Friday, 14 July 2017 04:01

Trump’s nationalism and the rest of the world

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The United States presidential election campaign in 2016 gave the genesis to President Donald Trump’s domestic policy which is reflected in his public statement as “America First” and “make America great again.” These are code words for American nationalism, which was directed at inspiring and mobilising his conservative base and supporters across the United States. Since becoming the president in January of 2017, Trump has been beating the drum of nationalism as reflected and expressed in major repeals or changes to President Barack Obama government policies throughout the country.

Recently, the world underwent a rude shock when President Trump withdrew the membership of the United States from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. This is indeed Trumpism at work, which is an idea based on America First. This thinking is the driving force underlying the new push to change America’s immigration policy and many others under the Trump administration.

In the just concluded G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, President Trump’s worldview emerged in which he sees the role of the United States as the “defender of western civilisation” in the comity of nations and within the global economy. This is a strong statement suggesting a food for thought. Are we going to witness the revival of practice of protectionism in global trade and biliteral relations between two countries? Is the era of collaboration and cooperation in international relations among nations over under America’s Trump leadership? It seems the Trump Doctrine is reducing the key role of the United States and its leadership in global affairs as indicated in this famous statement by the president: “I was elected to represent Pittsburg not Paris.”

 This public pronouncement by Trump underscores the inward-looking tendency of his administration coupled with the efforts directed at protecting and promoting the national interest of the US in world affairs.

It appears Trump as the defender of western civilisation and its values, the world is back to the old ways of doing things. This brings us to a dichotomy in world politics, where it is the West versus the rest of the world. Of course, African countries such as Nigeria don’t fall in the realm of western civilisation. According to world history, it is known that African civilisation is quite different from and influenced that of Europe. Arguably, it played a role in the development of the western civilization. Thus, these African countries are not included in Trump’s protection and defence plan, because they don’t have shared cultural values and European heritage.

Against this backdrop, Trump’s worldview is exclusionary rather than inclusionary to countries outside the orbit of Western culture and values, which are primarily located in South America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. In spite of Trump’s label as a defender of western civilisation, European countries are experiencing a drift from the United States. For instance, recently, the European Union, independently of the United States signed trade agreements with Japan and China. Trump’s view of the world is beginning to create tension, realignment and phobia among countries in terms of collaboration and cooperation in the international community.



Dr. Joel Ademisoye, Maryland, United States

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Joel Ademisoye Ph.D

Dr. Joel Ademisoye, Adjunct Professor of Geography at the University of the District of Columbia and Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland, former Senior Management Analyst with Randstad USA/PBGC, a Political Appointee of D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, a Community Leader in the Nigerian community and a Writer.