What a Second Trump Term Would Mean for the World

What a Second Trump Term Would Mean for the World

  • Think of his reelection as a pincer movement, an attack on the international order from two sides.

If Donald Trump defies the odds and wins a second term, the next four years will likely be more disruptive to U.S. foreign policy and world affairs than the past four have been. Think of his reelection as a pincer movement, an attack on the international order from two sides. Trump will consolidate his control over the institutions of government, bending them to his will, removing any lingering resistance from the Republican Party. Meanwhile, by confirming that the United States has rejected its traditional leadership role, a second Trump term would make a lasting impact on the world right when it is at a particularly vulnerable moment. U.S. alliances would likely crumble, the global economy would close, and democracy and human rights would be in rapid retreat.

Trump’s first term has had a clear narrative arc. He systematically purges his government of those who stand up to him and replaces them with loyalists who indulge his whims and worldview. If he is still president on January 21, Trump will feel utterly vindicated by a second unlikely victory—thinking that only he is truly in touch with the American people.