Making America irrelevant

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As the weeks after Jan. 20 come and go, it seems to me that the phrase “Make America great again” is being replaced by “Let’s make America irrelevant.” The nation’s credibility on the world stage is being questioned. Foreign heads of state have been slighted, as has the State Department.

Fewer foreign travelers, even those without visa problems, are choosing to visit the United States these days. Fewer talented international students will be applying for graduate programs at U.S. universities.

With budgetary cutbacks at the National Institutes of Health, which for years has funded cutting-edge medical research, American leadership in this area will decline and, over time, citizens will be less healthy.

With the administration’s disregard for the Environmental Protection Agency, the hard fought gains of Sen. Edmund Muskie for clean air and clean water are being threatened. If the U.S. pulls back from the Paris climate accords, China and other nations will take the lead combating climate change. America should be part of the solution, not a continuing major contributor to the problem.

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Given the proposed elimination of funding of the National Education Association and National Endowment for the Humanities, consider the following quote from an accomplished and thoughtful leader named Winston Churchill. In 1938 he said, “The arts are essential to any complete national life. The state owes it to itself to sustain and encourage them.”

It will take years to restore credibility and respect for this nation if it continues to slide into irrelevance.

Edward Walworth, Lewiston

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