There is a growing group in this nation that proclaims “America First!”, thinking it’s a term of camaraderie, when it’s anything but. Whatever conversation follows the “America First” decree generally inspires terrible justifications for racism, xenophobia and nationalism. It advances hate and discord, whether the user knows it or not.

“America First” would imply that we dare not help anyone who’s not American, until every single American is perfectly happy, healthy and wealthy. Is that realistic? Will that ever be possible? This attitude not only casually alienates any foreign allies, but apathetically dismisses any hardships experienced by marginalized groups in desperate need of basic resources and aid. I would hope that a party that declares itself to be “pro-life” and that “all lives matter” would be supportive in allowing opportunities for those in need, like refugees and immigrants, or favor sending medical treatments to struggling populations.

“America First'' sounds noble, but at its core it’s a subtle way of disguising what-about-me-ism and justifying cruelty and callousness toward individuals that are not like you. A real patriot will embrace the underprivileged/struggling, those that have dire options at their disposal, and those that want to build the American Dream. If we shift to an “Altruism First” attitude instead, I guarantee the country will go in a positive direction for everyone. Look past your discomfort, and when given the chance – choose kindness.

Ryan Hilmoe, Grand Forks

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts