U.S. influence fading as Trump makes a fool of himself

Nick Sack, Staff Reporter

 President Donald Trump is a walking foreign policy disaster.

 Internationally, confidence in Trump has absolutely plummeted, according to the Pew Research Center. There has been a colossal drop in American allies’ confidence in leadership from the Obama administration to the Trump administration, according to polling conducted by the Pew Research Center. For example, the confidence of the Japanese public in the U.S. President dropped 54% from Obama to Trump, the United Kingdom’s dropped 57%, Canada’s dropped 61%, France’s dropped 70%, South Korea’s dropped 71% and Germany’s dropped 75%. 

These aren’t slight declines; these are massive differences that substantially affect America’s ability to negotiate. 

 Additionally, many world leaders have publicly and privately criticized Trump, and others are attempting to distance themselves from him. For some, he is too dangerous to even be seen with, due to his public image.

 For instance, a video surfaced of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking with French President Emmanuel Macron, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson about President Trump. In a video from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Trudeau speaks about arriving late due to Trump taking a “40 minute press conference” instead of the intended two-minute photo opportunity. 

 Following the video’s surfacing, Trump called Trudeau “two-faced,” and accused him of being upset after Trump called him out his country’s failure to pay its proper 2% on NATO defense spending. 

 Trump has also had tough interactions with French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron said that NATO under U.S. leadership was facing “brain death,” and for good reason. Macron, in an interview with The Economist, questioned if the alliance’s mutual defense commitments still meant anything, especially after Trump’s removal of troops in Syria. After removing American troops during mid-October, which resulted in Turkey’s invasion of Syria and attacks on U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters.

 We knew that Trump’s relationship with Macron and Trudeau was becoming increasingly rocky, but the interesting aspect of the conversation with Trudeau was his mention of the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. Trump and Johnson are both conservatives and were expected to be friends, a sort of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan 2.0. But, as was discovered at the NATO Summit, that might not be the case. 

  A summit like this is a perfect opportunity for world leaders to stand together and proclaim their great relationships and discuss global policy. A meeting between Trump and Johnson would seem like a no-brainer, especially considering that the summit was hosted in London. In reality, however, Johnson’s team informed the White House that they would be no formal meeting due to the upcoming U.K. election on Dec. 12, according to NBC News. This could be interpreted as a strategic play by Johnson, because being publicly photographed with Trump would be to the detriment to his campaign, as 67% of people in the U.K. have a negative opinion of Trump, according to a YouGov poll. 

Europe isn’t the only continent that has lost any admiration for Trump. It stretches across the world. At the eventful, U.S. relation-damaging NATO Summit, Trump let out another comment about North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un. 

 “He definitely likes sending up rockets, doesn’t he,” Trump said, “That’s why I call him Rocket Man.” In response to this, the Korean Central News Agency released a statement from the North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, saying that “If (Trump) intentionally uses again statements and expressions that ratchet up the atmosphere of confrontation, we can only diagnose it as the recurrence of a dotard’s senility.” In my years of studying politics, I would never have anticipated that I could agree with North Korea, but Choe has a point.

Trump’s inflammatory language has been dangerous for the U.S. before, and that trend seems to be continuing. North Korea’s ambassador to the U.N. stated that denuclearization talks with the U.S. are off the table. This is a major blow to Trump, who often boasts his great relationship with Kim, and a defeat for the U.S., which aimed to have a treaty leading to a denuclearized North Korea by now.

Trump, as president, is failing the global community. 

His inability to hold good relations with world leaders will be and has been a massive problem for the U.S. The 2020 U.S. elections will mean a lot for the future of our country. Typically, in foreign policy, countries can brush off administrations as a one-time mistake and move on, but if Trump gets re-elected, I’m not sure how much we can salvage of our global reputation.