Is the United States still first on July 4th? – Orange County Register

The Fourth of July is a time when Americans take stock of what we’re celebrating and whether the nation is living up to its ideals.

With Independence Day coming up, we’re asking Southern Californians to assess the United States’ place in the world during a time of change in national and international politics.

Is America still first on the Fourth?

That’s our Question of the Week for readers.

President Trump came into office vowing to follow “America first” priorities in foreign affairs, and to make the U.S. stronger through his military, diplomatic and economic decisions.

Some have praised Trump’s foreign policy for what they see as a stronger stance on Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria, along with increased spending on the military.

Others say that, instead of bolstering America’s power, the president puts at risk its customary position of leadership by taking actions like pulling out of the Paris climate accord, new restrictions on refugees entering the U.S., and other breaks from the community of nations.

Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican, made headlines recently by criticizing Trump’s remarks blasting the mayor of London following the June 3 terrorist attack there.

“We’re not showing leadership around the world,” McCain said. Asked if he thought American leadership was better under President Barack Obama than under Trump, McCain said, “Yes.”

McCain later sought to soften the comments.

So far, is the nation better off as a result of Trump administration policies? Are people here doing better or worse than in years past? Is America still the No. 1 power in the world, or is its influence in danger of falling behind those of other countries?

What unifies Americans at this time of political divisions?

What makes you proudest to be an American?

Does America have more to celebrate on its 241st birthday?

Email your thoughts to letters@ocregister.com. Please include your full name and city or community of residence. Provide a…

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