Foreign Policy

American Leadership Is Still Necessary in the World

But it's also clear that the world's elitists reject that leadership under Donald Trump.

Lewis Morris · Jun. 12, 2018

As President Donald Trump wrapped up a rocky G7 summit in order to begin a meeting with the tyrannical leader of North Korea, speculation swirls about the current state of America’s foreign policy. Is the U.S. still the world’s preeminent power? Does the world even want American leadership?

Of course, America is still the most powerful country in the world. Our military remains the most technologically advanced and is funded well beyond the means of nearly any other nation. Our cultural influence outmatches that of any other country. Our economy remains the most dynamic and has the world’s richest consumer market. Every other country in the world desires to do business with the U.S.

But do other countries still want America’s leadership? If you listen to the Never-Trumpers and the global elites after the powwow in Quebec, the answer would be no. They believe that Trump’s recent actions on trade, his domestic policy stances, his foreign policy views, and his existence in general are a drag on the leftist world order.

And they’re right.

Surely, the other members of the G7 would be more comfortable with American leadership if the U.S. was more closely aligned with European priorities. Germany, Great Britain, France and Canada in particular are happy with American leadership so long as America leads like they want us to. In other words, they really miss Barack Obama.

Obama was tailor made for the global elite. He talked a great game but didn’t back it up with anything, and he didn’t ask anyone to make any hard choices (except when he expected Americans to forget about the Constitution and Congress and let him rule by his phone and pen). He was an internationalist, seeing the global “good” as more important than the needs of the country he was elected to serve. And that global good, defined by elites with no input from the people who elected them, has no room for the messy details of free markets, national pride and Liberty.

Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau and their arrogant ilk look down their noses at Donald Trump and the American voters who elected him. This doesn’t trouble Trump, nor should it. Much of the world’s view of America is based on which party is occupying the White House. In the early 2000s, American popularity with global elitists was at a low point. In the early half of this decade, it was high. Now it’s low again. It doesn’t take a PhD in world politics to see the pattern.

Our traditional allies in the G7 thought they had America right where they wanted us. During Obama’s presidency, he came on board for the Paris Climate Accord, joined the international order at shaking its collective fist at Syria, and made a deal with Iran to curb certify its nuclear program.

This was all a farce, and President Trump knew it to be so. Since taking offices, he’s gone about systematically undoing Obama’s bad decisions. He pulled out of the Paris climate deal because it was unfair to American businesses and it was ineffective at its ostensible goal of combatting climate change. When proof was found that Syria used chemical weapons, Trump sent in the U.S. military to destroy Syrian chemical weapons facilities. He also exited the Iran agreement, recognizing that it was a terrible deal that never should have been made in the first place.

Now Trump has sat down with Kim Jong-un to see what can be done about bringing North Korea to heel with its nuclear weapons program. Trump went in face to face without looking to traditional American allies to back him up. While there are concerns giving Kim that “legitimacy,” frankly, it’s probably better this way. America’s allies east and west — along with Kim’s nuclear puppet master China — have not done much to bring North Korea under control. Maybe the art of the deal should have a shot.

The North Korea summit could still turn out to be a disaster. Or Kim could play nice now and double-cross the U.S. down the road. The odds are slim that this meeting will be a smashing success. And even if it is, Kim is a murderous dictator who will go back home still in charge of his family’s Hermit Kingdom.

Leftists are not even remotely optimistic about the outcome. While they fell all over themselves to praise Obama over the heap of lies he delivered on Iran, they labeled the Trump-Kim meeting a failure before it even took place. Only Trump Derangement Syndrome can explain this, since leftists always support any opportunity to meet with dictators and give them whatever they want.

Perhaps the best example of America’s power is that the U.S. is the only country in the world that could sit down with North Korea and be taken seriously. The global elites may not have much respect or desire for American leadership, but everyone is still going to have to deal with it just the same.

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