Much has been said about the Trump administrations lack of a coherent foreign policy plan. He seems to have changed to tone to an us vs them winner takes all approach without considering even the near term negative consequences of such an approach.
Even if that is correct, Trump definitely got something right on US Foreign Policy: US citizens stopped buying in the notional that the US should be the ‘Global Global Good Guy’. Somewhere in the George Bush, Bill Clinton era, citizens saw an ever expanding, less than fully-coherent foreign policy that directly cost them billions of dollars, thousands of lives and the respect of many foreign citizens outside of the political class.
The US Government has thrown its weight around, with a view that it can do little wrong, since the end of World War II while US Citizens see and feel the losses. The US Government has lost the ability to explain the vast positives that come from such interventions:
- Increasing US domestic wealth at the cost of other countries
- Being able in source raw materials
- Providing a never ending source of cheap energy needed to keep US citizens in the status quo
- Being able to dictate what foreign countries will do
- Helping ‘the little guy’
- Keeping most terrorism off the North American continent
- Having dictators fear America
- The pride that comes from being the leader
- and on and on
Somewhere in the 1990’s American citizens just stopped seeing the value equation work in their favour.
Under previous presidents, Americans were nearly always the first into dangerous situations but US citizens don’t see the ‘return on investment’ anymore.
This video came from Fareed Zakaria’s GPS show on CNN which we highly recommend www.cnn.com/fareed.