Updated: Jan 25, 2020
Imperialism has its definite appeal to Donald Trump. Since his inauguration, he has sought to use his powerful position to disrupt the governments of Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Syria and the Ukraine, among others. The assassination of a top Iranian government official is the latest example of Trump’s desire to return America to an imperial power.
America is no stranger to imperial rule. Indeed, 4 million people, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa currently live under the auspices of the United States government with no representation. But it is the attempt to exercise its influence over foreign governments that is so troubling.
Its history, dating back to 1867, with the purchase of Alaska, often known as Serward’s Folly, is a part of the American landscape. Since then, America has sought to exert its influence over Spain, the Philippines, Panama and numerous other countries.
During the latter half of the 20th century, American leaders from Truman to Bush Sr. have used methods, both overt and covert, to destabilize governments that they saw as not being receptive to the American way.
In Vietnam, America supported the assassination of its president while supporting the installment of one who would support the American war effort and not pursue peace with their Communist counterparts .
In Nicaragua, the United States engaged in a “dirty war” with anti-American rebels on numerous occasions.
And in Iran, the installation of a pro-American ruler has resulted in our current political turmoil.
Indeed, it would appear that a return to an imperial power is exactly what Donald Trump seeks as he courts strongmen like the rulers of Russia, Turkey and North Korea. And it is these types of actions that will likely draw the attention of democracies around the world, as they await his next move.
The world waits…and it worries.