By: Sam Parker
When I ran against Mitt Romney in 2018, my theme was “Make American Government Local Again” (MAGLA). It was a play on Trump’s popular “MAGA” of the time, for sure, but also communicated a clearer approach for how to make America great again. Because I believe that the “bigger the government, the smaller the citizen,” that one of the best ways to make America great is to make citizens great. That means pushing power, accountability, and action back to levels as “local” as possible—re-elevating citizens back towards being full sovereigns of their lives and communities again.
That is why I’m an “America First” proponent: if we don’t put America first, how can we put our own families and communities first? If we instead relegate America to a so-called “global welfare program,” then our own citizens suffer at the expense of non-citizens. And what’s the point of a country in which non-citizens enjoy benefits at the expense of its own citizens? This trade-off is unacceptable.
As I look upon America and the world, I see problems for days. All kinds of policies and actions our government takes that do NOT put America first. We’re going to have to change that. The recent explosion of fighting in the Middle East offers one powerful example of how “America Last” policies are hurting our nation. Let’s look back on what happened: On October 4th, Kevin McCarthy was ousted as Speaker of the House. As you know, the Speaker position is 3rd in line to the presidency. It’s an immensely critical and important position in the country. Without a speaker, the business of the American people doesn’t get done. And we saw for three weeks that our government basically ground to a halt. We have big problems in this nation: a porous border with 250,000-300,000 invaders crossing every single month. We have a fentanyl/prescription drug crisis leading to thousands of American deaths every year. We have hundreds of thousands of homeless people living on the streets up and down the west coast from Los Angeles to Seattle. Generationally-high levels of inflation are crushing the working Americans and families. The terrible economy has seen millions disappear from employment rolls. Our problems are multitudinous and can’t all be listed. But here’s the point: for three weeks our government wasn’t looking after the needs and the business of Americans and America.
When we finally got a Speaker, it was a guy almost nobody was all that aware of previously—Mike Johnson. And after three long weeks of the business of America not getting done, what was his first order of business? It was to get to work legislating aid for Israel! Let that sink in for a moment: with millions of Americans suffering in countless ways, his highest priority was to look after the needs of the citizens of a small country halfway around the world. In a normal world, this would seem quite strange. But in the world of American electoral politics, it makes a lot of sense: the #1 donor to Mike Johnson’s re-election campaign was AIPAC—the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In other words, a lobby which represents a foreign-power was able to move to the front of the line, resulting in this Israel-First/America-Last approach.
In fact, this whole conflict has highlighted just how captured American foreign policy and domestic policy is by this “small” foreign power. For years, our country has been plagued by open borders and mass immigration. Nothing substantial has been done about it. But once the pro-Palestinian protests erupted, calls were immediately made to close the border! People like pro-Israel Ben Shapiro, who previously had said things like “I don’t give a good damn about the browning of America,” were suddenly singing a different tune. Prominent pro-Israel Democrats joined the chorus that something needed to be done about the “broken” immigration. In other words, they didn’t care about open borders and mass immigration until it negatively impacted constituents of the pro-Israel lobby. After two American aircraft carrier battle-groups steamed off to help protect Israel’s border, some Americans might have wondered where the military support for protecting our own border is!
Furthermore, many of these protests happened on college campuses, where “wokeness” has ruled for many years–but nobody on the Left cared until it negatively impacted constituents of the pro-Israel lobby. But this time, the objections weren’t limited to the Left. Suddenly, there were calls to ban pro-Palestinian gatherings and speech, from Republicans and conservatives on the Right as well! The 1st Amendment was to be subordinated to the desires of the pro-Israel lobby and its constituents. One more example: the social engineering on TikTok has been a simmering issue for conservative Americans for many years, but nothing has been done about it. However, once it emerged that pro-Palestinian content was outpacing pro-Israel content on the platform, suddenly there were calls to ban TikTok! In fact, a recording was leaked from a meeting of the ADL (the Antidefamation League—a prominent pro-Israel organization who’s been exercising censorship powers over social media content for years), in which its head, Jonathan Greenblatt, was noticeably panicking over this development! Once again, the needs of Americans had been ignored until it negatively impacted the pro-Israel lobby and its constituents.
Everywhere we turn, whether it be domestic or foreign policy, the interests of America and Americans seem to be subordinated to the interests of Israel and those who have near-dual citizenship with Israel. Here, we must highlight a technicality: under Israel’s “right of return,” any Jew anywhere in the world can instantly become a citizen of Israel with full rights and privileges. So, while many object to the characterization that many of our government officials have dual citizenship—and thus divided loyalties—because it doesn’t actually say on a piece of paper that they’re Israeli citizens, the objection is thin. Here’s one example: Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, is a Jewish-American. When the hostilities broke out, he flew to Israel right away and declared that he wasn’t there merely in his capacity as an American, but also as a fellow Jew. He’s supposed to represent all Americans and our general interests—not the interests of a foreign country and its co-ethnoreligious citizens.
Since this current round of fighting has broken out, over 14,500 Gazans have been killed, nearly 6,000 of them innocent children. Over 30,000 more have been injured, 6,000 are still missing under the rubble, and a whopping 1.7 million have been rendered permanently homeless! That’s more than the city of Philadelphia! Many have pointed out that what Israel is doing constitutes ethnic cleansing and even genocide. Since Gaza is essentially the world’s largest concentration camp, what Israel has done in dropping 30,000 bombs on 16,000+ targets is akin to the German Luftwaffe carpet bombing Auschwitz! Most Americans now favor a cease-fire, and have for some time. They think Israel has gone too far. Yet what does Washington do? It sends $Billions of aid to Israel for more bombs & war-making support and told Israel is was a “blank check” to do with as it pleases. Millions of Americans object to their tax dollars being used this way. Is this “America First,” or Israel First?
But not only are our tax dollars going to Israel to exterminate Palestinians and help Israel ethnically cleanse the Gaza Strip; not only are our government resources being focused on the needs of a foreign country—our leaders are risking war with Iran, and maybe even eventually China and Russia—allies of Iran. Surely one more giant war in the Middle East is NOT in our interests. More of our blood, wealth and treasure will be spilled, and for what—so this foreign country can assuage its desire for revenge and take more land? How do their interests remotely relate to the average American citizen? Why are the desires of Israelis placed above the interests of American citizens? Is Antony Blinken, the man running our foreign policy and America’s role in this conflict, representing Americans, or his fellows co-ethno religionists in Israel?
And think about this: the millions of Palestinians that are currently being displaced by Israel will need to go somewhere. There are already numerous calls from Israel, and pro-Israel voices in the United States that America should bring in millions of them. This week alone the Israeli Minister of Intelligence and the former Israeli Interior Minister both advocated for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza and called upon the world to take in the refugees Israel is creating with its terror-bombing campaign. Think about it—Israel is telling the world, ‘These people are dangerous and we can’t have them here. You should take them. And you should also pay for it.’ If the US does indeed take them in, not only will it be an accomplice in the ethnic cleansing of an entire people, it will completely subordinate the desires of millions of Americans who are fed up with massive waves of 3rd world immigrants and refugees and don’t want any more. If this happens—and there’s a high likelihood it will—it will once again be Israel First and America Last.
It’s clear that the pro-Israel lobby and its constituents in the United States impede the implementation of true America-First policies. Let’s remember the words of George Washington in his famous farewell address: “A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils,” he said. “Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists…betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.” Does this not perfectly describe our “special” relationship with Israel? As long as our interests are subordinated to the Israel lobby and its constituents, we’ll continue to be thrust into participation in its quarrels and wars to the detriment of the needs of our own country and its citizens.
How do we remedy this? The US should require AIPAC, the ADL, and other similar organizations representing the Israel lobby to register as foreign agents under FARA—the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Under this act, Israel would be banned from participating in or influencing American elections. Every contact its agents have with Congress would have to be reported to the Department of Justice, along with how and where they spend their resources. Removing, or at least greatly diminishing the power of this lobby, would remove a significant roadblock towards implementing America First policies. The Israel lobby doesn’t want this, of course—it needs as much power as possible to be consolidated at the federal level where it can access it through its agents and influence operations.
However, once this country can start putting its needs and the needs of its citizens first—and not get wrapped up in foreign intrigues and entanglements—then it can start to make inroads towards devolving federal power back to the people and their communities. By doing that, we will make the American government local again. We will re-enshrine the citizens and their communities as the seat of power and influence. The citizens will become sovereigns again, with true self-determination and empowerment. The citizens will become bigger and the government smaller. When this finally happens, we will be well on the way to making America great again.