His instincts are not reliable—if they were, he and his campaign would have kept their distance from Russian operatives. A man who has presided over failed casinos, a collapsed airline, and a sham university is not someone who knows when to step back from the brink. His domestic political circumstances, already bad, seem likely to deteriorate further, which will only make him more angry, and perhaps more apt to take risks. In one of the worst scenarios, Trump, as a result of his alternating overtures to and belligerence toward China, might bring about a conflict with Xi Jinping, who is consolidating his own power in a way not seen since the days of Mao Zedong.
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Military conflict between rising and preeminent global powers is hardly anomalous, after all, and the Chinese are no longer in the mood to accept American hegemony. In , when George H. Bush confronted Saddam, an isolated dictator, a paralyzed Russia and weak China were powerless to interfere. He had at his disposal the American military at the peak of its post—Cold War strength, and a ready set of allies. The United States has grown used to wars with limited risk against minor and isolated rivals.
A conflict with China would be something altogether different. Trump is, and is likely to be to the end, volatile, truculent, and impulsive. When he does face a crisis, whether or not it is of his own making, he will discover just how weak his hand is, because no one—friends or enemies, the American public or foreign leaders—will take anything that he promises or threatens at face value. Like most bullies, he can be stared down. But when he folds, American foreign policy will fold with him.
This dangerous and dispiriting chapter in American history will end, in eight years or four—or perhaps in two or even one, if Trump is impeached or removed under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. But what will follow? Alas, that is unlikely. Damage will continue to appear long after he departs the scene. Americans, after trying every other alternative, can always be counted on to do the right thing, Winston Churchill supposedly said.
But who will count on that now, after the victory of a man like Trump? Indeed, that is what is happening. They too may turn inward, not least because they have lost confidence in the strength of political institutions and the competence of the political class. Two public letters signed by some of its members during the spring and summer of last year denounced Trump not merely for bad judgment but also for bad character.
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I co-organized one letter and assisted with the other. Few who signed the letters cared to recant after the election. The administration clearly wanted nothing to do with any of them anyway, although it would have been wise to display magnanimity and recruit some of them. Magnanimity is not, however, part of the Trump playbook. These would have been some of the leading candidates to serve in a normal Republican administration.
Finding other candidates has been difficult, but eventually the jobs will be filled. Because the Trump administration prizes personal loyalty above all other qualities—most emphatically including competence, creativity, integrity, and even, in some measure, patriotism—this is a serious problem. Establishments exist for a reason, and, within limits, they are good things. Despite what populists think, foreign policy is not, in fact, safely handed over to teams of ideologues or adventurous amateurs.
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Behind each of those men were hundreds of experts and practitioners who had thought hard about the world, and had experience steering the external relations of the Great Republic. An elite consensus that spans both parties means a government that does not shift radically from administration to administration in its commitments to allies or to human rights, in its opposition to enemies, or in its support for international institutions; that has a sense of direction and purpose that transcends partisan politics; that can develop the political appointees our system uniquely depends on to staff the upper levels of government.
As long as that elite is honest, able, open to new talent and to considered course alterations, and tolerant of dissent, it can provide consistency and stability. Most of these veterans, knowing what their former friends and colleagues think of their decision, will be angrily self-justifying. That is human nature. But the upshot will be a Republican establishment riven, like the conservative intellectual class more broadly, by antagonisms all the more bitter because they rest as much on personal feelings of injury or vindication as on principled beliefs.
Glasser of Politico in March. One should not expect from such individuals ready forgiveness of the destroyers. An America lacking confidence, coupled with the rise of undemocratic powers, populist movements on the right and left, and failing states, is the kind of world few Americans remember. It would be like the world of the late s or early s: disorderly and unstable, but with much worse to follow.
There are many reasons to be appalled by President Trump, including his disregard for constitutional norms and decent behavior. But watching this unlikeliest of presidents strut on the treacherous stage of international politics is different from following the daily domestic chaos that is the Trump administration. Hearing him bully and brag, boast and bluster, threaten and lie, one feels a kind of dizziness, a sensation that underneath the throbbing pulse of routine scandal lies the potential for much worse. The kind of sensation, in fact, that accompanies dangerously high blood pressure, just before a sudden, excruciating pain.
For months, neighbors passed a 7-year-old girl in the hallway of their apartment building. One day, she was gone. Anna, Illinois, has a long history of excluding black people. Where does that leave it today? I got into town just after sunset. So I went in, too.
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I took a seat at the bar. A man two stools over from me struck up a conversation.
I told him I was a journalist from Chicago and asked him to tell me about this town. He just said it. Nikki Haley, the bright hope of Trump-skeptical Republicans, has placed a big bet that the Republican future will be almost as Trump-y as the recent Republican past. Haley numbers among the Republicans most often named as a leader for the post-Trump future. At intervals over the past three years, she has dissented from some of the more bizarre Trump excesses.
Haley left her possibilities open for future decision. The Washington Post today reports that Haley has now decided. In the form of a post-administration book, the former South Carolina governor has placed her chips on Trump. I first met him 21 years ago, and now our relationship is the subject of a new movie. He trusted me when I thought I was untrustworthy, and took an interest in me that went beyond my initial interest in him. He was the first person I ever wrote about who became my friend, and our friendship endured until he died.
And yet the movie, called A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood , seems like a culmination of the gifts that Fred Rogers gave me and all of us, gifts that fit the definition of grace because they feel, at least in my case, undeserved. The TV legend possessed an extraordinary understanding of how kids make sense of language. For the millions of adults who grew up watching him on public television, Fred Rogers represents the most important human values: respect, compassion, kindness, integrity, humility.
He insisted that every word, whether spoken by a person or a puppet, be scrutinized closely, because he knew that children—the preschool-age boys and girls who made up the core of his audience—tend to hear things literally. In , 1. Dag Aabye is a septuagenarian Ultra Marathon champion who lives completely off the grid. Eliot A. Share Tweet.
Latest Video After a Kidnapping, a Lifetime of Haunted Regret For months, neighbors passed a 7-year-old girl in the hallway of their apartment building. Emily Buder November 8, About the Author Eliot A. From to , he was the Counselor of the Department of State. The editors invite research articles, review essays, and book reviews from historians of all ranks on the ways in which Britain has interacted with other societies since the seventeenth century.
The journal is sponsored by The British Scholar Society. The focus on the history of the 'British world' is unique amongst all journals concerned with British history. The British Scholar Society is made up of people from around the world who share a common interest in Britain, its history, and its impact on the wider world. British Scholar serves to link the various intellectual communities around the world that study Britain and its international influence from the seventeenth century to the present.
The British Scholar website provides numerous intellectual features including the Book of the Month and book reviews of the newest works available, together with Featured Scholar which profiles academics at all stages of their careers. Additionally, you will find links to the websites of all British newspapers, governmental departments, universities, and societies on our Scholars' Corner page.
The Vikings Discover the New World
It's a wonderful initiative and unique in what it seeks to do. The journal plugs a major gap as it provides a forum for scholars researching on all aspects of Britain's interaction with the world, imperial, but, importantly, non-imperial too. Show full title. Recommend to Library.