Pat Buchanan explained the moment he boldly did so:
Two minutes into his speech before the Center for the National Interest, Trump declared that the “major and overriding theme” of his administration will be — “America first.."But libertarians shouldn't think for a minute that this has anything to do with the original America First movement that included such Old Right heroes as Robert Taft, John T. Flynn, and Garet Garret .
That movement was an antiwar movement. Murray Rothbard in The Betrayal of the American Right called their organiztion, the America First Committee, "the leading antiwar organization" of their time.
Justin Raimondo in Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement reminds us that
[T]hey came together in the great Old Right mass movement of 1940-41, the America First Committee....The Old Right was that loose group of intellectuals, writers, publicists and politicians who vocally opposed the New Deal and bitterly resisted U.S. entry into World War II.Trump holds none of the values of the Old Right. He is not antiwar, He has said he would send U.S. ground troops into the Middle East to battle ISIS and has hinted at possibly bombing or sending troops into Libya.
What, instead, does Trump mean by America First?
Buchanan fills us in:
Whether the issue is a trade, immigration or foreign policy, says Trump, “we are putting the American people first again.” U.S. policy will be dictated by U.S. national interests.Trump's America First thinking is not Old Right limited government thinking. It is old mercantilist, old interventionist, and militaristic thinking.
Trump is not against a government controlled-healthcare program, he is just against the one constructed by Obama.
Trump is not against government involvement in trade. He is a protectionist that sees a major role for government in negotiating government-to-government trade deals.
He appears to be in favor of some type of national industrial program. After war policy, this was at the epicenter of Old Right objection.
In other words, Trump's America First program is really an American Government First program. He is an interventionist on the domestic front with a real bad desire to spill some blood in the Middle East.
The Old Right was composed of principled men, bold enough to stand up against the U.S. intervention in World War II. They would be horrified at the proposals of Trump and the adoption of the America First theme to promote domestic interventions, protectionism and wars!
Libertarians beware. Trump is not part of the once great America First movement. His use of America First is a distortion of the original meaning. It, in fact, coming from Trump's mouth is the exact opposite of the original non-interventionist, limited government movement.