China has just cancelled planned trade discussions with the U.S.

Except that's exactly what's happening. Trump is actively undermining the global order from which America prospers, the same one successive generations of competent Americans worked so hard to build.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that America's strength and superpower status are derived first and foremost from the US-led global order. The US ascended to global leadership by acting like an actual global leader (imagine that), and the rest of the world was happy–more or less–to follow along. But with great power comes great responsibility and Trump has all the responsibility of a preschooler.

Take away US influence in the UN, US money in the WTO/IMF/WB, US bases in allied nations, and what are you left with? A big, strong country–in a world with a decent number of big and strong countries. True, the US has a the largest military–but if you think hard power matters more than soft power, think again. Money and influence are what makes a superpower, and Trump is doing his best to squander both.

And for what? Cheap gotchas? Emotional gratification? So half or less of his domestic audience can cheer? Realpolitik is born of shrewd maneuvering, not Twitter rants and tariffs.

It doesn’t matter where you stand on the political spectrum, Trump is an incompetent buffoon. But don’t take my word for it–just open Wikipedia and start reading about the great empires of the past. Every single one of them rose and every single one of them fell. The US is merely the latest in a long, long, line.

/r/worldnews Thread Parent Link - cnbc.com