A foreign policy should be judged not only by specific actions, but also by how a pattern of actions shapes the environment of world politics. Leadership in supplying global public goods, for example, is consistent with “America First,” but it rests on a broader historical and institutional understanding than Donald Trump has shown.
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., a professor at Harvard University, is the author of Is the American Century Over? and Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump.