Yuriko Koike, Japan’s former defense minister and national security adviser, lashed out at likely Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump last week. She focused on the insults he has directed at “Mexican immigrants,” “Muslims”, and even Megan Kelly and derided Trump for calling people “dogs” and “rapists”- referencing his inflammatory remarks at the outset of his campaign. However, apart from the fact that such regaling is designed and rhetorical, she openly argues that Trump has undermined “core political alliances” not only with Japan, “but also with the rest of the world.” She calls Trump, a demagogue who is espousing “incendiary” populist positions, likening them to the views of Russian President Vladimir Putin and France’s Marine Le Pen.
The core of Koike’s verbal assault on Trump is based upon his comments supporting an isolationist approach to America’s trade programs– Trump wants to make America great again, and he is tired of being taken advantage of by countries that are not paying their fair share. Koike does not question whether Trump is correct about these economic disparities, rather she only is upset over the fact that the potential President of the United States is putting the interests of this country first, and she woefully underestimates the core support he has in this country to accomplish that goal. Americans have for too long paid premium dues because of unbalanced trade programs between the United States and foreign lands.
For decades, American taxpayers have paid at the pumps way too much for Middle East oil and gas; workers at factories and companies are tired of losing jobs and family security because American companies are pulling stake and moving to countries to save on taxes and lower wages; for too long America has paid the majority of the bill at the United Nations to protect countries who benefit from our protectionism but do not pay us back. Koike unfairly, and inaccurately, alleges that Trump’s isolationist policies will lead the world down a dangerous path because “peace and prosperity” will be harder to achieve. Nothing could be further from the truth. Once America reasserts that they are putting this country’s interests first, and economically punishing countries that do not join us, and by increasing our military strength– all issues that Trump supports– peace will follow. Koike underestimates American patriotism.