by Alexander Murinson and Jonathan Snyder (September 2016)
To Our European Friends,
At no time has Trump implied—as Hillary Clinton has suggested—that he would end NATO, encourage Japan or South Korea to go nuclear, or retreat into isolationism.
As far as the “free rider” problem is concerned, Trump’s criticism has been echoed by none other than Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Bernie Sanders, although the President later tried to walk back his remarks after it became a campaign issue.
We would like to propose to you a new realignment of American priorities that we look forward to seeing under a Trump administration. We will focus on trade policy, the prevention of terrorism and immigration.
NATO has served a critical need in the past for the common defense of democracies, yet it has underappreciated the fundamental truth that economic might underpins military might. It is time to realign NATO in recognition of this truth, because without ample military power there can be no peace.
The United States has long served as a primary bulwark for the defense of democracy. We look forward to continuing that role. We are currently fourth globally in military expenditure per person (“per capita”) at over $1800 dollars per citizen.1 The only countries ahead of us are Israel, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia, each of whom has special regional military needs. As you all must know, this level of expenditure is much higher for the US than for the various nations of the European Union. This needs to change.
In 2015, the US trade deficit with the Asian economies was about $550 billion2 or about $1700 per citizen. It is relevant to note that our trade deficit per capita with Asia alone is approaching our military spending per capita. The major power that spends the most on its military needs to have the largest trade balance in its favor, not against.
Meanwhile, our national debt is increasing beyond $20 trillion3 or over $60,000 per citizen. Of course, the national debt is directly related to the above facts.
In contrast to the United States, the EU has done a substantially better job at managing its balance of trade. Indeed, one could argue that a primary goal of the EU being set up was to improve on the export capability and balance of trade of the member European states. We congratulate you on your successes.
The United States is rightfully proud of its role in helping shape the world in the general direction of democracy. While honestly recognizing our mistakes in this area, we can also rejoice in the general trend towards democracy around the world and in the role the United States has played in fostering democratic institutions among out various allies around the world. We fought beside the people of Europe who sought independence and freedom and we helped greatly to keep the peace.
Yet globalism has been methodically eroding our middle class, the cornerstone of our nation’s social and economic order, our birthright. We are not the only country to feel this hollowing at its core. Donald J. Trump is running for President first and foremost to restore our middle class. And this will not be achieved until the global economic playing field is again made level. Why is our middle class under threat?
I would argue the threat comes from a combination of factors. First, currency manipulation. Modern, powerful nations, which have no business manipulating their currency at this late date, are still doing so. This manipulation aims the arrow of mercantilism at the heart of our middle class. This must come to an end. If it does not, we must take counter-measures to protect the heart of our nation. Second, cyber-espionage has been used on the largest scale in history to access and copy critical trade secrets. This too must end. Third, globalism has led to a new elite which follows profits wherever they may lead. Lastly, yet critically, countries have had different levels of success in preparing their citizens for the new economy through education.
We have no objection to educational winners. Education is about hard work and sacrifice and we applaud any country that has beaten us in this area, and we will work hard to overcome their lead. We also recognize that as the world grows smaller, capital will tend to leap to countries in much the same manner as it used to (and still does) cross state lines within our country. Yet we argue a new patriotism is needed, one which balances capitalistic globalism against the rightful needs of each country to maintain and build its middle class and hence its economic and social order. Donald J. Trump represents that patriotism. Regarding currency manipulation and economic cyber-espionage, we must take ample and powerful counter-measures, and we have the fundamental right to do so.
We argue for a new NATO, one which fully recognizes that economic might underpins military might, and therefore the peace. We ask for Europe’s help now, in building its per capita military spending up to a level closer to our own, so that this burden is shared. We ask Europe and all democracies for their alliance in helping to make the economic playing field balanced once more.
Terrorism is a scourge of all societies, free or not. We believe that to solve a problem, one must first recognize its essence and be willing to call a spade a spade. The era of political correctness must end if the world is to move properly forward. So radical Islamic terrorism is just that: radical Islamic terrorism. It helps no one to call it something else.
Political correctness has outrun its purpose, and become counter-productive to truth. For example, it has become politically incorrect to simply state that one is against illegal immigration, even if one is for legal immigration. In the United States, illegal immigrants, or aliens, have been renamed “undocumented immigrants” by our press, without asking permission from the American people. This cheats the American public of its natural sovereignty by attempting to reshape a conversation about the centrality of the rule of law. Indeed, it erodes the rule of law itself. Donald Trump intends to recapture the essence of traditional American politics, which recognizes the core sovereignty of all Americans in deciding their fate. We feel the Democratic Party, under Hillary Clinton, will continue to weaken that sovereignty in favor of globalist values. This weakens our middle class, limits our sovereignty and takes the fate of our nation out of the hands of the majority of citizens, where it rightly belongs.
Donald J. Trump has often said that he wants to make our nation rich again. He does. But he wants to make it rich in all ways, not just economic. As members of NATO, we celebrate the richness of our common values, while appreciating we do not always have to agree. Let us together reshape NATO so that the defense burden will be more evenly distributed, while fighting to prevent illegal immigration humanely and fighting terrorism intelligently, for the sake of the freedom of the world.
Footnotes on Sources of Data:
Dr. Alexander Murinson is Faculty Member at BAU International University,Team Member Bahçesehir University Global Policy Institute, Vize Leiter des Österreichischen Instituts für Kaukasusstudien.
Dr. Jonathan Snyder is a math teacher and educational technologist from Baltimore, Maryland with degrees from Yale (BA in history and philosophy), UCSD (MS in cognitive science) and the Technion (Ph.D. in Education in Science and Technology).
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