- The Washington Times - Friday, July 28, 2017

CNN host and Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria penned an op-ed Thursday arguing that America is “becoming irrelevant” to the rest of the world under President Trump.

“The world has gone through bouts of anti-Americanism before. But this one feels very different,” the “Fareed Zakaria GPS” host wrote. “First, there is the sheer shock at what is going on, the bizarre candidacy of Donald Trump, which has been followed by an utterly chaotic presidency.

“But there is another aspect to the decline in America’s reputation,” he said.

Mr. Zakaria cited a recent Pew Research Center survey of 37 countries that revealed the world’s view of the U.S. had dropped since Mr. Trump took office — from 64 percent under former President Barack Obama to 49 percent now. Meanwhile, the world’s confidence in the U.S. president has sharply declined from 64 percent to 22 percent.

“Trump’s presidency is making the United States something worse than just feared or derided. It is becoming irrelevant,” Mr. Zakaria wrote.

“Even when U.S. foreign policy was unpopular, people around the world still believed in America — the place, the idea,” he said. “This is less true today.”

Mr. Zakaria said the positive thing about Mr. Trump’s presidency is that it has managed to unify Europe and motivate leaders to “adopt a more activist global agenda.”

“As the continent faces the challenges of Trump, Brexit and populism, a funny thing has happened,” he wrote. “Support for Europe among its residents has risen, and plans for deeper European integration are underway. If the Trump administration proceeds as it has promised and initiates protectionist measures against Europe, the continent’s resolve will only strengthen.”

Mr. Zakaria also referenced Canada, Mexico and China as countries who have rejected Mr. Trump’s policies.

“China’s leadership began taking advantage of Trump’s rhetoric and foreign policy right from the start, announcing that it was happy to play the role of chief promoter of trade and investment around the world, cutting deals with countries from Latin America to Africa to Central Asia,” he wrote. “According to the Pew survey, seven of 10 European countries now believe that China is the world’s leading economic power, not the United States.

“In 2008, I wrote a book about the emerging ‘Post-American World,’ which, I noted at the start, was not about the decline of America but rather the rise of the rest,” he concluded. “Amid the parochialism, ineptitude and sheer disarray of the Trump presidency, the post-American world is coming to fruition much faster than I ever expected.”

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