In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Donald Trump delivered remarks in many ways unlike those previous U.S. presidents have delivered before the world body. Along with remarks that broadly projected statesmanlike leadership, the speech was sprinkled with vintage Trump rhetoric, such as a derogatory nickname for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and a reference to “loser terrorists.”
Here are the top six points Trump made before the global body that he has both criticized and praised in the past, even as he received tepid applause from the assembled multitude.
1. Warning to North Korea
A week after North Korea launched its latest missile test over Japan, Trump asserted there would be consequences for the Kim regime.
“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump said. “‘Rocket Man’ is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.”
Trump has previously warned of “fire and fury” that could be directed against North Korea, which has threatened to strike the U.S. territory of Guam.
2. Socialist Failure in Venezuela
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been cracking down on political opposition in the country, assuming greater powers.
“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented,” Trump said.
He also called for a restoration of democracy in the South American nation.
“The people of Venezuela continue to suffer under the Maduro dictatorship. We won’t stop fighting for them until their democracy is returned,” Trump said.
3. Progress in Middle East Against ‘Loser Terrorists’
Trump praised allies for assistance in helping defeat terrorism and called for more action to uproot and prevent terrorist havens.
“The United States and our allies are working together throughout the Middle East to crush the loser terrorists and stop the re-emergence of safe havens they use to launch attacks on all of our people,” he said.
The Trump administration has reached out to predominantly Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia, where he addressed leaders earlier this year.
“We agreed that all responsible nations must work together to confront terrorists and the Islamist extremism that inspires them,” Trump said. “We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation and, indeed, to tear up the entire world.”
He specifically talked about victories against the Islamic State, the Sunni militant group operating primarily in Iraq and Syria.
“In Syria and Iraq, we have made big gains toward lasting defeat of ISIS. In fact, our country has achieved more against ISIS in the last eight months than it has in many, many years combined,” Trump said.
He also demanded the Iranian regime free political prisoners, and to stop supporting terrorists. He criticized the Obama administration’s multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran that the U.N. Security Council gave its stamp of approval to.
“We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program,” Trump said. “The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it—believe me.”
Trump also denounced “the criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad,” in Syria. Trump launched an airstrike against the Assad government after the dictator used chemical weapons.
4. Tribute to the US Constitution
Speaking before other world leaders gathered in New York, Trump honored the U.S. Constitution, which turns 230 years old this year.
Trump promoted national sovereignty and cooperation among free nations.
“In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch,” Trump said. “This week gives our country a special reason to take pride in that example.”
Regarding the Constitution, the president said:
We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved Constitution, the oldest constitution still in use in the world today. This timeless document has been the foundation of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the Americans, and for countless millions around the globe whose own countries have found inspiration in its respect for human nature, human dignity, and the rule of law.
The greatest [words] in the United States Constitution is its first three, beautiful words. They are “We the people.” Generations of Americans have sacrificed to maintain the promise of those words, the promise of our country and of our great history. In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign.
5. Snapping at Big Trade Deals
Trump campaigned against large, multilateral trade deals, and on Tuesday, he repeated some of those same concerns to the U.N.
“For too long, the American people were told that mammoth, multinational trade deals, unaccountable international tribunals, and powerful global bureaucracies were the best way to promote their success,” Trump said. “But as those promises flowed, millions of jobs vanished and thousands of factories disappeared. Others gamed the system and broke the rules, and our great middle class, once the bedrock of American prosperity, was forgotten and left behind, but they are forgotten no more, and they will never be forgotten again.”
Trump said he supports continued trade, but stressed he would focus on the good of his own country.
“While America will pursue cooperation and commerce with other nations, we are renewing our commitment to the first duty of every government: The duty of our citizens. This bond is the source of America’s strength and that of every responsible nation represented here today,” Trump said.
6. Sovereignty and John Adams
While stressing “America first,” Trump also called for world leaders to strive to build their societies.
“Today, if we do not invest ourselves, our hearts, and our minds in our nations, if we will not build strong families, safe communities, and healthy societies for ourselves, no one can do it for us,” Trump said. “We cannot wait for someone else, for faraway countries or far-off bureaucrats. We must solve our problems to build our prosperity, to secure our futures, or we will be vulnerable to decay, domination, and defeat.”
Then he asked the people of the world, “Are we still patriots? Do we love our nations enough to protect their sovereignty and to take ownership of their futures? Do we revere them enough to defend their interests, preserve their cultures, and ensure a peaceful world for their citizens?”
He cited a Founding Father and the second American president as an example.
“One of the greatest American patriots, John Adams, wrote that the American Revolution was ‘effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people,’” Trump said. “That was the moment when America awoke, when we looked around and understood that we were a nation.”
This article has been republished with permission from the Daily Signal.
[Image Credit: Flickr-Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)]