America in Retreat

In Governing and the Cabinet, New York Times Editorial On
- Updated

Anyone seeking answers for these reckless decisions beyond Mr. Trump’s campaign braggadocio might take note of one sentence in a remarkable op-ed article written by Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, and Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, for The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Trump, they wrote, has “a clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a ‘global community’ but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage.”

The authors presumably meant this as praise of hardheaded realism. It is actually a vision of a world of cutthroat competition and zero-sum outcomes deeply at odds with the more cooperative, rules-based vision that has motivated America and its allies since World War II. Under the old model, the world looked to America to set the tone and agenda. Of course there were mistakes and misadventures, but on the whole American leadership and engagement were undeniably good for this country and, more often than not, a force for global peace and security.

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Trump’s Incredible Shrinking America

Trump is pulling America back and pulling America down. We are now witnessing the incredible shrinking America, and it’s a sad sight to behold.

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