In case you hadn’t noticed in the sea of turkeys that emerged for the Thanksgiving season, Donald Trump returned from Asia. Yes, that Donald Trump! In no time, with Shakespearean grandeur he reported that our money was well invested in sending him off to save the world.
His extraordinarily puffed TV account of his singular magic, relieved only by two swigs from his water bottle, could hardly have been more reassuring to Americans who have grown quite fearful of nuclear power in the hands of a couple of unhinged madmen. Even U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who was roundly ridiculed by Trump for clumsily reaching for water during a speech, found pleasure in Trump’s moments of thirst, but quipped the president needs to “work on his form.”
Otherwise these moments were the only hints of weakness in Trump’s claims to have resolved all of the historic problems in the Far East and Asia in a matter of a couple of weeks. He praised the lesser world leaders who welcomed him to their land with “respect and warm hospitality.” He stressed the “ME ness” in all of the discussions of fair trade and economic goals (me-me-me) and NATO, once the target of his anger, is now “very happy” that he’s the president. (He-he-he!)
“America is back and the future has never been brighter,” he triumphantly declared.
There are, however, more than a few notable voices who might disagree. By dark coincidence, my copy of The Economist magazine, the respected British journal, arrived with a prominent Eagle on its cover and the overline “Endangered/America’s future as a global power.”
Allow me to share the conclusion of the the magazine’s lead essay:
“The idea that things will return to normal after a single Trump term is too sanguine. The world is moving on. Asians are building new trade ties, often centered on China. Europeans are working out how to defend themselves if they cannot rely on Uncle Sam. And American politics are turning inward, both Republicans and Demorats are more protectionist now than they were before Mr. Trump ’s electoral triumph.
“For all its flaws, America has been the greatest force for good in the world, upholding the liberal order and offering an exam of how democracy works. All that is imperiled by a president who believes that strong nations look out only for themselves. By putting ‘America First’, makes it weaker and the world worse off.”
Sorry, Donald. Not even a ticker tape parade for your return.