Guy W. Farmer: President Trump at the United Nations
President Trump went before the U.N. General Assembly in New York last Tuesday to explain his “America First” foreign policy to the world. Not everyone loved his speech and many delegates were outraged. Do we care?
As my regular readers know, I’m not a big fan of the United Nations because if we did a cost-benefit analysis of our monetary contributions to the world body, it would be clear we don’t get our money’s worth for paying 22 percent of the overall UN budget and hosting thousands of freeloading international bureaucrats in New York — overpaid bureaucrats with diplomatic immunity who don’t pay their parking tickets.
“We reject the ideology of globalism and embrace the doctrine of patriotism,” Trump told UN General Assembly delegates from more than 150 countries. “We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable global bureaucracy.” Attaboy! because that’s what those delegates needed to hear, not the usual verbal claptrap about world peace and global governance.
As you also know, I don’t like President Trump and think he’s a terrible person — a rich, self-centered bully — but I don’t hesitate to praise him when he does or says something I agree with, as he did by standing up for our country and its policies and values at the United Nations.
UN delegates laughed when Trump claimed to be the greatest American president since Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, and so did I. But I applauded when he called the UN Human Rights Council “a grave embarrassment to this institution” and said the International Criminal Court “has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy and no authority” in the U.S. because both statements are true. Of course we should never cede legal authority to an international organization, no matter what “One Worlders” say.
Trump lambasted several countries including China for its unfair trade policies, Iran for being the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and Venezuela for being a socialist economic basket case. He blamed Iran’s leaders for sowing “chaos, death and destruction” and defended his decision to withdraw from the flawed Iran Nuclear Deal negotiated by former President Obama and his globalist Secretary of State, John Kerry. The president said Venezuelan President/dictator Nicolas Maduro “has bankrupted his oil-rich nation and driven its people into abject poverty.” As someone who lived and worked in formerly prosperous Venezuela for seven years, Trump deserves kudos for that unpleasant but factual comment.
Trump also criticized the UN’s unfair financial structure, requiring the United States to pay almost one-fourth of the bills while so-called “developing nations” like China, Brazil, India and Mexico pay much less. A while back I wrote a column about the multi-billion-dollar UN budget in which I revealed China, which enjoys an enormous trade surplus with the U.S., pays a whopping 2 percent of the UN budget, less than 10 percent of the U.S. contribution. Go figure!
Meanwhile, that same bloated UN budget grows by more than 10 percent per year. So clearly, it’s time to save American taxpayers some money by slashing our contribution to a free-spending international bureaucracy. At this point I’ll give due credit to our effective UN ambassador, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who’s a star diplomat for the Trump administration.
A 2010 Heritage Foundation study concluded the U.S. pays way more than its fair share of UN expenses while faceless international bureaucrats live the good life in New York, Paris and Geneva even though most of their real work takes place in the Third World. Enough already! It’s time to downsize the United Nations.
Guy W. Farmer observed the UN “at work” during his diplomatic career, and wasn’t impressed.