Donald Trump campaigned and was elected as an agent of radical change. He promised to roll back the policies on big government at home and transnational cooperation abroad that both parties have endorsed for years. His campaign rhetoric about the “useless UN” and the “unfair” Paris Climate Accords suggested he understood that such organizations and treaties fleece Americans while handing over national sovereignty to other countries eager to gain leverage over us.
But Trump’s recent comments about renegotiating the Paris agreement and reforming the UN imply an acceptance of the assumptions on which both are built: that multilateral cooperation is better able to serve the interests and security of the United States. If this is so, then Trump is buying into the flaws of those assumptions that need to be utterly discredited in order to enact meaningful change.