Thursday, January 25, 2018


For many Americans, since Donald Trump was inaugurated it seems as if all of our ideas and dreams about the United States, and how we worked things out as "Americans," are beginning to fall apart. As we've struggled to come to terms with our narcissistic man-child in the White House, we're also realizing that with a spineless Congress, we are living a recurring nightmare that's not going to end any time soon.

With Trump's base urging him on, shouting MAGA (the acronym for Make America Great Again) at their "great leader's" rallies, there's a surreal property about our lives today that's more Kafkaesque than blind acceptance of our predicament. For many Americans, there's a sense that we're living an embarrassing political nightmare, and we can't wake up. Mixed metaphors notwithstanding, it's like watching a child walk around with a loaded gun, and we can't do anything about it.

Worse, our nightmare is playing out in real time on the world stage. Global observers, who aren't sucked into the blind ignorance that grips Trump's political family, see what's happening in America and are unabashedly working around the United States. The United States may still be the indispensable partner, but it has also become "the elephant in the room" everyone sees, but no one wants to deal with.

The NY Times has an interesting article in today's paper - "As U.S. Trumpets 'America First,' Rest of the World Is Moving On" - that highlights these dynamics. It makes one thing clear to everyone, except Donald Trump and his supporters: the world is doing its level best to ignore Trump, which means they're running past the U.S. when it can.

In geostrategic terms - something conservatives used to care about - Donald Trump is accelerating the decline of the United States.

The NY Times article begins:

President Trump is arriving at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to explain his “America First” approach at a moment when the world is moving ahead with a trade agenda that no longer revolves around the United States.
The world marked a turning point in global trade on Tuesday, when 11 countries agreed to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, announcing they had finalized the pact and expected to sign a deal on March 8 in Chile. It was a remarkable moment for a beleaguered agreement that was conceived and constructed by the United States, then abandoned by Washington when Mr. Trump took office last year.
As the world’s largest economy and architect of many international organizations and treaties, the United States remains an indispensable partner. But as the global economy gains strength, Europe and countries including Japan and China are forging ahead with deals that do not include the United States ...

You can read the entire article by clicking here.

- Mark

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