We can now say we’re entering the age of Trump. It’s been a long march to this moment. Around this time last year, the summer of Scaramucci, Donald Trump’s staffing was anunholy mess, his poll numbers hit new lows and the GOP health care initiative died in Congress. Perhaps Trump could not govern, some speculated. But a year later, and just a few months before the midterm elections, Trump is most definitely in charge and he is changing the character of America step by step.
Trump is advancing post-liberal politics in three key areas. First, a foreign policy that is marked by realism totally undisguised by platitudes or historical sentiments. NATO friends, for instance, have been warned they must contribute more towards the organization’s budget. In the Middle East, the United States has thrown its weight behind the unexpected alliance of Israel and Saudi Arabia. And Trump has pulled out of deals that he says weren’t working (Iran) or that he doesn’t philosophically agree with (Paris climate accord). His withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council is emblematic of his approach. We all know the UN is a joke on human rights (its membership includes dictatorships such as Cuba and China); critics accuse its members of turning the council into a platform to attack Israel. Trump is simply the first President to do the decent thing and walk away.