Readers Write: Trump: A penny-wise fool?

The Island Now

As a child, my grandmother advised me never to be ‘penny-wise and pound-foolish.’  Grandma warned, “Only fools spend cheaply on things in the present that will cost bundles more in the future.”

After last month’s meeting with North Korean President, Kim Jong-un, Trump announced, “We will be stopping the War Games which will save us a tremendous amount of money,” seemingly surprising both our own Pentagon and the South Korean government. 

It appears Trump has been operating in isolation from both our own Pentagon and from South Korea.

Having American troops conduct military exercises in a strategic military zone is not a game. 

Having our troops refine military-ready skills that may be needed in a heartbeat is money well spent protecting our military stationed in South Korea, ensuring that both Russia and China recognize our military’s might, and safeguarding America’s mainland.

 Regarding what our American stance should be on unity with NATO, Alexander Dumas’ title characters in his novel, The Three Musketeers, seem to say it best with their motto:  “All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.”

Donald Trump’s remarks at NATO’s meeting on July 11, 2018, suggest he is not familiar either with “The Three Musketeers” or history’s basic lessons involving the successes of democratic nations’ unity vs. dictatorial isolationism.

Early American settlers recognized that only in unity would a community survive.  Forts and community barn-raisings were testaments to this belief.  Even today, farmers help neighbors rebuild barns when necessary. 

Today’s suburbanites confirm the value of “All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall” when they have block-parties, share cups of sugar, or serve as volunteer firefighters.

For America to remain strong on a global level, interaction with and support of other recognized democracies is mandatory. 

It is my belief that, sometimes, spending more money than other nations towards the effort of protecting our global interests is money well spent towards bolstering America’s status as our world’s strongest and greatest nation.

Trump should have learned from history that our own American Revolution may not have succeeded were it not for France’s extensive monetary backing. 

History should have taught Trump that, without America’s united front with other world powers against numerous dictators’ aggressions in both World Wars 1 and World War 2, American democracy most probably would not have survived.

It has been reported Trump apparently does not like reading.  Sad. 

One would hope that Trump, at the very least, would have listened to taped historical books.  One would hope Trump gains knowledge by listening to many sources of information, not just by listening to only one media source seeming to pander to his own viewpoint. 

Trump’s apparent blustering at this week’s NATO summit, suggesting America spends too much as a NATO member, seems to be another indicator of Trump’s apparent shortsightedness of being penny-wise and pound-foolish when making decisions involving American security.

Even if America spends more towards NATO’s goals than other countries in the NATO alliance, it is wise to remember America may require the united, collective strength of the NATO alliance in the future. 

Close-mindedness in an American President, without the desire to seek other points of view, is seemingly dangerous to our democracy. 

No one person has all the answers to all the world’s problems, even if one person’s apparent narcissistic ego drives him to believe so. 

Only in unity and consultation with other democracies can America remain strong. 

It seems obvious to me that isolationism is the path to America’s deconstruction.

If our collective American mindset ever adopts what appears to be Trump’s doctrine of measuring everything in shortsighted monetary costs, being penny-wise and pound-foolish by neglecting to consider the humanity, loyalty, and supportive-collegiality generated by extra spending, I believe our great nation will be great no more.

Kathy Rittel

East Williston




About the author

The Island Now

Share this Article