World leaders are holding the annual meeting 2019 of world powers in Davos, Switzerland, but the United States will be greatly missed. Arne Sorensen, CEO of Marriott International said: “We are perceived to be less welcoming,” by being absent from the meeting. Leasers of Microsoft, Bill Gates and other American business leaders are complaining that the United States will not be at the table to influence decisions that will affect the global economy. Due to the government shutdown the White House canceled the trip of Mike Pompeo, Steven Mnuchin and Chris Liddell, a Trump aide, and that has led to a perceived isolation of the United States.
When Trump campaigned on his platform to “make America Great Again,” we should have known that his policies would lead to our withdrawal from the international scene. The axis of influence has shifted to Europe and China. Great Britain and the United States, two countries that ruled the world economy for close to 70 years have lost their leadership roles. And that fits Trump’s agenda because he has the narrowest view of our role in the world, he has shrunk our global presence, removing us from membership in the Paris climate agreements and the Trans Pacific Partnership, morphing NAFTA by changing its name, and weakening our support of NATO. He is now keeping this country out of a discussion of the most important issues facing the world, we did not have a voice at a gathering when world leaders talked about problems and possible solutions.
At Davos, the participants were discussing income inequality. Canadian Foreign Minister Christa Friedland speaking as a member of a panel, brought the issue to the participants saying to the rich and powerful, here is how you should think about inequality: “one of the central challenges of this world of income inequality where there is a plutocracy, where there is a super elite, is for the people who have done really well, because of good fortune, because of an accident of birth, and also because you have worked really hard, and they had a great idea, those people , all of you guys, it is essential that a powerful responsibility be felt for the whole society.” That would be anathema to the way of thinking of Donald Trump, who sees his role as president as a way to enrich himself, his family, and his friends, while doing everything possible to enable Vladimir Putin to continue pursuing his own global agenda, destroying democracy where he can.
Because he has never had to worry about a paycheck he cannot understand, or doesn’t want to believe, that the federal employees need their paychecks. And he doesn’t want to accept responsibility to doing great damage to our economy and irreparable damage to our international standing. We use to be first among nations and a beacon of peace and prosperity. Now, the nations gathered at Davos will see us as indifferent to the needs of the world and standing alone. That is not the American dream.