After WWII, the world joined together to limit Russian expansion and influence. NATO and the United Nations worked together with their membership to promote democratic values and the rule of law. When the Cold War ended and Russia fell apart, various nations and entities (including corporations) rushed gather up the loose threads. The United States became the last “super power” standing. We thought ourselves invincible. We destroyed or empowered regimes around the world to promote our own interests, dressing it up as democracy and human rights. NATO, the United Nations and the UN Security Council had limited influence that practically disappeared after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. President Bush accelerated our decline. We bullied or ignored anyone who disagreed with our stated interests. Domestically, that meant dissent and propaganda … protest and free speech.
Trump’s recent declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is just the latest machination. What happened afterwards is telling. Trump threatened to withdraw aid and funding from any country opposed him when the United Nations voted against giving Jerusalem to Israel. The United States now threatens and blackmails countries to ensure favorable votes. We encourage states to implement policies and actions that make voting harder for people working against right-wing agendas (especially as represented by the alt-right and the Republicans). We arrest protesters and reporters hoping to silence them.
The United States has now replaced Russia as the megalomaniac country meriting containment and defiance. Where once the world joined together to limit Russian influence and rush to power, they must now bond to prevent power grabs and depredations by the United States. Trump is basically trying to blackmail and manipulate the world for the gratification of his own ego and the financial interests of himself and his cronies. We are blatant bullies on the world stage. (We were discrete and intermittent ones previously.)
Other countries now have the high ground. They can point at our hypocritical actions at home and abroad, using them to justify their contempt and defiance. We’ve made ourselves irrelevant and allowed other countries to assume world leadership. Truth and justice are falling to “alternate facts” (lies) and “fake news” (factual reporting). Repeating something over and over again in a louder and louder voice, does not make it true. A huge demographic is now treating government as just another celebrity reality show and their ignorance is showing.