When Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPutin urges US businessmen to ‘help’ Trump Protests calling for independent Russia probe kick off Trump doctrine is not ‘America First’ but ‘America Weak and Alone’ MORE took office on Jan. 20, the majority of Americans who did not vote for him knew the outlook would be grim. I don’t think we expected it to be this bad, so early.
The past two weeks have been not only disastrous for the Trump administration and for Trump personally, but they bode poorly for the future of this country, our role in the world and the image the rest of the world has of a shrinking and diminished United States in the global arena. Trump has effectively ceded the role of the U.S. as leader of the free world.
While his first trip abroad brought him many accolades early on, they did not last. Trump visited Saudi Arabia first. He emphasized a $100-billion deal to provide military equipment to the kingdom. Great for American jobs, but not once was Saudi Arabia’s dismal record on human rights abuses brought up, publicly or privately.
In fact, Trump himself said in his speech in Riyadh: “We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership.”
While there, the World Bank announced at an event with Ivanka Trump, that Saudi Arabia and the UAE had pledged a combined $100 million to a fund that will assist women entrepreneurs and small business owners.
“At what point does America get demeaned? At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?”
I think we’re there, Mr. President.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) June 2, 2017
Hmmm. How interesting that when the Clinton Foundation took money from the Saudis for their global life-saving work, Trump eviscerated Hillary for it, saying she should return the money from people who “want to kill gays and take women as slaves.” But now the Saudis can do no wrong. The hypocrisy speaks for itself.
Now let’s turn to his visit with our NATO allies at the G7 Summit.
While Trump could not bring himself to lecture the Saudis on human rights, he was very generous in his public critique as he lashed out at our closest European allies for purportedly not meeting their financial obligations when it came to funding the military operations for the NATO alliance.
Turns out these obligations are not due until 2024, most countries have been steadily increasing their share and many are on track to meet their goals. These were also not part of the original pact between the NATO countries.
To be sure, it is great that Trump brought this up to them. Bush and Obama did too. But they did not do it in a public way, and they in no way engaged in the kind of hostile tone and behavior Trump did that has clearly alienated those closest to us.
Trump could not even bring himself to re-commit to NATO’s bedrock founding principle of Article V, which pledges that every member country will come to the aid of any other member country that is attacked by a hostile nation or entity. Our European allies left the summit feeling the United States could no longer be a reliable ally to them.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the new French President Emmanuel Macron will clearly fill the void in Western leadership that the U.S. has now left wide open.
On the trade front, our European allies are publicly and deliberately turning to China for trade pacts and market alliances that will help them fill the void left by the world’s leader on trade that Trump has also ceded.
So we now have a clear understanding of what the Trump doctrine is and how he wants to position the country internationally.
In a recent Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal, National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster and National Economic Advisor Gary Cohn stated: “The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a ‘global community’ but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage.”
Really? Trump may as well yell from the White House podium every day, “Are you not entertained?”
This is spine-chilling. We are not in the movie “Gladiator.” And this is certainly not “America First.” It is “America Weak” and “America Alone.” It is an un-evolved Neanderthal bully approach where cynicism and insecurity reign. It will put America at risk and in danger at every turn.
But we saw it again Thursday when Trump took yet another dangerous and drastic step that further alienates the United States from the world and continues to diminish our global image.
He announced he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, putting us in the esteemed company of the only two other countries that are not part of the global alliance — Nicaragua, which believes the agreement does not go far enough to combat climate change, and Syria.
Trump and his supporters say he withdrew from the accord because it was bad for the economy.
So hopefully, it will actually never happen. https://t.co/0T4h1GXJRu
— Maria Cardona (@MariaTCardona) June 1, 2017
Nothing could be further from the truth. Alternative energy sources and green jobs are growing at exponentially higher rates than coal and fossil fuels combined. There are tens of thousands more Americans working in alternative energy jobs than are working in coal mines.
Let’s figure out a way to have our coal miners be a part of this transition instead of halting what has been a boon in innovative technologies — wind, solar, smart batteries and hydro-energy.
Let’s actually put America first instead of ceding these growing industries to China and Germany — our fierce competitors in this thriving industry. Let’s put America first by ensuring our kids and grandkids have a strong planet to live on.
Sadly, it seems that for now at least, we will not be putting America first. We will be mourning our great country’s end as the moral, democratic, business and financial leader of the global economy.
Until Trump is gone, R.I.P. to the United States as the greatest country on earth.
Maria Cardona is a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a Democratic strategist and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follower her on Twitter@MariaTCardona.
The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.