When writing about the end of the American Century in this space just five weeks ago, I assumed that the decline of U.S. influence and leadership in the world would be a gradual process. All too soon, I see the error in my analysis: there’s nothing subtle or slow-moving about Donald Trump’s deconstruction of America’s place in the world. Our reverse Rumpelstiltskin turns gold into straw. The slogan “America First” evoked enough support to capture the Republican Party’s nomination and the election; it’s the perfect phrase to accelerate distance between the United States and its allies and friends, Saudi Arabia and Israel excepted.
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