The stupidest quote from last night’s debate, predictably, came from Donald Trump: “We’ve become a third world nation.”
[The author sighs.]
Donald Trump lives in New York City, one of the most cosmopolitan and influential cities in the history of human civilization. NYC also happens to be the current financial capital of the world on account of America’s internationally dominant economy.
All Trump has to do in order to visually disprove this claim of utter nonsense is look out the window of Trump Tower at the extensive urban sprawl of a city prospering from historically epic specialization of labor.
Beyond New York, America happens to be the richest country in the history of the Earth. Some localities of America certainly resemble poor, underdeveloped nations, but, ironically, they tend to be overwhelmingly loyal to the GOP—the political party that Donald Trump adopted in order to opportunistically run for president.
Southern states, which collectively make up the base of Republican electoral relevance, are conspicuously poorer, less educated, and less healthy than liberal states. These trends have of course been exacerbated by Republicans’ contemporary hyper-partisanship, as the GOP is existentially opposed to taking huge federal grants for society-improving ideas as varied as public transportation, healthcare, and poverty assistance. We can have a genuine debate about federalism, but we cannot debate the fact that third world countries are more likely to be uninterested in or incapable of developing such federal projects like Republicans.
Trump spent much of the debate last night blaming Hillary Clinton for the problems that the Democratic Party has been fighting for decades to solve, despite the GOP’s obstructionist ideological purpose to prove that the government cannot solve society’s problems and therefore shouldn’t even try. So Trump’s idea that America is a third world country in part due to Hillary Clinton’s long political career is as politically misdirected as it is visibly inaccurate right outside his home and office.
The US is unequivocally not a third world country, especially given that the term “third world” originally applied to countries neither allied with NATO nor the Communist Bloc. Hence the term “third world” to describe countries unaligned with the world’s two competing geopolitical factions.
Ironically, given that Trump intends to renege on America’s commitment to NATO, Trump’s foreign policy ideas literally would turn America into a third world country.