the 75th anniversary of the united nations and the USA

i was asked by our claretian united nations ministry to write a response to donald trump’s united nations speech in celebration of 75 years as an international body. we will share these responses with claretians worldwide. hopefully, we will become more united in our efforts to work globally for the good of all– especially those on the margins

i am honored to be part of this project as well as being a claretian working for peace, justice and the integrity of all creation.

here is donald trump’s speech:

here is my response:

Response to Donald Trump General Assembly Address on the United Nations 75th Anniversary

“Make America Great Again” has been Donald Trump’s tagline for the past four years.  MAGA has tapped into people’s fears of the perceived direction that the USA and the world is going.  These fears are seen in increasing political, economic, cultural and racial polarizations: we experience the opposite of peace.  Domestically, the rise of nationalism has been one of the consequences.  At its extreme, white supremacist groups have flourished and been legitimized.  Abuse of power against people of color has further diminished race relations and has led to mass protests and some violence.  Another MAGA by-product has been a weakening of the free press. Press reports that question Trump’s actions get dismissed as “Fake News”.  There has been a loss of our ability to know what news is true and what sources spew propaganda.  The internet has helped this confusion flourish.  While fabrications have always been part of politics, Trump has brought lying to a level that the USA has never seen in a president.  This is apparent in his United Nations 75th anniversary speech.  Another consistent theme under the Trump administration is the weakening of regulatory departments such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Center for Disease Control.  Certainly, the Covid pandemic has spread in great part because the lack of a national strategy to contain it and the marginalization of the CDC.

The Trumpian direction of the “America First” attitude in foreign policy has severely strained our international standing.  Trump’s initiatives such as  the Muslim ban; leaving the Paris Accord; withholding funding to the WHO; coddling right wing leaders such as Putin, Kim Jong-un and Rodrigo Duterte are examples.  Scapegoating has become the norm under the Trump administration in such incendiary labels as The China Virus and Socialism.  The symbol of the border wall with Mexico communicates an anti-migrant and refugee sentiment.

The one the thing that Trump did get right in this speech was that the USA is still a military power in the world.  But a misuse of this power will not bring peace but continued instability in our world that is more connected today than ever.

In evaluating the words of Trump, three questions can help us discern: Who benefits?  Where does the money flow?  What kind of people and world are we becoming?

1 Comment

  1. Well said, Fr. Art!


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