An unprejudiced view of the United States today shows the world's most powerful nation in a state of disarray. It has the largest number of Covid-19 cases and the most deaths, as it faces its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and copes with unresolved questions on race inequality that have scarred civic life. If the mood of the nation is tense and pessimistic, its standing in the comity of nations is no source of reassurance.
Relations with its key trade and business partner China have turned bitter to an extent that a confrontation cannot be completely ruled out. Even allies are mistrustful. The presidential election, some 10 weeks away, is an opportunity to ponder the signs and address the decline.