A former US secretary of state tells me just how little interest audiences across the country now express in foreign policy. Anyone who experiences American airports, highways, trains or schools can easily understand why Americans would now want to focus more on improving them rather than airstrips and schools in Afghanistan or Iraq. America First is not just a Trump slogan. It is a national mood, to which even the most internationalist president would have to adapt.
Trump is awful, but in this respect, he is as much symptom as cause. The problem of transatlantic divergence was there before Trump, has underlying causes deeper than Trump, and will still be with us after Trump.
To be sure, the 100 years of on-off transatlantic partnership since the Meuse-Argonne offensive of September 1918 have left a massive legacy: the biggest, closest, international economic intertwining in the world; the Nato security alliance, with a renewed mutual defence commitment thanks to Putin; as well as a matchless cultural and intellectual intimacy. The transatlantic west is still a mighty, muscular body – but with a wandering mind, a weakened heart and a divided soul.