Donald Trump and the end of American exceptionalism

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a welcome ceremony for Trump at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies may be giving China a head start in what President Xi Jinping sees as a competition for global leadership (source: dpa)
  • The U.S. political system and its standing in the world are weakening
  • Donald Trump is at the center, but is not the cause, of these developments
  • This comes as China gears up for a great competition for global leadership
  • Neither the U.S. or Europe are prepared to take on Beijing

Just over a year ago, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, propelled by his slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Like his predecessor, he had emphasized his domestic agenda. Yet unlike Barack Obama, he did not consider domestic policies a foundation for maintaining the U.S.’s global preeminence. President Trump stuck to his domestic priorities, but became his own most serious obstacle. He mostly ignored international affairs: he did not understand the need for the U.S. to shape a healthy global environment, something no previous administration since World War II had failed to see.

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