The Trump foreign policy chaos is likely to accelerate centrifugal forces in the global system that will be the death-knell of American exceptionalism and leadership, hastening a rebalancing of global power with the United States as just another player.
Commentators have cast Trump’s populist appeal as “Jacksonian.” However, these comparisons overlook experiences of marginalized people while defining history in terms of the ideologies of progress and American exceptionalism.
Kennedy’s America estimated that the country derived more benefit domestically and internationally by keeping faithful to its long-held promises of liberty and prosperity rather than give into isolationist forces of exclusion. In many respects, yesterday’s communism is today’s terrorism with respect to the fear each has bred in the American psyche.
On the surface, President Barack Obama’s farewell address recounted his achievements, values, and still-hopeful vision for America—much like the best speeches. But not far below was a clear template telling his supporters how and where to defend against threats by Trump and the GOP to the America they believe in.