A Blog Post I Wrote for Another Class
If this post were for this class and not for International Relations I’d have been much more aggressive and straight-forward and just overall more vulgar because Trump is a fuckwad
“Trump’s Global Democracy Retreat” by Pippa Norris
Pippa Norris writes in this article about the decline of democratic ideals under Donald Trump’s presidency. She claims that dropping the words ‘just’ and ‘democratic’ from the State Departments mission statement (“to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere”) “would be fully consistent with the transactional realism that has characterized Mr. Trump’s rhetoric” (Norris).
Norris is noticeably biased against Republicans and realist ideology; “such a shift [in the direction of nationalism and/or isolationism] in United States foreign policy would be a historic mistake, abandoning America’s deepest values, eroding international commitments to human rights, and setting off dismay among friends and joy among foes in the world.” Norris is suggesting that by the United States focusing on its own problems rather than global problems, we’re abandoning America’s deepest values and upsetting our allies and helping, for lack of a better word, our enemies.
Historically, commitment to democracy and democratic ideals has been strong and emphasized in American foreign policy, however, “priorities have shifted” under President Trump. Rex Tillerson, when speaking about the State Department budget for fiscal year 2018, “was silent about human rights and democracy” (Norris). Tillerson suggested a budget cut to ‘governing justly and democratically,’ leaving that budget at more than 400 times less than the current budget for military needs.
The progress made in democracy and human rights, however slow and incremental, is progress nonetheless, which it seems we tend to forget because it’s not immediate results. “As the United States has been one of the leading actors promoting democracy and human rights worldwide, any abandonment of this work sends damaging diplomatic signals about America’s priorities… The foreign policy of the Trump administration is likely to accelerate a new global wave of decline for human rights, indicated by the shrinking number of democratic regimes around the world and the resurgence of authoritarianism, encouraging a newly assertive Russia” (Norris).
This article isn’t so much about a particular “international relation” as it is about the ideologies behind international relations and how they’re changing under America’s new leadership. I will say, harboring left libertarian views, that I agree with Norris on all of the points she made in her writing regarding the nature of Trump’s decisions about global relations and democracy. I think that Trump’s new policy that disregards the importance of global relations and democracy is a ton of bull and I think his “America First” agenda is going to backfire and shit is going to hit the fan. I think that his priorities are not in the right place, with “the well-being of Americans,” not that I think that our well-being isn’t important- I just think that we’re currently pretty okay- “[bolstering] U.S. national security, [securing] our borders, and [advancing] U.S. economic interests” (qtd. in Norris).
Norris writes that it’s true that sometimes risky investments (like intervening in other countries’ affairs) don’t pay off. “Some countries – Like Venezuela, Poland, and Hungary – have clearly moved toward autocracy in recent years” (Norris). I wholeheartedly agree that neglecting our duty to international relations and global humanitarian engagement would be the “ultimate symbol of the end of American leadership around the world” (Norris).