In his speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said:
In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch.
Would that it were so, for that’s the foreign policy promoted by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
In his Farwell Address, Washington said:
Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all…. In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.
So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.
In his Inaugural Address, Jefferson was more succinct, stating among the essential principles of government should be:
[P]eace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none…
Unfortunately the U.S. long ago abandoned even the pretense of not seeking “to impose our way of life on anyone.”
Since World War II the U.S. government, through its intelligence agencies, operatives and military, has killed some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in at least 82 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in more than 30 countries.
Just since 2003 the U.S. has killed more than 1 million in Iraq, and untold tens, if not hundreds, of thousands in Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and probably more places we don’t even know about.
Since 1776, the U.S. has been at war for at least 224 of its 241 years of existence.
David Swanson has created a list of U.S wars and hostile actions since WWII that boggles the mind.
Read it and tell me if Trump was being truthful when he said the U.S. government doesn’t “attempt to oppose and impose our way of life on others.”