Charles Blow: 'America Is Exiting the World Stage; Donald Trump Is Drawing the Curtains'

Since he took the presidential oath 135 days ago, President Donald Trump has moved to severely undercut the role of the United States on the global stage, be it on trade, climate change or foreign relations.


“Trump is pulling America back and pulling America down,” Charles Blow writes in his Monday New York Times column. Blow argues that for the first time in his life, he can no longer take the United States’ role as a world leader for granted—nor his conviction that despite its myriad flaws, America provides hope for a more perfect world.

In defiance of his predecessors, Trump has backed away from historically strategic political partnerships, instead opting to show support for authoritarian leaders like Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

Trump has afflicted particular damage to the United States’ relationship with its North American neighbors, Mexico and Canada, as well as Western European allies. Blow writes:

“From the way Trump has treated America’s neighbors—Mexico about immigrants and the financing of his ridiculous wall, Canada over trade practices on energy, lumber and dairy (he called policies surrounding dairy trade 'a disgrace')—to the way he has treated our friends in Europe, Trump is single-handedly ushering in a new era of American decline.”

Last week, Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord defied the will of the American people. According to a recent Yale University survey, a majority of Americans in all 50 states support the U.S.’s participation in the climate change agreement. “How does it look for the world’s last remaining superpower to simply walk away?” Blow writes. 

According to Blow, “the icing on the cake” occurred over the weekend when Trump responded to London terrorist attacks that left 7 dead and 48 injured “as political fodder to advance his own failed domestic agenda to impose a ‘travel ban.’ ”

“We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the travel ban as an extra level of safety!” Trump tweeted on Saturday.

Blow offers that Trump’s characteristic lack of “grace and tact” lead him to be unwilling to “extend America’s condolences or offer American assistance.”

Read the entire column.

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