America In The Eyes Of The World — A Guest Post By Colette

Today I have another guest post in response to my plea for readers around the globe to share with us their views of the U.S. in today’s world.  Colette has generously taken the time to write a thoughtful analysis of how the U.S. fits … or doesn’t fit … with the rest of the world today, and how our policies and leadership have affected the rest of the world.  Thank you so much, Colette, for this excellent and sobering analysis!


How did America Lose its Way in the World?

The USA, for many decades, maintained leadership in the world of economics, politics and living standards.

In 2008, that all changed when a poor economy, during the end of the Bush administration, triggered job losses and foreclosures on newly purchased real estate. The Prime Rate Mortgage scheme unravelled spectacularly, as people walked away from their homes. Financial Institutions holding the debt load across the world, fell like dominoes, crippling the world economy. The Bush administration had allowed for a scandalous mortgage scheme to exist. Outrageously, Senator John McCain exonerated Republicans by falsely pinning the blame for the financial fallout on the Democrats. Trust was lost in America.

Then, the rise of Chinese, Russian, Brazilian, and Indian (BRIC) economies created the global financial growth once enjoyed by the USA. They, and the fifth member, South Africa, have developed enormously. These nations are forming stronger inter-development alliances with interested parties and no longer depend on the EU and the US economies for survival.

America, despite the best efforts of Barack Obama to rebuild confidence, has lost the respect of other nations. With the loss of trust in America, came the loss of safety for political allies. America was no longer a major player in the World. Barack Obama was unable to adequately rebuild those fractured relationships. There were no viable Democrats waiting in the ‘wings’ who had a definitive strategy for bringing back jobs and rebuilding the economic status that the American public wanted. A political void existed.

I don’t like Donald Trump. I read his ‘Art of the Deal’ when it was first published in 1987. It didn’t take me long to realise that the man could use spin to sell any abhorrent idea to anyone. I also noticed how he manipulated officials to win planning permission for constructing his ostentatious buildings.

I thought Donald Trump to be the perfect TV host of the American version of ‘The Apprentice.’ His bullying, bellow of ‘You’re Fired!’ to contestants was an accurate personification of his real self. Donald Trump is not the perfect man for the position of President of the United States.

Trump, fresh from his instant TV stardom, rode in like a cowboy with guns blazing. Mowing down friends and foes alike, he boasted to his TV audience, “We’re gonna Make America Great Again!” It was a terrible ‘John Wayne’ imitation, but it was enough to mobilise poor-town Americans into lifting their heads up from dusty bars across the Nation. They recognised Trump from his appearances on their living room screens as someone who knew business and how to make money. As a collective, they put their fists in the air and said, “Yeah, we’re gonna make America great again! They were not seemingly aware of the debts that Trump had incurred in his own dealings, nor of his use of tax avoidance and double dealing tactics.

My husband, a financial man for much of his working life, saw a visionary Donald Trump providing hope for a better economy. His view, was to give the man a chance! He tells me that Donald Trump, whether you like him or not, has made progress on his pre-election promises.

I don’t really think my husband knows Trump’s full history, nor do I think that he cares, so that may also be true of Trump’s many supporters.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump is full of old ideas, old philosophies, and old tricks. And he believes that he, ‘The Donald,’ is above the law, above the Constitution, and above any need to be diplomatic with other nations. He plays the Presidency as he did his own empire. He believes that his only hindrances are the Democrats and a few million Hispanics on his southern border. He does not personally like or feel any compassion for economic migrants because he is a covert racist and doesn’t want them in ‘his’ America.

The lack of trust in America has extended into the very real issue of world climate change. There is hesitation on global action as America, under Donald Trump’s instruction, has now left the bargaining ‘table.’ Other nations mumble verbal commitments, but their trust in American leadership has been abused yet again. Suspicion and hostility about how the Paris Agreement might work without US involvement has ground proceedings to a halt.

I watched a May 2018 interview with ‘Stephen Fry,’ a British actor. How did he see America today? He dropped his head saying, “Oh it’s terribly unfortunate! ” He also went on to say that Donald Trump used gangster and criminal tactics to force his agenda. He says Trump’s popularity is driven by ‘clickbait’ issues posted on social media, that is then reiterated over and over again, in televised news.

Stephen Fry also predicts that Donald Trump will run a second term, and so does my husband. Why? Because Donald Trump commands attention. He keeps his fingers working on his Twitter account so that he makes world news every day! A certain percentage of Americans see Donald Trump’s constant barrage of media blustering as ‘the real thing.’ They are fooled into believing that ‘America IS Great Again! ” So, they will vote him in again because Trump’s fake news fiasco is working!

Donald Trump tosses out outrageous propaganda which the media just gobbles up and feeds to us wholesale. Stephen Fry said that if nobody listened, and nobody clicked on the social media links, all the propaganda would disappear, and so would Donald Trump’s success.

Brits in general, feel that they hear far too much about American politics, especially during elections. And in truth, not many ordinary people on this side of the pond care what Donald Trump does, but those same people lap up the articles written about Trump because they reinforce some parallel issues that arise with Brexit.

Trump’s firings of his staff, the withdrawal of troops, the detention and degradation of migrants, the threat to keep the government in lock down, and his never-ending tirade about the ‘wall,’ all invoke fear. Trump hopes to trigger a state of emergency in a paralysed nation fearful of attack. These are the ‘plays’ of a man desperate to have the rest of the world take notice of America and see her power. Trump wants to build the economy using the steel industry to build the ‘wall’ and to create an arsenal of new weapons (in the event of a war that he will likely instigate). It is so unfortunate for the American people who must endure the consequences of the lies churned out by Trump. They may see the economy build, but it is not building for them.

The sinister side to all of this, is that Trump may eventually use his bullying tactics one too many times with China. It could backfire spectacularly in 2019 as a China/Russia alliance becomes a mega joint strategy against the perceived US threats. Donald Trump is playing with fire. His military commanders know it, and so do his allies. Other countries are quickly backing away from Trump’s influence as he drags the good citizens of America down a very dark black hole whilst chasing his own empire.

 ‘Trust’ and ‘Safety’ no longer exist in my vocabulary for describing Donald J. Trump’s America. And the consequences of Donald Trump’s flawed plans could herald a change of leadership on the political world stage. If so, it will not be the United States of America in that lead role.

37 thoughts on “America In The Eyes Of The World — A Guest Post By Colette

  1. My apologies for failing to comment on Colette’s honest and sincere commentary about how she perceives The Trump Effect on the world. For myself, it required several readings and giving some time to process it fully. Not because it is untrue, but rather because it is contains truth-filled facts that we (me) as Americans do not really want to believe, much less accept. It is one thing for one (me) to say that America is no longer respected or trusted, it is quite another to actually believe and accept. It goes against everything that we (me) like to believe about our position in the world as The Leader of Nations. To believe and accept that we did not pass the baton of leadership willingly, but dropped it through our own lack of leadership is a bitter realization and sadly the truth. The lack of trust and the loss of the feeling of safety destroys relationships just as surely as a bomb, both leave lasting effects. No offense intended Colette, but I could only wish that your husband’s misguided belief in Donald Trump’s visionary leadership were confined to himself and not shared by so many here in America. America is not being made great again, nor is America appearing to be great again anywhere, but to those less than savory friends of Trump in places that no longer need to be named, they are well known. Thank-you Colette and Jill!

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    • I’m not sure that we haven’t already abdicated that role. I think at this point, we could get it back, if we had a president that was a skilled negotiator and truly wanted to do the right thing, and had the support of Congress. But that situation is a long ways off, so I think at this point we are closer to being a banana republic than a world leader.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Colette, many thanks for a well-written piece. When people tell me he is just doing what he said, we need to remind them the the reluctant GOP leaders said “don’t worry, he won’t do all of those things.” Now, they are rationalizing those bumper sticker ideas he is doing. Then, they said “Don’t worry, he will hire good people to shore up his inexperience.” Many good candidates turned him down and he cannot keep the ones he hired with far more significant turnover than any other President.

    He has frittered away allied relationships, borrowed from our future to prop up a little more a pretty good, long running economy, pulled America out of several agreements and attacked anyone who disagrees with him. Plus, he is as untruthful a leader as we have ever witnessed.

    As the economy stalls, his one advantage will wane with it. Yet, there is more to come out of these numerous investigations. Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion and thanks Jill for the platform. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • It must be a full-time job just to find ways to rationalize his behaviour to the public. Like Pence’s excuse for Trump’s lie about former presidents telling him they wished they had built “the wall” … he said he had seen them on television ‘discussing border security’ and Trump understood that to mean they were telling him they wanted to build a wall. Sheesh!

      Thanks Keith … we’ve had some great guest posts so far … hoping for more, but I’m not sure.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Keith. I did my best to give my humble (but concerned) opinion in a legible manner, given that my writing skills are bit flawed.

      I think Trump has surrounded himself with flunkies to do his bidding. True and faithfully knowledgeable authorities within his camp have been walked on, ridiculed, framed, pushed and kicked out of the building. It is rather reminiscent of a Roman Caligula.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Trump is the only show in town anymore, “greatest show on earth”. He has put his smug mug on every screen, in every newspaper which is exactly what he wants. Damn the people, damn the world. What he doesn’t realize is that the world doesn’t buy his BS and the world is learning to get along quite well without Trump’s version of USA. MAGA is a delusional chant that will turn us into a 3rd world society. I’m just an old man with memories of USA when it truly was a world leader politically and financially.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My problem is that no one asked the USA to take leadership in the UN, NATO, the Paris Accords, or anything else. The USA volunteered to take leadership, and all the responsibilities that went with leadership, including finances. I am not trying to demean what Americans were doing, but the people in charge wanted to show the world how rich and powerful they were,. They wanted to be worshipped. And they got their wish, manyfold. They became the kings of the world.
    But their economy tanked, and kept on tanking. The bankers to the world became borrowers from the world. And along came Trumpo. The rest, for whatever it is worth, is history.
    Thanks for your essay, Colette. I hope I can do half as good

    Liked by 4 people

    • You are right that nobody asked us, that we volunteered, but with each change in leadership, the face of the nation, the heart of the nation changes. There was, perhaps, a time when we were capable of taking the reins, but now we cannot even govern our own selves, let alone help anybody else.

      Liked by 1 person

        • At the moment, I think Canada has a lot more going for it than the U.S., and I just hope you guys can avoid the same situation in your next election that we had in 2016. Fingers crossed for you …

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            • I don’t know much about Scheer, but I am still pulling for Trudeau. Yeah, you might survive Scheer, but I hope your country learns from seeing our total disaster and keeps Trudeau on the payroll for at least another term. All they need to do is look at what a bloody mess we are in.

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              • Sheepscheerer is a miniature clone of trumpo, a wannabe. He is stirring up Canadians with his hate rhetoric, as if Trudeau was personally to blame for all Canada’s woes. The man is a raving lunatic, playing at being someone who knows something about nothing. The louder he shouts, the more we can be sure there is no substance behind him. That is the sign of a bigot. Scream, maybe no one will notice how useless you really are.
                And the same goes for the Albertan “conservative savior” who is going to rescue Alberta from the ugly New Democrats. 100 years of conservative misrule cannot be wiped out in just one term, but Jason (and his Arguenuts) Kenney wants people to believe the current oil crisis falls directly on the NDP’s shoulders, when it was years in the making. Oh, well, if people believe it, and elect the “shorter-than-Kennedy” pipsqueak, they will pay for it.

                Liked by 1 person

                • ‘Twould seem the world is going down the tubes. We have Trump and his band of felonious fools, UK has Brexit, and you guys have Doug Ford, Scheer and Kenney. And let us not forget Bolsonaro in Brazil. I cannot help wondering what this world will look like in 10-20 years.

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                  • A vast ocean, with islands where there were once mountains. Antarctica will be a tropical paradise…
                    Ok, it won’t get that bad that fast, but without someone to nullify climate change, the world is going to look a lot different. Cities will self-destruct. Nations will fall like Rome.
                    NO! That all sounds too hopeless. How about we throw a world-wide party, and dance ourselves to death. At least it will be a happy way to go.p

                    Liked by 1 person

    • At the end of World War II treaties and subsequent, NATO, UN and other organisations, were put in place (largely by America and her Allies). America sort of made herself the governing leader based on the fact that she held most of the negotiation cards. America had proved her military might and all ather countries capitulated. America also managed to maintain her eminence during the Cuba Missile Crisis and Cold War. That was a very long time ago and Americas record on success within conflicts around the globe has been mediocre at best, and disaterous at worst (aided very often by an extremely regretful Britain). ‘The shine is off’ Americas medals of honour, her credentials tarnished. The next step is for her to be severely tested for her boasted strength. Obama made very soft noises to avoid that possibility. Trump is fool enough to take it on!

      Liked by 3 people

    • I actually am looking at that Russia/China alliance with some alarm actually. The most recent aspect to it is free tavel to each other’s Nations without the need for Visa’s. That is an extraordinary development in two dictatorial countries are traditionally suspicious of outsiders. Heck, a British Tourist cannot even visit Russia without a Visa and some sort of physical Russian escort to watch over them. (That is also true of North Korea). China is temporarily experiencing economic turndown because of Trump’s wild imaginings that he can bluff them into submission on import taxes on goods. What a fool he is. China is in a very good position to turn around and shut the door on anything American… It has a brand new pal who is more than willing to open up cooperative pathways. Britain also is no fool, she is courting China as much as she can. That has popped Japan into the picture. Japan has just announced that it will drop all its trade restrictions with Britain. For people who are worried that a no deal Brexit will leave us on a terrible limbo, I doubt it. Political alliances will be built elsewhere (much as New Zealand did when Britain dropped her in favour of the EU). Its all swings and roundabouts. What Trump does not realise, is that America is not going to be invited to the party.

      Liked by 3 people

      • @colettebytes I enjoyed your well thought out assessment. It true that America can no longer assume the King of the Hill mantel. That’s why it’s even more appalling that Trump is so cavalier with his attitude toward our trading partners… China, Mexico, Europe. Doesn’t he realize that other nations can also make deals, often times much better deals than his! Example: if China cuts off 25% of cheap goods to the US, say bye bye to Walmart and Amazon!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Trump has promoted isolationism, but as we all know, in this day and age, no nation can stand alone and prosper, or perhaps even survive. His egomania will have lasting effects for decades. I do hope that his supporters are enjoying their lives these days …

        Liked by 1 person

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