Donald Trump has been home for a couple of days, so it’s good to look back just a bit at his second overseas trip as president of the United States.
Did the president strengthen the U.S. standing in the world? Do our allies and our foes see us as stronger now that Trump is president?
I cannot possibly believe that is the case. Indeed, much of the chatter since the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany has centered on Trump’s isolation from the rest of the world.
He has pulled the United States out of the Paris climate change accord, and has been condemned roundly by virtually every other nation in the world that remains committed to the accord. And get a load of this: The other two nations that didn’t sign on in the first place — Nicaragua and Syria — refused because the accord didn’t go far enough. Trump’s reason? He wants to protect U.S. jobs he said are being harmed by onerous regulations.
Then we have that meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump reportedly “pressed” Putin on reports of Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential election. Putin denied it. Then we heard that Trump and Putin had agreed on a joint effort to crack down on cyber-hacking — which is akin to asking Latin American drug lords to craft a plan to stop drug trafficking into the United States.
Trump’s emphasis on “putting America first” isn’t playing well in a world with nations that are increasingly connected. His pre-summit statements about Germany, China, Mexico, Canada and Australia haven’t been forgotten by those countries’ heads of state and government.
Have we restored American greatness on the world stage?
No. Indeed, I believe the president has reduced our once-starring role as the world’s most indispensable nation to second-tier status.
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