Make America normal again

Pax Americana is not the natural order of things, and the US can no longer carry the world on its shoulders

To become a "normal country" is the dream of more than one republic. The world is familiar enough with the German case. Having atoned for the war and put Europe first, its next step as a common-or-garden nation is to pursue its narrow interests without embarrassment.

Because he is so peculiar, we cannot credit that US President Donald Trump's project is the normalisation of his own country. For all their shock value, that is what his foreign policies amount to: The restoration of the US as a selfish state among selfish states, not an overworked governess with the free world as her mewling wards.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2018, with the headline 'Make America normal again'. Print Edition | Subscribe