“America First”: Trump Probably Just Likes the Sound of It


The America First Committee was a loose confederation fairly autonomous local chapters that in some states gathered for statewide meetings. Emphatically isolationist, it was established in late 1939 in response to the start of the Second World War in Europe, and its members were committed to keeping the United States out of the war by developing such a strong defensive posture that the warring powers would hesitate to provoke any sort of armed response. A large portion of its members were young people, especially young college students, but it had support from several prominent corporate leaders. Both communists and fascists attempted to infiltrate its ranks and influence its public postures. Paradoxically, the communists, like the fascists, advocated for isolationism until the summer of 1941; then, with the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the communists suddenly became staunch interventionists. The group probably received public attention much out of proportion to…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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