The Coin: America First Will Finally Make America Great Again

Over the past 30 years, America has witnessed the hemorrhaging of its jobs, a weakening of its borders, a foreign policy that has left the nation trillions of dollars in debt, and a weakening of foreign relations. Donald Trump saw the problems that plagued our country and ran a campaign that would shake up Washington and halt the endless cycle that does not put America first. Trump’s “America First” platform calls for a revitalized American workforce, stronger homeland security, and a reserved foreign policy.

Instead of being treated as an integral part of the nation, middle-Americans felt as though they were only “flyover country” to the coastal elites. These elites marginalized the hard-working backbone of American society, and crippled the foundation of the working class. President Trump understood that in order to revitalize manufacturing and business sectors in the US, he will need to cut the corporate tax rate down to 15%, end the job-crippling regulations that halt growth, and stop the bad trade deals that only benefit corporations. A pro-growth mindset and deregulating the economy does not solve every problem, however. The cost of living continues to rise far beyond the incomes of many in the working class. The average working class home in America has not seen a pay raise since 2001. To fix this, we must encourage a balance between business interests and union interests. Wages will rise, and Americans will receive the benefits they deserve.

The problem of stagnating wages and a bottomed out working class stems from the blanket trade deals signed in the past which hinder our best interests. Our once strong manufacturing base left the nation in search of a friendlier business climate and cheaper labor. We should be trading with countries that do not try to diminish labor, environmental, or safety standards as China or Mexico do. Trading with countries in the European Union through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), for example, would not only afford economic opportunities for companies like BMW, Dyson, and Glencore, but it would also add to the over 13 million jobs in place from transatlantic investment. T-TIP would promote high wages, excellent labor standards, and adhere to the environmental laws set forth in both Geneva and Paris. It is time that our trade deals support our workers interests, unlike what the past deals have done.

Ever since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented in 1994, low-skill laborers sought economic opportunities in the United States. The laborers experienced first hand the flaws of the agreement. NAFTA eliminated all tariffs and restrictions on the cheap, abundant American crops. Many Mexican farms could not compete with the low prices and eventually shut down, leaving millions of low-skilled laborers unemployed. This initiated the problem of illegal immigration that we still face today. Immigration of high-skilled, highly educated individuals is one thing, while mass immigration of low-skilled laborers who drive wages down is another. We must increase the amount of J-1 visas (distributed to doctors, students, and educators), and limit the number of TN/TD (NAFTA general labor) visas.

Trump’s proposed wall on our southern border will stop the physical movement of illicit materials from entering our country. The wall is not a panacea, of course. With the help of governments in Central and Latin America, we will crack down on the drug lords and end their evil drug operations that affect each state, including Ohio, each day. 8 people die in Ohio daily from a heroin overdose. Blocking off the source of illegal substances, as well as an extensive hospital reform, will finally end the drug epidemic in our nation.

Strengthening our borders also includes tough vetting procedures when taking in legal immigrants. The Executive Order that the previous intelligence department created listed seven nations where background checks are virtually impossible. According to US and British intelligence, ISIS and Al Qaeda operatives are to mix with the refugees and begin to relocate across Europe and America. This claim is frightening to many because some Americans want to take in the refugees, but how can the US know who they are or their past if they carry neither identification nor records? By halting all immigration from these countries, temporarily, the United States will implement a tough vetting procedure that keeps the refugee’s interests safe, as well as our own.

The refugee crisis arose from our over-involved, neoconservative foreign policy. The United States must and will adopt a reserved stance. America can neither manage nor afford to be the policeman of the world. Our past neoconservative leaders created conflict to further our permanent involvement in the world. This has cost the US trillions of dollars and thousands of lives. Ron Paul, while criticizing George W. Bush’s foreign policy, stated, “After $5 trillion and 7,000 lives, Iraq is no closer to democracy today than it was before we got involved.” By working with our allies in NATO and the UN, Trump will end the one-sided support the US offers and start to involve other members to help carry some of the burden.

President Trump’s America First platform solves the issues our country faces. By adopting a pro-growth economic mindset, strengthening our borders, and lessen our involvement in foreign affairs, America will prosper once again.

Erik Gross ’17

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