Series 4 | Episode 3: Nationalism’s Effect on International Diplomacy

Since Trump wants to bring all the jobs back, including from ally countries that have benefited and who did nothing bad to us and have actually helped us, we’re going to lose their support. Trump says that Obama lost their support, and now Trump wants to cancel any economic relationships we have with them. This will certainly reduce their companies’ incentives to engage economically with us. A reduction in economic ties will also remove one reason for political ties. Given weaker political ties, fewer conversations will take place, and a general sense of disconnection will occur. Perhaps there’d even be a weaker military partnership. After all, Trump wants to take all their money AND make them pay more to NATO. Whether you agree with that or not, it’ll sure be expensive for them. Therefore, we don’t know if they’ll defend us due to this, and they don’t know if we’ll defend them. The bigger concern is who they form an alliance with next, not really a formal military partnership but perhaps something small like letting one of their allies who isn’t a strong ally of ours keep military supplies within their borders or perhaps purchasing some weapons from such countries. This would amount to a shift in control away from the U.S. military to several smaller militaries that may or may not act as a group and may or may not act at all. A divided and/or less intelligent and/or less willing power or group of powers is a great gift to our enemies. In fact, this is what they want. Divide and conquer. The more things change, the more the same goal stays the same.

One really good thing that could happen is that companies that move their jobs back to the United States and find it less profitable to leave might have some patriotism and stop firing everyone by automating everything. They might also give raises because, after all, the race to the bottom in terms of wages around the world would be over because they couldn’t leave the country. This would give the government more control over how much U.S. workers get paid since U.S. companies would actually employ workers in the U.S. This could lift help millions of families. That doesn’t change the fact that we’d be an island unto ourselves, which brings with it all the problems I’ve discussed. However, this one single focus on American workers could provide that one single benefit.

In short, it seems that, whether you agree or disagree with Trump’s plan to bring back jobs or whether you think he should bring that back via any plan, that globalization, an incredibly large endeavor, is hard. You can’t really blame the whole world for getting it wrong the first time. You can’t blame anyone for getting anything so difficult so wrong on the first try. True, it wasn’t truly the first time we globalized or attempted to work with other nations economically, but everyone would agree that the countries of the world are unprecedently interdependent.

What we need is a realignment. That may be possible through free trade agreements like TPP that rebalance trade away from a country that clearly doesn’t care about anyone but itself and isn’t a democracy, but Trump thinks it’s better to be more brash. Shocking. What’s clear, however, is that withdrawing from the global society and realigning for a reboot, like Globalization 2.0 or something, would be helpful. I just think it’d be better to do it without pissing off literally ALL of our friends. I know, I know, fight fire with fire (not a good idea, by the way), but Trump is making it look like we’re the country that clearly doesn’t care about anyone but itself, although at least we are a democracy. If we even have a chance to complete this realignment without losing any semblance of our current place in the world, then it’d take a scientist to figure out precisely how to do it. I don’t think Trump can do it. Maybe he can just pull out and then our next president can fix his mess. The world would look different then and so that president could globalize the United States in a different way. If China tries to use its military to sustain economic power over the world, then they’d certainly be excluded from any reboot next time we outsource.

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