America first?

That is the rallying cry from many Americans these days: America first.

As an American, I love that slogan and wish I could wrap myself in the comfort of that concept.

But that comfort is diminishing as we move further away from what America first should be, in my opinion.

To me, America first means Americans first, made in the USA first, and American-owned and operated first.

I know that may not be the point of view of others in this global economy, but how can it possibly be America first when pretty much everything we eat, watch and buy is coming from a foreign entity?

And that has got me thinking how some things in this country don’t make much sense.

Some Americans are raging war against immigrants and immigration.

Some want to build walls, deny immigrants basic human rights, shoot them at the border and even separate kids from their parents to stop the wave of immigrants.

But while everybody is in everybody’s face about that, I am looking out the corner of my eye because I think Americans are so focused on who is coming across the border, they are overlooking what is coming through the backdoor.

To my eyes, immigrants come in many forms — and we are not raising hell about the immigrants who have more of an impact over our daily lives than the people at the border looking for a better way of life.

That may be because these immigrants are not people but corporations — foreign corporations that have scooped up American companies, leaving some of our most iconic brands as not so American anymore.

I know that doesn’t surprise many of my readers but it bears repeating as we consider what exactly America first means.

The brands may look American, sound American and are marketed in the American way, but there is nothing American about them except the American worker who works to ensure the product gets to the stores and on the shelf.

That Budweiser may go down smoothly while watching Monday Night Football but is owned by Belgian brewers.

That scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey and other flavors may chill a hot summer day but it comes courtesy of a Dutch-British company.

General Electric, which at one time defined the power, brilliance and reach of American companies on the world stage, sold its appliance division to Haier, a Chinese consumer and electronics company.

Americans cannot even say the mayonnaise they spread on their sandwiches is truly American as Hellman’s is owned by Unilever, the same Dutch-British company that owns Ben & Jerry’s and a lot more products we use every day, such as soap.

How about Thomas’ English muffins, Sara Lee cakes, Arnold bread, Entenmanns and Ball Park franks? They are all owned by a Mexican company. Trader Joe’s, 7-Eleven, Holiday Inn and American Apparel are also all foreign owned.

The Chicago Stock Exchange, Smithfield Foods, AMC Theaters, a bunch of hotels across the country and the Waldorf Astoria in New York are under the control of the Chinese.

And what is more American than Forbes magazine — that “Capitalist Tool” that Americans with money turn to? It also is owned by a Chinese company.

Here in Connecticut, even some of our essentials such as electricity and cable TV are owned by foreign companies.

So it seems readers, much of America is not American at all, and America first is becoming a hard sell.

What are we first in? Selling out? That doesn’t seem or feel very American to me.

These were blue-bloodied American companies that soared to iconic status due to the sweat and brainpower of American workers.

And that is why I am writing this column.

I got the idea when I learned that Stop & Shop workers had voted to strike for better wages even as their company’s creepy robot roams the aisles, foretelling what is coming.

I don’t involve myself in labor disputes and I am not about to start — and this is not a column about labor relations.

But it is a column about America first — more specifically, Americans first — and the food chain giant is owned by Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize.

Americans are fighting for an American dream that used to be available for anyone willing to work — and that is simply not the case anymore. And I can’t help but wonder what role foreign companies that have taken control of American companies have played in keeping that dream in a slumber while Americans fight for better wages.

I may not be the CEO of a major company and I can’t say I have the brainpower to run one. But I do know the American worker is the engine that keeps these companies running smoothly even when the management sputters.

And on American soil, they should not have to strike to get better wages from a foreign company whose profit margins are soaring in excess of $2 billion, according to its own financial report.

I am not sure why Americans don’t look at it that way.

But then again, nothing seems very American anymore.

First? Americans are fighting the wrong immigrants.

Editor’s note: This column has been updated to reflect it is General Electric’s appliance division that is now owned by a Haier, a Chinese consumer and electronics company.

Connecticut Media Group