Mr. Trump, to quote Winston Churchill: “You must put your head into the lion’s mouth if the performance is to be a success.”
Let me begin by saying: I am a loyal U.S. citizen, and deeply love my country. I have the utmost respect for the Founding Fathers, and think they really were radical for their time, and that some of their values were wonderful. One was the deep-seated commitment they had to staying out of foreign entanglements and practicing a foreign policy of isolationism. George Washington, in his written farewell address in 1796, wrote: “The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.”
Over the last 250 years, we as a country have slowly been abandoning the concept that we should mind our own business for economic, political, and moral reasons. Mr. Trump, while I am appalled that you have made KKK slogans like “MAGA” and “America First” the current rallying cries for the citizens of the United States, I could not agree more with your policy of isolationism. The concept that we need to handle the challenges within our own borders and not mess with issues that distract us and, quite frankly, bankrupt us, is exactly where we need to go.
Slowly, over the course of our history as a political entity called the United States, we have progressively betrayed our Founding Fathers vision for how to handle our foreign policy. First, we became involved in expansion West. Ok, fine, but we basically followed the Monroe doctrine articulated in 1823 which limited our involvement to prevent expansion of European powers into the Americas, and officially followed the policy of non-involvement in Europe or other parts of the world. There was some colonization activity that was outright, such as taking over control of the Philippines in 1898, but we remained largely true, in theory and fact, to the Monroe doctrine throughout the 19th century.
With the 20th century, we did fight in the World Wars in a variety of capacities, and our policy of isolationism began to deteriorate. With World War I and World War II, we began to be increasingly involved in foreign wars. By the end of the 20th century, with Vietnam, Korea, and Operation Desert Storm, we had largely lost track of the thought of non-involvement.
However, it was not until the 21st century that the policy of outright invading and overthrowing foreign governments — merely because we felt like it — became the norm. It is arguable that we were supporting forces in most of our prior wars that were internal to other nations. With the invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq, we established a precedent that we can just go in, willy nilly, murder millions of people and massively destabilize foreign governments anywhere in the world, unprovoked by anything but our own war machine and its propaganda. Thus, the idea to get into a war with Iran, Bolton’s idea of “Regime Change,” is a huge betrayal of the Founding Fathers vision, and the precedent that governed our foreign policy up until the last 20 years. And might I add, it contradicts your policy of “America First” because it will kill our soldiers, offend our allies, and be disastrous for us economically.
We have so many problems here in the U.S. right now. We are facing massive debt, an unprecedented drug crisis, rampant homelessness, and the biggest disparity between the rich and the poor in any developed nation. The concept that Bolton is pushing — that we should now go to war with Iran and further bankrupt our country financially and morally — is appallingly irresponsible.
I would like to leave you with a quote from the Quran: “Do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear God; indeed, God is Acquainted with what you do.” We know very well that you don’t like Muslims on a regular basis. But we also know that you have the capacity to overlook this and be gracious about it, as was evidenced by your beautiful address at the iftar at the White House.
History will look far more kindly upon you if you chose to do the right thing and spare the people of Iran untold suffering, and, I assure you with the utmost certainty, so will God. Please, Mr. Trump, don’t let your hatred of Muslims deter you from your vision of not involving the U.S. in foreign wars, for everyone’s sake.