The Trump Doctrine

Michael Anton writes about “The Trump Doctrine” in an article for Foreign Affairs. Anton wrote the famous “Flight 93 Election” article during the 2016 campaign and later served on President Trump’s National Security Council team.

Anton describes the Trump Doctrine as the view that America (like other nations) should put its interests first. Not long ago, this would have been seen as a truism. Nowadays, it’s a doctrine — one that many reject as nationalistic.

Anton calls the opposing doctrine “globalization” (formerly known as “imperialism”). In a recent post about nationalism, I called the opposing doctrine “internationalism.” I think Anton and I are talking about the same thing.

“Internationalism” seems like a better description, though. To me, globalization is mainly an economic phenomenon. No philosophical or political doctrine can halt or substantially curb it, nor would an attempt to do so be wise.

Internationalism, as I see it, is a philosophical/political doctrine that demands the ceding of large amounts of national sovereignty to foreigners. I believe we can minimize the amount of sovereignty we cede even in the context of economic globalization. I also believe our democracy depends on doing so.

Therein lies the virtue of the Trump Doctrine.

But that’s just me talking. You’ll get a more thorough, interesting, and learned discussion by reading Anton’s entire article.