From today’s election results we can imagine that America has given up trying, because the vote will be seen that way.
Given up on being a multi-cultural country founded by immigrants.
Given up on trade.
Given up on equality for women.
Given up on the environment.
Given up on shared defence.
Given up a world role.
A result for vocal angry white men.
Does this matter, globally? Maybe not. There has been long-standing political animosity in much of America against the United Nations. And for their part, much of the rest of the world wasn’t too pleased with cultural imperialism.
So we can imagine certain political discussions in Russia, China, India, Africa, Latin America, and the Arab Gulf States – all saying basically, “so be it”. If the USA is leaving the world stage, fine. Those political discussions in Europe will be more finely balanced, with the various right wing parties hoping that America has found a magic door to new wealth and opportunity.
The best role now for centre-left parties in Europe is to show America how to accept and live well with its loss of world influence while maintaining (or rebuilding) a tolerant and open society, as much of Europe did in the twentieth century after ‘their’ empires collapsed.
Of course, there will be a few big problems with America’s new direction. The nuclear capability of a rogue state is always a concern. The influence of the dollar in trade needs to be addressed. Probably, as with North Korea, the world policy towards the USA will become one of containment. And maybe some foreign exchange trips for the left-wing citizens to keep their hopes up.
As Barack Obama said after the vote, the sun will still rise.
Yes, and there is a saying in Africa – that the sun shines the same everywhere, no matter how small the village.