“Blame America first” was popularized by Jeane Kirkpatrick (1926-2006), U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, in a speech before the August 1984 Republican National Convention at Dallas. Kirkpatrick said: “When our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the United States Congress, were murdered in their sleep, the ‘blame America first crowd’ didn’t blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines, they blamed the United States. But then, they always blame America first.”
However, Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, said this in March 1984: “What must be avoided in this trans-Atlantic dialogue over economic issues is a too-facile resort to the ‘blame America first syndrome.’”
Wiktionary: blame America first
Originates from a speech by anticommunist Jeane Kirkpatrick in reference to Democrats in the San Francisco area, who stated at the Republican National Convention, “They always blame America first.” Since then, it has become something of a catch phrase for those who wish to brand others as unpatriotic (compare McCarthyism).
blame America first
(US, politics) Used to insinuate that liberals would rather blame their own country than outside forces for problems facing the world.
Wikipedia: Jeane Kirkpatrick
Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick (November 19, 1926 – December 7, 2006) was an American ambassador and an ardent anticommunist. After serving as Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy adviser in his 1980 campaign and later in his Cabinet, the longtime Democrat-turned-Republican was nominated as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and became the first woman to hold this position.
She is famous for her “Kirkpatrick Doctrine”, which advocated U.S. support of anticommunist governments around the world, including authoritarian dictatorships, if they went along with Washington’s aims—believing they could be led into democracy by example. She wrote, “Traditional authoritarian governments are less repressive than revolutionary autocracies.”
Kirkpatrick served on Reagan’s Cabinet on the National Security Council, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Defense Policy Review Board, and chaired the Secretary of Defense Commission on Fail Safe and Risk reduction of the Nuclear Command and Control System.
At the 1984 Republican National Convention, Kirkpatrick delivered the famous “Blame America First” keynote speech, which re-nominated Reagan by praising his administration’s foreign policy while excoriating the leadership of what she called the “San Francisco Democrats”—the Democrats had just held their convention in San Francisco—for the party’s shift away from the hawkish policies of former Democratic presidents such as Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy to a more stringent anti-war position that the left-wing of the Democratic Party had pushed since Vietnam. It was the first time since 1952’s speech from Douglas MacArthur that a non-party member had delivered the Republican convention keynote address.
Wikipedia: Lawrence Eagleburger
Lawrence Sidney Eagleburger (born August 1, 1930) is an American statesman and former career diplomat, who served briefly as the United States Secretary of State under President George H. W. Bush. Previously, he had served in lesser capacities under Presidents Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.
8 March 1984, New York (NY) Times,“State Dept. Official Scorns ‘Our European Freinds,’” pg. A17:
WASHINGTON, March 7—A senior State Department official accused the West European allies today of practicing a “blame America first syndrome” in relations with the United States.
The official, Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, addressing the National Association of Newspaper Editors in a speech on alliance relations, was particularly caustic toward the Europeans for their response to the American-led invasion of Grenada last October.
“What must be avoided in this trans-Atlantic dialogue over economic issues is a too-facile resort to the ‘blame America first syndrome,’” he said.
21 August 1984, New York (NY) Times, “Text of Jeane J. Kirkpatrick’s Remarks at Republican Convention in Dallas,” pg. A22:
They said saving Grenada from terror and totalitarianism was the wrong thing to do—they didn’t blame Cuba or the communists for threatening American students and murdering Grenadians—they blamed the United States instead. But then, somehow, they always blame America first.
When our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the United States Congress, were murdered in their sleep, the “blame America first crowd” didn’t blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines, they blamed the United States. But then, they always blame America first.
When the Soviet Union walked out of arms control negotiations, and refused even to discuss the issues, the San Francisco Democrats didn’t blame Soviet intransigence. They blamed the United States. but then, they alway blame America first.
When Marxist dictators shoot their way into power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don’t blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies, they blame United States policies of 100 years ago. But then, they always blame America first.
The American people know better.
The American people know that it is dangerous to blame ourselves for terrible problems we didn’t cause.
Google News Archive
21 August 1984, Prescott (AZ) Courier, “Democrat Jeane Kirkpatrick praises Republican stands,” pg. 6B, col. 3:
By contrast, she said, the Democrats the “people who were—responsible for America decline’ ‘always “blame America first.”
OCLC WorldCat record
Useful idiots: how liberals got it wrong in the Cold War and still blame America first
Author: Mona Charen
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Regnery Pub., ©2003.
Edition/Format: Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary: The author attacks American liberals as naive and disingenuous in their dealings with the world, accusing them of rewriting history to portray themselves as “Cold Warriors” along with conservatives.
OCLC WorldCat record
Blaming America first : inside the hatred of the United States in the Middle East and beyond
Author: Laura Drake
Publisher: Springfield, Va. : UASR Pub. Group, ©2004.
Edition/Format: Book : English
Dems Blame America First, Always
Friday, Jan. 7, 2005
Democrats have engaged in endless post-election analysis to determine why they are losing faith with the majority of Americans. Here’s a humble suggestion: Quit condoning your party leadership dragging this nation through the mud for partisan gain.
March 19, 2007
The Blame-America-First Crowd
By Michael Barone
“They always blame America first.” That was Jeane Kirkpatrick, describing the “San Francisco Democrats” in 1984. But it could be said about a lot of Americans, especially highly educated Americans, today.
In their assessment of what is going on in the world, they seem to start off with a default assumption that we are in the wrong.
New York City • Government/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Wednesday, August 11, 2010 • Permalink