Putting 'America First' isn't the problem. President Trump's version of it is.
Many Americans were outraged when President Donald Trump put the United States and Russia on the same moral plane last weekend; he told Bill O'Reilly that Vladimir Putin may be a "killer," but "there are a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?" Condemnation rippled across op-ed pages and social media. But Trump was just following the logic of the "America first" credo he outlined in his inaugural address and during the campaign: We will not sit in judgment of other nations, because they are doing what it takes to put their own interests first, just as we should. At their core, in relations with one another, all nations are the same.
It is vital to sort out precisely what so many of us are upset about. Trump was not saying anything that left-wing critics of American foreign policy have not been arguing for decades - that before we criticize, sanction and indeed invade other nations, we would do well to remember our own sins: the coups, murders, civilian deaths, destruction and destabilization that we have often wrought in other countries.