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It has been a confusing couple of years for "Davos man" – the members of the global hyperelite who gather each year for the World Economic Forum's flagship conference to mull over the challenges the world faces. After decades of reveling in broad global acceptance of the rules-based liberal world order, the stewards – and, in many cases, key beneficiaries – of that order have been forced to defend it from high-profile assaults, most prominently by U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump's is not an unhinged presidency, they said; it is a pragmatic one.As for Trump, it is not even clear that his approach is pragmatic to begin with.When Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he declared a "bad deal" for America, he claimed that he could strike better deals with each individual party.Trump apologists would probably argue that we are looking at the wrong deeds.French President Emmanuel Macron, to name one notable example, dedicated his own Davos speech to calling for a "true global contract".
American power without wisdom, a risky road
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