Is American now second-rate?

For all the hysteria surrounding Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, Putin would have been better off with the Democrats in power. Putin needs two things to put his “Upper Volta with missiles” back at the center of global geopolitics: a weaker American military and more curbs on U.S. fossil fuel production. Democrats are more likely to accomplish these goals than Republicans, who are more closely tied to the defense and energy industries.

Trump, of course, is a fool to embrace Putin, whose instincts are those of a cobra. Putin’s clumsy attempts at meddling to influence politics, both here and in Europe, has been so counterproductive that even the Clinton Democrats — often with their own financial ties to the Russians — now have become staunch neo-Cold Warriors.

America is likely to remain the dominant country in the world — economically, culturally and technologically — for decades to come. Unlike Germany, China, Japan or Russia, its population will not be shrinking in 2050, and it enjoys both advanced technology and vast resources. Trump may damage our image in the world, but even his clumsiness will not be sufficient to undermine our continuing pre-eminence.

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