Olivia Pierson on Trump’s address to the UN

It will have fallen on deaf ears at the UN, but Trump told them the unvarnished truth anyway.

President Trump stated to the delegates of our world’s political leaders:

“The success of the United Nations depends upon the independent strength of its members. To overcome the perils of the present, and to achieve the promise of the future, we must begin with the wisdom of the past. Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty, to promote security, prosperity, and peace, for themselves and for the world. We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties, to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.”

“To respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.” Are these not the core tenets of what was originally called the League of Nations which eventually was reborn into the United Nations?

They are.  But like anything political and anything that grows from it, corruption of the original aims eventually turns the organisation against the very people it is trying to serve.  The European Union would be another example of this.   

The United Nations and all their member states, whether they be run by actual human beings or run by beasts, or would-be gods, have been put on notice by the most powerful man in the world. A man who thoroughly understands what old Aristotle knew – that the state comes into existence for the sake of life and continues to exist for the sake of good life.

In the tradition of the early presidents who came long before him, President Trump lay out the case for nation states to be grounded in the statesman’s noble task of helping to create the good life. One of those great President’s, Thomas Jefferson, once built upon the echo of Aristotle’s wisdom when he wrote in the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…

In stark contrast to the (dis)abilities of his feckless predecessor, President Trump took a very statesmanlike stand in nobly exhorting modern world leaders to consider just [why] they exist in leadership to accomplish.

The United States is the big boy in the room.  It can withhold its funds.  It can offer not to help out in certain conflicts.   If there has ever been an opportunity for the world to give the UN a bit of a wake-up call, it’s the Trump administration.

 

Olivia Pierson

 


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