There was a time when the USA sought to force its way over the rest of the globe. They thought the world owed them their allegiance because they came in and helped win World War II. A great many nations did appreciate their help. What they cannot stand was the bullying that the US practiced to get its way. This was true in both business and diplomacy.
Over time, the US realized that such a practice was not helping. Those they plugged into places, or helped into power, soon turned their backs on America, and the troubles they wrought were so much worse than the problem they were trying to solve at the start. There was still a measure of bullying to be sure but it had come to know that might is not always right when it comes to economic or diplomatic relations. A more rational America began to emerge. A strong leader whose strength may be backed up by military might but whose leadership is now grounded on consensus and respect. It sought to gain peace not with a hammer but a common voice that led the world to come to an agreement to address climate change and nuclear disarmament.
Then came Trump who abruptly walked the US back from its commitments in the belief that for America to be great, it had to be the bully once more. He was focused on what the US was, believing that that was a great time for America, and to an extent, he was right. The US economy thrived when it was a bully but it was not well respected as much as feared. Trump thinks that fear is good, and in practicing this belief, he has damaged the image of the US to a point where it is generally ignored. Where the US once led, it is now just floating along on the side.
“America First” is costing the US more than just dollars and cents. American companies thrived when it took advantage of globalization. What didn’t work so well was the trickle down effect. It didn’t. At least not to the point where people felt the economy working for them. The bad thing was that the US was still reeling from the Sub-prime Mortgage Crisis and the Global Financial Crisis that the former gave birth to. Even as business was able to improve, greed got the better of many a businessmen, bankers in particular, and they triggered a landslide of epic proportions. Even as President Obama raised its state back, there were still many who suffered terribly enough for someone like Trump who tried to remind mostly white America of the times that America was once on top conveniently hiding the fact how it did so, to step in. The image of a great America was enough to propel him to the presidency. Then he got to work and all hell broke loose…
Make America Great Again is a rallying cry based on a failed policy…and a great many Americans have been blinded by promises of greatness without responsibility. That cannot be good. When America wakes up from this nightmare, it will have more than its economy to worry about. It will have to rethink its place in the world.