It is sometimes jarring to hear the proprietor of Mar-a-Lago direct our attention to the spiritual realm. Here, too, Trump’s rhetoric maintains its ties to some of America’s greatest orators. In his “Time for Choosing” speech of October 1964, Ronald Reagan quoted Winston Churchill, who said, “The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we’re spirits—not animals.” Churchill, Reagan continued, also said, “There’s something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.” The men who fought for freedom at Normandy know what he meant.
Beginning with his Inaugural Address, but developed more fully in his speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, in his Warsaw appearance, and in his 2017 remarks at the U.N. General Assembly, Donald Trump has offered a consistent perspective on foreign affairs. The world is composed of nations that, at the end of the day, are accountable only to themselves and to their people. The strength of a nation manifests itself in economics and military might, but ultimately depends on patriotic feeling, communal sensibility, and religious belief.
Each nation has the right to exercise sovereignty. It will try to advance its interests, but also must understand that other nations will do the same. When nations enter into trade relationships or alliances, they ought not to take advantage of one another. And they ought not to infringe on sovereign rights.