The United States has key relationships with other nations established by treaties, customary law, etc. These relationships may be volatile at times, but they are also crucial. They both secure our ability to trade and operate within the global economy and protect us (American citizens) from harm. That harm, as other nations have seen, sometimes encompasses both external and internal threats.
The US led the fight to revamp the League of Nations culminating in the establishment of the United Nations. The US argued for the formation of the GATT which later led to the World Trade Organization. In fact, the US either participated in or guided the creation of well over a dozen influential international organizations.
These organizations are tasked with duties affecting every aspect of our daily lives. Think I am being hyperbolic?
Here is what the often-maligned-by-our-current-President-and-his-staff organization NATO has been up to:
Here is what the United Nations, similarly disrespected by the current crew, is responsible for (among other great works): http://www.un.org/en/sections/what-we-do/uphold-international-law/index.html
Here is what the WTO, an organization in the cross hairs of the current administration, does to help the US trade more effectively and economically: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/09/20/would-the-u-s-be-better-off-without-the-wto-not-when-the-wto-guides-98-percent-of-global-trade/?utm_term=.aa4951ed4418
The US has a key role in promoting and fairly participating in these organizations. Without the standards and regulations established by them, our nation will be adversely affected. Trade will suffer, putting a strain on our businesses, and the global economy could collapse.
Human rights violations worldwide, as we’ve seen in the latest mass migration, do affect every nation’s citizens, as we collectively strive to be a peaceful world. Environmental principles advanced at the international level (Paris Agreement, for example) are literally the bare minimum bargains between the US and other nations meant to maintain something as critical as a planet with breathable air, livable temperatures and sea levels, etc.
The US should be leading these international initiatives and organizations, not fighting them or publically rebuking them.
Having IOs establish global standards is not only in the best interest of every American, it is fundamental to our way of life. When I take away my son’s favorite toy because he has thrown it on the ground four times and almost broken it, he cries. He feels the loss.
Should the US continue to discount how essential international protections are, we will lose them. And, I feel we too will suffer. Greatly.
It is reason enough to be on the phone, every day, to our elected representatives.