President Trump addresses the UN Alexander Shcherbak/Getty Images

Trump’s UN Hypocrisy

US President Donald Trump’s tone in his maiden address to the United Nations was that of a dissatisfied tenant, blaming the landlord for his home’s poor state of repair. But the UN is only as good as those who inhabit it, not least the US itself.

DENVER – US President Donald Trump’s first address to the United Nations General Assembly will be remembered, above all, for its bizarre language, and its descriptions of North Korea as “depraved,” Iran as “murderous,” and Cuba and Venezuela as “corrupt.” And, beyond calling out miscreant member states by name, Trump also offered a fervent defense of his “America First” agenda.

But while Trump’s particular choice of words was new to the UN, his arguments were not. He pointed out, with some justification, that other countries also put their own national interests first. And he reprised a longstanding complaint within US foreign-policymaking circles: that it is somehow excessive and unfair to expect American taxpayers to pay for 22% of the UN’s total budget.

After calling on the General Assembly to do its part to implement and then enforce sanctions against North Korea, Trump said, “Let’s see how they do.” But referring to the UN as “they” implies that it is something apart from the US. Trump’s tone was that of a dissatisfied tenant, blaming the landlord for his home’s poor state of repair. But the UN is only as good as those who inhabit it, not least the US itself.

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