Adil Najam, Dean of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, published an Op-Ed examining United States President Donald Trump’s first speech before the United Nations General Assembly — and his frequent use of the word “sovereignty.”
Najam’s Op-Ed, entitled “Is America a ‘Sovereign’ Nation? A Look at Trump’s New Favorite Word,” was published in The Hill on September 23, 2017.
From the text of the article:
President Trump has a new favorite word: sovereignty. He used it at least 21 times during his debut speech to the United Nations. He used it determinedly, deliberately and deliberatively, knowing exactly what it would mean to his followers in the United States. But to those in that U.N. hall, and those listening around the world, it probably meant something very different. In fact, it probably meant something quite opposite.
For his fan base, and for U.S. domestic audiences in general, “sovereignty” turns out to be a quite clever word choice. One had wondered how President Trump would square the anti-global, nationalist and blatantly anti-U.N. content of his version of “make America great again” with now hobnobbing at an organization he has famously described as “not a friend of democracy…not a friend to freedom…not a friend even to the United States of America.” Sovereignty is how he squared it.
The speech gets rave acclaim from his supporters, in part, because to them this word reeks of strength and vigor. What, after all, can be more “America first” than a repeated refrain to sovereignty? All “power and authority” belongs always, and above all else, to the interests of my state, my nation and, ultimately, my people.
Read the entire Op-Ed in The Hill.
Adil Najam is the inaugural dean of the Pardee School and is the former Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan.