We’re only five months into Trump’s Make America Great Again project and the damage is enormous. It’s far greater than just what has resulted already from Trump’s attacks on our environment, our educational system, our health care system, our judicial system, our security services, our legislative processes, our independent media, and a wide range of individual citizens who have been reproached, vilified, and ridiculed.
It’s our place in the world that has suffered most.
Our allies don’t trust us. Our treaty commitments are up for “re-negotiation”. The “soft power” we have exercised worldwide through the example of our institutions, political culture, educational opportunities, and our economic and philanthropic outreach is diminished.
This WaPo piece describes the precipitous decline of our status in Western Europe and our tremendous surge of esteem in Russia. It offers some explanations, including,
What is surprising, said Frank G. Wisner, a former diplomat who served under Democrats and Republicans, is the degree to which Trump has scorned principles the United States has not only long espoused but also helped to define in the previous century. These include democratic governance, free markets, collective security, human rights and the rule of law — commitments that together, Wisner said, delineate the liberal international order.
This Pew Research Center piece describes a poll of 37 nations, summing it up by saying, “Trump and many of his key policies are broadly unpopular around the globe, and ratings for the U.S. have declined steeply in many nations.”
There is a ton of information and detail in the Pew study – well worth a look. Here are a couple of highlights:
The image, esteem, and power of the U.S. has been enormously diminished in just a few months, but it’s Trump himself that takes the biggest hit:
A median 22 percent are confident that Trump will do the right thing in global affairs, down from 64 percent who had confidence in Obama.
The Failing New York Times rated Trump’s first 100 days as the “Worst On Record”, but that’s the sort of fake news that explains why they’re failing.
Trump’s view of his own success is, of course, entirely different. In that “cabinet meeting” he held recently, where the agenda consisted of each cabinet member in turn describing how unbelievably great Trump is, he said,
“There has never been a president, with few exceptions, who has passed more legislation, done more things.”
Way to go, man-baby. And thanks for nothing.