This is an installment of Chris Yobb’s weekly column “My Two Cents”
President Trump’s changing stances on key issues have shown that he is adapting to his position as president. Throughout his campaign, Trump was very vocal about his views on particular issues. Overall, he preached an ideology of “America First,” which ultimately won him the election. Trump has also publicly displayed his goal of maintaining peace with countries such as Russia. All of this may have sounded great until Trump took office and came to face the real horrors and atrocities around the world. It is apparent that this is what Trump is now realizing, and he is adapting his ideology as result.
Every new president should go into office with an isolationist mindset. The president’s job is to protect the citizens of the United States, and that means putting others on the back burner. This is what Trump emphasized during his campaign. He often said that the United States had to stop being the police of the world, and for the most part, Americans seemed to agree. Many citizens feel as though the country sticks its nose into other foreign affairs way too often. This agenda worked for Trump up … until the Syrian gas attacks.
When Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people at the beginning of April, Trump could apparently no longer stick to his “America First” slogan. It is impossible to sit back and watch videos, and see pictures, of the effects of chemical weapons on children. This was the turning point of Trump’s isolationist stance.
When Trump ordered missile strikes on a Syrian air base, it proved a couple of things. First, it showed that he was not going to let foreign leaders become tyrants without facing backlash from the United States. The strikes may have only served as a slap on the wrist for the chemical attacks, but were a stern warning not to repeat the action. Syria now knows that the United States will not tolerate actions such as those. Secondly, since Russia is a close ally to Syria, it showed Vladamir Putin’s state that we are not afraid of them or afraid to go against their will. Any Russia-Trump collusion conspiracy theories should have ended after these strikes. Russia is not a friend of the United States and I think Trump is starting to realize this.
Trump’s stance on foreign affairs has shifted, and for the better. The United States represents freedom around the world, and we need to maintain that reputation. The founding fathers said that this country was to act like the “Empire of Liberty.” The protection of Americans should always always be the No. 1 priority for our commander-in-chief. However, I hope that Trump will continue to stand up for what’s right around the world as well.
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