acted on that in ages. So the reassertion of basic common sense sounds shocking.


* America, without a core ethnicity, will never survive. The historic American nation is British and Anglo-Celt. If that core ever gets swept away, you had best look out below. Things will come apart quickly, including any consensus on how to “interpret” the constitution. Ethnic nation states exist because within those self-selected cultural parameters we have consensual agreements on subjects such as ethics, religion, and foreign relations. Absent such a core ethnicity, a “nation” becomes a bickering miasma of varying regional and identity groups competing for power. And the whole thing is held together by political force. And that never lasts.

* “Race is not a nation…” then you go on to pick three examples of nations built by race.

I would love to read some discussion on what a nation is actually. In my observations it is exactly the contributions of the original race that defines the nation and when that race and it traditions, history, etc is diminished the nation of origin is no more. The problems of this country are showing up precisely because the originating race has weakened itself and has allowed the fractions of others to attack and destroy. This is why we are losing the country. We have allowed inside people not of our tradition and who are not members or admirers of our tradition. Thus they will not uphold it.

This is all propagated by the myth of equality which is an obvious fraud and a beleif that there is a universal sameness of mankind. By now if we have not proven thru empirical evidence that these are terribly flawed assumptions then preserving the west is a fruitless effort because what made the west what it was has been the particular views of a specific race and this idea that we are to be open to everyone is nothing more then suicide.

* No, the French, Chinese, and Navajo are not races. You are mistaking ethnic groups for race. Traditional Europeans belong to the Caucasian race, but they divide up into many ethnic groups, many but not all of which formed their own ethno-states, more commonly referred to as nation-states (England, France, etc.), but which now are devolving into multiracial states with their immigration influx from the Muslim world. China is multiracial but is dominated (>90%) by a single ethnic group, the Han. Their race is Mongoloid (or more politely, East Asian). The Navajo are an ethnic group. They belong to the race of Native Americans (or Amerindians). They are large enough to be described as a nation (= a tribe on a larger scale), but they do not have a state of their own, even if they are semi-autonomous.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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