Trump has spent his life being powerful just because he is rich. And in America, wealth is everything. If you're rich you are powerful and revered. The American Dream was never about becoming a professor or scientist, it is about becoming rich. That was the crux of his campaign message — I am rich, therefore I am successful and clever.
We are now in no doubt that rich is all he is. Any idea that after election a hidden clever Trump would emerge from behind the bombastic facade is long gone.
Trump knows that at the level of his personal experience (and his knowledge seems to be almost entirely limited to his personal experience) his wealth has given him clout and made him powerful. As he said himself (about grabbing women), in his world when you’re rich you can get away with anything. He has taken this idea into his Presidency, assuming that because America is the largest economy in the world, it will also by default be the most powerful and influential.
With his withdrawal from the Paris accord he has discovered that wealth alone does not equate to power or influence on the global stage. America under Trump has given up its position of moral leadership, and has shown the world it no longer wants to occupy that position. Overnight, Trump created a power vacuum at a global level. It looks like China and Europe are stepping in to fill it. This could, in the future, be seen as a turning point in the decline of America; the point at which America went it alone, and stepped out of the most important global movement of our times, and of future times.
Despite the rage burning in the stomach of any thinking person, anyone who believes the earth is round and the future is bleak, this could be a good thing in the long term.
America produces 14% of global emissions, so the remainder is still being addressed by other nations. Meanwhile, America’s abdication from the throne of Global Leader seems to have inspired China to make a grab for the crown, possibly triggering something of a competition to out-Green America, and become a global clean-energy leader. This is a good thing.
America will take 4 years to drop out of the Accord, and will finish the process the day after the next American Election, so in fact this may just be an…