'America First'? Or 'America Only'?


I am a strong advocate of America First. Indeed, I believe the citizens of every country should put their country first.

The case for doing so is not difficult to make. Just as people should put their family’s well-being first, they should put their country’s well-being first. Just as we would regard parents who put the well-being of others’ families before — or even on par with — the well-being of their own family as defective parents, we should regard people who place other countries’ well-being before that of their own country as defective citizens.

Similarly, with rare exceptions (such as in a time of war or when saving another person’s life in an extreme situation), people should first take care of themselves. 

In this regard, I am guided by two Jewish teachings. 

One is the basic and well-known principle, stated 2,000 years ago by Hillel, one of the most important thinkers in Jewish history: “If I am not for me, who will be for me?” To paraphrase Hillel: “If Americans are not for America, who will be?”

The other Jewish teaching is the Talmudic principle that when deciding to which poor people one should first give charity,

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