For as long as I can remember, POTUS has been viewed as the leader of the free world. Trump has made it clear he wants the U.S. to retreat from that role and those responsibilities. Trump wants to be feted and flattered by global leaders, especially authoritarian ones whom he admires, but he doesn’t want to shoulder serious responsibilities. Lord knows he doesn’t want the U.S. to pay for anything.
Surprisingly quickly, the world is reorganizing itself. The very impressive Federica Mogherini, foreign affairs chief of the EU, aspires to present the EU under her leadership as the new leader of the free world.
The United States has been the broker-in-chief of the Middle East peace process, professing to be the neutral intermediary between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Now, with Trump’s brash recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the foreign ministers of 57 Muslim-majority countries have rejected the U.S. role going forward, recognized East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, and called for a greater role for the U.N. The U.S., say these foreign ministers, is out.
Sorry, Jared, Another part of your massive portfolio bites the dust.
I think it was greatly to our benefit when the U.S. and the president were viewed as the center around which global politics unfolded. But, then, I think the U.S. is part of a global community.
Trump and the 35% or so of American voters who follow him want to retreat behind a wall. Foreign leaders have taken Trump’s measure, and come to the obvious conclusion: such a limited man can’t be taken seriously.
The world is a serious place, where crises and conflicts abound. Leadership is needed, and new leadership is emerging. After four years of Trump’s ineffectual flailing, our position in the world will be vastly different — and not, I think, for the better.