As world leaders gather this Sunday in Dakar, Senegal, for the 2019 Summit for Global Cooperation, U.S. President Donald Trump will be spending the weekend alone at his Mar-a-Lago resort. Though Trump proclaimed on Twitter that he’d rather be golfing than listening to “windbags” deliver “meaningless speeches,” according to numerous reports he was not even invited to the gathering.
Two years ago, Trump took office promising to upend the world order, famously putting “America First” to make the country “great again.” Given how irrelevant he has since become on the global stage, it’s hard to recall the degree to which his provocative rhetoric and impulsive style riveted the world’s attention at the time. Every one of his early morning declarations on Twitter spawned countless articles in newspapers of record around the world. Some global leaders seemed cowed before their first meetings with the unpredictable political neophyte, not knowing whether they would come away with an awkward handshake or a humiliating dressing down.
In the U.S., progressives and even mainstream Republicans feared for the very survival of the Republic. In the corridors of global institutions, alarm grew over the implications of Trump’s brand of American nationalism for the fraying fabric of the global order.