Policy Series 2021-35: The Derangements of Sovereignty: Trumpism and the Dilemmas of Interdependence26 min read

I suppose it goes without saying that any account of Donald Trump’s presidency, whether concerned with foreign or domestic affairs, must now begin with the grim and brutal events of January 6th, 2021.  The insurrection at the United States Capitol was clarifying.  We can now see just what Trump stands for, in the last instance.  His actions that day, or in the months preceding the assault, may or may not fit the legal definition of “incitement,” but they fall squarely in that moral region.  Incitement, they reveal, was the motivating force at the heart of his entire campaign for semi-absolute rule.  He stoked the fears of the disconnected and precarious, supercharging our fragmented media ecology of misinformation, ginning up a mob to install himself as what his most fervent supporters call “GEOTUS,” or God Emperor of the United States.  Trumpism is, it turns out, what it always appeared to be.  It is a corrupt cult of personality riding on a sea of lies.  It is a long con expertly worked to pervert and subdue democracy by manipulating resentment and fear—and all to satisfy one man’s vanity.

H-Diplo | ISSF Policy Series
America and the World—The Effects of the Trump Presidency

The Derangements of Sovereignty: Trumpism and the Dilemmas of Interdependence

Essay by Samuel Zipp, Brown University

Published on 2 June 2021 | issforum.org

Editor: Diane Labrosse | Production Editor: George Fujii

https://issforum.org/to/ps2021-35

PDF Version

I suppose it goes without saying that any account of Donald Trump’s presidency, whether concerned with foreign or domestic affairs, must now begin with the grim and brutal events of January 6th, 2021.  The insurrection at the United States Capitol was clarifying.  We can now see just what Trump stands for, in the last instance.  His actions that day, or in the months preceding the assault, may or may not fit the legal definition of “incitement,” but they fall squarely in that moral region.  Incitement, they reveal, was the motivating force at the heart of his entire campaign for semi-absolute rule.  He stoked the fears of the disconnected and precarious, supercharging our fragmented media ecology of misinformation, ginning up a mob to install himself as what his most fervent supporters call “GEOTUS,” or God Emperor of the United States.  Trumpism is, it turns out, what it always appeared to be.  It is a corrupt cult of personality riding on a sea of lies.  It is a long con expertly worked to pervert and subdue democracy by manipulating resentment and fear—and all to satisfy one man’s vanity.

But Trumpism also appears to have reached one end point.  It didn’t work—at least not yet. Trump has been impeached again.  He has been deplatformed on the Internet.  Joe Biden has taken office.  The sacking of the Capitol could have been much worse, of course, had the undermanned and internally compromised Capitol Police not held the mob at the doors quite so long, or failed to divert the stream of invaders on the Senate side, or been slower to hustle members of Congress toward their escape. But the strange scenes of mayhem, confusion, and wanton boredom that unfolded over those four or five berserk hours—a bloodthirsty and determined siege of the building followed by an odd fever dream of petty vandalism, souvenir hunting, selfie-taking, photo bombing, livestreaming, awe-struck tourist gazing, and aimless milling about—suggest that the popular upsurge around Trump has not yet cohered into a movement.  It has no interest in forestalling the collapse of the center-right hegemony installed during the Reagan years and can’t yet establish the terms of a new political and cultural order based on a reactionary conservatism inherited from the Ku Klux Klan, the John Birch Society, or the White Aryan Resistance.

The insurrection of 1/6 was carried out by something between a rabble and a movement—a loose agglomeration of people with overlapping grievances and delusions.  In the mob that day were conservative evangelicals, anti-government militias, Proud Boy brawlers, and devotees of the QAnon madness, plus a welter of other motley white nationalist, neo-Nazi, and paramilitary tendencies, the various Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, Lost Causers and Kekistan secessionists, Pepe the Frog enthusiasts and VDARE keyboard warriors.[1] But there were many, even more, suburban parents and grandparents, men and women in business casual or jeans and sweatshirts, as well as a few Republican politicians—and no small number of off duty cops and former military personnel—many of whom have pledged themselves to the ranks of the far right and their chat room fantasies of deep state takeover. And all of the MAGA horde styled themselves as “patriots;” this despite the fact that their sole allegiance was to Trump, not country, and to the delusion that the election had been somehow stolen from him by shadowy forces whose priests and initiates were at work inside the lofty citadel on the hill. They knew they had to “stop the steal.” Once inside, though, they weren’t sure what to do. It turned out there was nothing to stop because nothing had been stolen.

If Trumpism is a con, though, it is also a symptom.  It floats on larger forces at work over a longer span of time.  So what caused Trumpism? As his Presidency recedes that question becomes ever more pressing.  What allowed the con man to flourish, to give a name to all these roiling resentments, to install his chalky blockhead visage as a symbol of the still forestalled right wing restoration?  The MAGA horde assaulted the fundamental framework of democracy, surging past mere protest or civil disobedience to mob insurrection, bringing real force to bear on behalf of the seditious conviction that has lodged itself deep inside the Republican Party as a whole: elections are only free and fair if they satisfy the Party’s preordained victor.  The sheer fervor of this belief suggests some pervasive and underlying derangement.  These people feel themselves to be both rightful rulers and the victims of a great catastrophe.

*

There’s been no shortage of commentary pinning the whole thing on the long career of American white supremacy. Whiteness is no doubt an accelerant, sending a burst of indignant flame up from the coals laid by the great hollowing out of middle class America, as offshoring and opioid addiction have swept across the rural and suburban expanses of an America set to burn by bipartisan neoliberal inequality. And whiteness serves as glue, too, binding the many Trumpist grievances together.  It fastens economic precarity and imperiled manhood to fear of immigration and demographic change, solidifying the desperate wish to take the country back to some mythical age of uncorrupted purity when the patriarchal hierarchy felt right side up.  And it permits the resurgence of overt white supremacy to go relatively unchecked.  The pull of whiteness has allowed “you will not replace us!”—the white nationalist rallying cry made famous at Charlottesville in 2017—to become a fever fueling the whole of the insurgent right.

Whiteness was supposed to repair the breach.  Long the taken-for-granted advantage—the “public and psychological wage,” as W.E.B. Du Bois famously named it—whiteness was the unseen guarantor of a seemingly natural insulation from fatal injustice.[2] It underpinned the assumption that progress, safety, and growth were akin to a birthright for people like “us.” It delivered cultural and material compensation, rearing its head as a ready response at any hint of the threat that the country might be taken away by “them”—the Jews, the blacks, the illegal aliens, the elites.  Working in the background, it secured privileges taken as rights.  It delivered public subsidy for good schools and clean, efficient hospitals, easy access to credit and mortgages in safe, bucolic neighborhoods, a sense that the police were on your side, the expectation of a job when you wanted it—all things that have long been precarious or out of reach for those deemed “unworthy” by dint of their race.

But when “they” demanded full and equal access to the publicly subsidized meadows of postwar abundance—as a matter of “civil rights” or economic justice—the response was unequivocal: a decades-long campaign to abandon public subsidies for upward mobility and replace it with the rocky cliffs of privatized neoliberalism.  This is fealty to whiteness at its core: a willingness to indulge the deprivation of one’s own humanity in the name of safety and supremacy.  The result?  More precarity and despair for everyone.[3]

In the moment, of course, whiteness certainly delivered for the Capitol rioters—ensuring a lightly guarded perimeter, an initial lack of militarized pushback, and close to free rein inside the building.  (Protestors for racial justice, as many have remarked, never enjoy anything like it.) But over the last decade or so, over the last few decades, in fact, the power of whiteness has itself come to feel precarious, slowly undone by its own investment in hoarding the privileges it made possible and undermining society as a whole.  In an age of inequality, at a time of government-ordered pandemic lockdowns, those privileges have appeared less guaranteed and the whole of society evermore fragile.  When the assurance it confers begins to slip away whiteness resurfaces as blind rage for the old order it has done so much to destroy.

But the sheer number of people across all walks of life who have slipped down the Q-hole and into fantasies of deep state conspiracy suggests how whiteness subsists on pervasive, long standing national beliefs, principles that appear newly imperiled by forces that threaten to engulf the country as a whole.  On the one hand the source of this discontent predates the Great Recession, or the age of neoliberal inequality born in the 1970s, or the New Deal and the supposed “socialism” unleashed by the Democratic Party, and even goes back beyond the era of Reconstruction and the founding of the Lost Cause mythology, when white supremacy reestablished itself in the ruins of slavery.  On the other, the great derangement is inflamed by a quite recent fear that the United States has finally lost the power it once had to command its own destiny and to chart its own path through world history.  Both of these currents collect in our current moment, and in a widely shared failure to face the challenges of our interconnected global lives.

*

In the U.S., whiteness found its initial power propping up the fundamental element of American political culture: independent self-possession.  First deeded to white men with property, independence has long been the brass ring of an unequal American democracy anchored in the assertion of rights by individuals.  Those judged dependent in the evolutionary logic of this initial formulation had to chase this prize.  One way to tell the story of American history is to chart the pursuit of equal rights by the many millions deemed democracy’s children: Native Americans, wage earners, women, and slaves, initially; and then later immigrants, racial and ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians, transgender people, the elderly, and even children themselves.

But movements for indigenous, racial, economic, gender, or sexual justice often claimed more than rights.  They accompanied others—Progressive-era reformers, urbanists, New Dealers, internationalists, and environmentalists—who sought, in one way or another, to shift the terms of U.S. political culture towards recognition of the interdependence at the heart of social life.  This is why each of these tendencies—whether they were liberal or radical, whether they were allies or uneasy bedfellows—has unleashed such turmoil in American life. Going back more than a century, efforts to reorient U.S. political culture around a vision of interdependence that was equal to the complexity of a social world organized by great metropolises, corporations, financial networks, and increasingly segmented and instantaneous communications media have long run up against the latent power of possessive individualism.  Indeed, they threaten faith in independence with the specter of dependence.

This is the great rupture that the MAGA horde rages to repair.  For the Trumpists, freedom means not the expansion of rights, but the defense of sovereignty—an independence secured by whiteness and patriarchy that appears to them everywhere under attack.  The old conservative slur of “big government”—aimed at turning back the public power needed to answer the challenge of interdependence—has metastasized as fear of a “deep state” whose hidden officers threaten to everywhere regulate and obstruct the rightfully unencumbered exertion of autonomous individual striving.  Trump’s unashamed misogyny, xenophobia, and race-baiting—as malevolent as they are in and of themselves—are ultimately a means to an end.  They signal official sanction for the idea that those long kept dependent have traduced the natural order of things. Rightful hierarchies appear overturned; the once independent fear suffering the dependence reserved for aliens, minorities, and women.  Belief in whiteness, as its most perceptive critics suggest, impairs the ability to recognize common humanity.  Its chief property is refusal to grant the fact of interdependence.[4]

All of this works, however, because right wing fears find fertile ground in times when the challenges of interdependence go unmet. We live, and have lived for some time now, in such times.  The proximate source of the anger on the right is no secret.  Trump and his lieutenants told us exactly what fueled their fury.  The “American carnage” he lamented in his inaugural address was a result, he and Steve Bannon declared over and over again, of “globalism.”[5] They resurrected “America First”—that old rallying cry from the dark days of 1940 and ’41, when the U.S. ripped itself apart trying to stay out of the war in Europe—because it neatly expressed the plight of imperiled sovereignty in an era of globalization.

*

Possessive individualism permits several forms of managed collectivity: the patriarchal family, primarily; the segregated neighborhood too; “states rights,” of course.  But it reserves its highest public purpose for nationalism.  Independence welds personal sovereignty to national sovereignty, and Trump has long made threats to national greatness the stuff of personal crisis and social crisis.

If Trump has any principles, they start there.  The rude scion of a real estate family committed to keeping Queens and Brooklyn segregated, some of Trump’s earliest pronouncements on national affairs trade in analogous alarm about imperiled independence and undefended borders, but scaled up a step: white panic gone nationwide. His great concern, expressed in the ads he took out in major newspapers in 1987 the first time he imagined a run for the White House, was that Japan was taking advantage of the United States.  Protected by American military might since World War II, a prosperous Japan got rich off exports to the U.S. and foreign direct investment in American cities, running up a huge trade surplus that imperiled Americans.  “A lot of people are tired of watching other countries ripping off the United States,” Trump would say to audiences in those days.  “They laugh at us behind our backs.  They laugh at us because of our stupidity.”[6]

This was the problem at the heart of what he called—shouting already, in caps, long before Twitter— “America’s Foreign Defense Policy.”  The country was in danger of becoming Trump the narcissist’s worst fear: a loser.  It could only be redeemed, he claimed, by “making Japan pay.” The U.S. should “tax” the Japanese with tariffs, of course.  From there, the specter of a once proud nation unmanned, made dependent on Asian capital, lodged itself deeply in Trump’s instincts.  The rage of the wounded giant, left unprotected by globalist elites and harried by foreigners at the gates, became the hard kernel at the center of his long con, the hurt that drives his malevolent politics.

As President, Trump never had a foreign “policy” so much as a set of feelings about foreignness.  The many rebukes he offered to conventional foreign policy– his threats towards NATO or the World Health Organization, his offhand disdain for “shithole countries,” his absurd pledge to make Mexico pay for his “beautiful” border wall, his tariff bluster duly transferred to China—stemmed from the original sense of sovereignty affronted.  The world offered only threats to the independent assertion of American freedom, dangers that justified the right to withdraw from longstanding alliances or taunt minor foes with nuclear annihilation.  The world consisted only of the strong and the weak, and so traditional diplomacy deserved only disdain. Careful trade offs between principle and compromise, the search for mutual interests and the veiled exercise of power, all of that required exchange, the regular give and take of politics in an interdependent world. For him diplomacy was deal making, a transaction he would only enter if he could “win,” if he could dictate terms or control how he looked in the eyes of the player with the upper hand.  This game of win or lose fueled his ungainly dance of submission and rebuke with authoritarians large and small, as he maneuvered to appear to have come out on top.

Trump’s ascent, and the aggrieved semi-insurgency he has left in his wake, signals a twofold crisis of interdependence.  The perennial American investment in sovereign independence has always bucked against the demands of an interconnected globe, but those resentments have gone feral now that the U.S. hold over the commanding heights of world power is in peril.  Trump’s hard unilateralism, in the end, will appear not so much an affront to the so-called “liberal world order” as an extreme and inelegant rearticulation of the nation’s chief foreign policy goal over the last 75 years.  Trump’s bluster was an attempt to reestablish American supremacy, to keep the U.S. atop the hierarchy of the interdependent world.  And in so doing Trump has revealed, like nobody and nothing else, the failure of the U.S. to confront the challenges of globalization with any subtler story than a drama of sovereignty won or lost.

*

This is less a failure of foreign policy than of foreign relations writ large.  It marks the tragic end of a long turn in the cultural history of internationalism, and specifically the checkered career of American popular internationalism.  Trump’s implosion brings to a close a 75 year period that has one of its origin points during World War II, when another iconoclastic figure from the New York business world, Wendell Willkie, offered Americans a far more capacious perspective on the world at large. At another time of global crisis, when calls for America First last commanded the airwaves, Willkie responded to what he called “narrow nationalism” with a vision of planetary interconnection.  His “one world” ideals, discovered on his path-breaking 1942 flight around the world to visit the battlefronts in Africa, Russia, and China, and laid out in One World, his massive bestseller of 1943, challenged Americans to trade their closely held attachment to national supremacy for a broad faith in global relationality.[7]

The world was changing, he told the millions who heard his speeches and read his articles and books.  A planet made “small and completely interdependent” by world war and air travel was also being reshaped by anticolonial insurgency in Asia and the Middle East.[8] Americans needed to put themselves on the right side of history, Willkie argued, by working to end European empire and its ever-present handmaiden, racism.  That charge, however, required Americans to confront what Willkie called “our imperialisms at home”—the segregation and racial injustice that had scarred American democracy from the beginning.  Full interdependence could not win out alongside nationalism, empire, and the racism on which both subsisted.

Not surprisingly, Willkie’s ideals were dismissed on both the left and right.  Partisans of the Popular Front, backers of Vice President Henry Wallace, assailed Willkie’s failure to recognize the emerging power of U.S. global empire, while his erstwhile Republican allies soured on his challenges to nationalism.  And as Cold War liberalism took shape, New Dealers and internationalist Republicans alike scored “one world” as naïve and unsuited to the hard truths of a world threatened by “totalitarianism.”

Not long after Willkie’s untimely death in late 1944, a new consensus began to form up around what the historian John Fousek calls “nationalist globalism”—the sense that American influence and power should rightfully be extended over much of the planet.[9] Anything less—like Willkie’s more cooperative ideals—could be tarred as what Clare Boothe Luce would call mere “globaloney,” threats to national sovereignty and illegitimate approaches to foreign affairs, banished in favor of modes of thinking attuned solely to power politics.[10] Interest-based “realism” and crusading “idealism” became the only available choices on a menu scrubbed of cooperative internationalist options. (Willkie was himself idealistic, but hardly a proponent of so-called “idealism.” His goal was self-determination for all, not the spread of American-style democracy abroad.) Each turned on debates over U.S. power and how it should be defended, expanded, or unleashed around the world.[11]

Willkie was undoubtedly premature, but One World was also prescient.  It offered a glimpse of the planetary globalization that took hold a half-century or so later.  And despite the usual dismissals, it was more than simple wishful thinking.  His strategic vision —U.S. cooperation with the Soviet Union could open the geopolitical space for decolonization to flourish, leading to a widely shared era of global growth and development—represents a path not taken.  This was no doubt unrealistic, but his early insistence that the globe was shaped by three worlds, not two, captured the true dilemmas of the postwar era.[12] One World sits at the hinge of the twentieth century, a warning that empire, race, and nationalism would imperil interdependence and endanger the country’s quest for world leadership.

Meanwhile, the U.S. did invest in the infrastructure of global society—and many individual Americans have worked to make it flourish—but as a byproduct of imperial world “leadership.” American internationalism of the “liberal” postwar era, Stephen Wertheim has most recently argued, was bent on U.S. “primacy” rather than full recognition of global interdependency.[13] It sought to manipulate the emerging infrastructure of global cooperation to protect not just national sovereignty but U.S. dominance.

Take the United Nations, for instance.  The U.S. led the effort to found the world body and many Americans helped staff its agencies and initiatives. But with the steep descent into ideological conflict with the Soviet Union, American officials began, as Jessica Wang summarizes it, to treat “the world organization as more a public relations problem than a serious framework for the pursuit of international relations.” From the Cold War to the War on Terror the U.S. has viewed the UN as “part instrument and part obstacle,” a mere impediment to be either induced or coerced into ratifying U.S. policy.[14] The unilateralist vision underpinning the so-called “American Century” put postwar internationalism at the service of U.S. global primacy.

For a while it seemed to work, at home at least.  For several charmed decades, during “the great exception,” as the historian Jefferson Cowie calls the postwar years, aggregate prosperity papered over the corrosive impacts of deindustrialization, racial discrimination, whites-only suburbanization, and military intervention in the Third World.[15] By the 1970s, however, the nation faced Vietnam, Watergate, stagflation, and an oil crisis, but also a great inversion of U.S. imperial economic power.  The system of global markets that had enriched America now began to pull jobs and capital away to the developing world, plunging older industries into crisis and setting off a long period of crisis, boom, and decline.  Free-market fundamentalism, buoyed by white resentment of the Civil Rights revolution, unseated welfare state liberalism.  A new white-collar and financial elite rose up, politics lurched rightward, inequality swelled, and racial division metastasized. Eventually the center came undone, fueling the ire of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump alike.

*

But the storming of the Capitol puts paid to any facile equivalence between Trump and Sanders, or between Congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.  For decades now the country has been continually beset by calamity, buffeted by one shock after another, all of which have culminated in the debacle unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic.  A border-defying plague should be an object lesson in global interconnection, but the coronavirus has further divided the country.  Those who rankled at state-backed impositions on economic and social life were set to boil by a Republican-led federal response determined to endanger social welfare in order to gain political advantage. They turned first on the elite and the vulnerable, and then on democracy itself.

Trump has incited a certain kind of derangement in his opponents as much as his supporters, leaving many with the feeling that he might be with us forever.  He would be up there, we feared, hunched and bilious in the penthouse atop some gold and glass tower, cable news on perpetual scream, jabbing at his Tweet-maker high above the slag heap of a country he’s left behind. Thankfully that immediate menace has receded now that he has lost his favored social media platform and gone into Palm Beach exile.

But no matter: the conditions on which Trump has preyed will remain urgent whatever he does or doesn’t do. Trump supercharged a longstanding right wing shibboleth—the threat of a “new world order,” the nightmare of Willkie’s one world dream gone wrong, in which some shadowy planetary government in waiting is intent on enslaving freedom-loving American citizens. His America First nationalism plays on fear, but the great anger and dread it has unleashed feeds on the global and national inequality that the liberal order has produced and countenanced.  The embrace of globalization, and the inequality it produced, has been a bipartisan affair, and Trump has exposed that truth.

Over the last few years some have suggested that Trump’s rise signals a lurch towards fascism.  If this is an American Weimar, the storming of the Capitol was not the United States’ Reichstag fire or its Kristallnacht.  Not yet.  Maybe it was its Beer Hall Putsch.  The analogies are imprecise, and worth only so much.  Those who doubt them argue that Trump is too incompetent and narcissistic to pull off the white nationalist restoration for which his supporters long.[16]

But history rhymes, it does not repeat.  The resonances between this moment and the fascist surge of the 1920s and 1930s supersede Trump.  In our time as well as theirs, Timothy Snyder has argued, democracies have failed to confront the inequalities produced by periods of globalization.  Fascists always tell a compelling lie because it is spun up from actual wounds.  Globalization can feel like a distant, hidden, and nefarious plot against individual and national sovereignty.  Fascism responds with a “glorious myth” of national self-sufficiency, and offers a path towards collective and individual regeneration through militaristic insurgency—all in the name of a world—and a nation, crucially—put right side up again.[17]

The only way to begin to dilute the power of this story—and the resentment that inequality propels and whiteness nurtures—is to recognize that as corrosive and cynical as it is, the Trumpist attack on “globalism” got one thing right.  The default liberal world order has failed to deliver a just response to globalization.  Both Trumpist proto-fascism and the globe-ordering wishes of the liberal world order rest on a similar inability to grant the facts of our times.  Both have failed to fully grapple with our interdependent planet.

 

Samuel Zipp is a writer and historian, author of The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World (Belknap, 2020), and other works on twentieth-century culture, ideas, politics, and urbanism, including Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York (Oxford University Press, 2010) and the co-edited volume Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs Random House, 2016).  He is Associate Professor of American Studies and Urban Studies at Brown University.  For more, see samuelzipp.com.

© Copyright 2021 The Authors |

[1] For a guide, see: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/interactive/2021/far-right-symbols-capitol-riot/, accessed January 21, 2021.

[2] W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (1935), (New York: Free Press, 1998) 700.

[3] See Heather McGhee, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together (New York: One World, 2021).  For a slightly different, but related account of the way conflicts over race and gender have unmade the old liberal consensus and helped pave the way for a new form of conservatism, see Robert Self, All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy Since the 1960s (New York: Hill and Wang, 2012).

[4]. The account of whiteness here is drawn from James Baldwin, The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction 1948-1985 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1985); David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (New York: Verso, 1991); Cheryl I. Harris, “Whiteness as Property,” Harvard Law Review 106:8 (June 1993): 1710-1791; George Lipsitz, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2018); Matthew Jacobson, Whiteness of A Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999); Nikhil Pal Singh, Black is A Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004) 20-22.

[5] Trump inaugural address: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/the-inaugural-address/, accessed January 5, 2018.

[6] The ads ran in the Washington Post, New York Times, and Boston Globe on September 2, 1987, as Trump considered entering the New Hampshire primaries to challenge George H.W. Bush.  For a recap, see Marc Fisher, “Over Four Decades, Trump’s One Solid Stance: A Hard Line on Trade,” Washington Post, March 7, 2018,https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/over-four-decades-trumps-one-solid-stance-a-hard-line-on-trade/2018/03/07/4b1ed250-2172-11e8-badd-7c9f29a55815_story.html. Accessed February 10, 2021.

[7] Wendell Willkie, One World (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1943).

[8] Willkie, One World, 2.

[9] John Fousek, To Lead the Free World: American Nationalism and the Roots of the Cold War (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 2000) 7-8.

[10] On Luce and “globaloney,” which she initially aimed at Willkie’s rival Henry Wallace, see Samuel Zipp, The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2020), 279.

[11] For an elaboration, see Zipp, The Idealist, 307, and passim.

[12] See Michael Denning, Culture in the Age of Three Worlds (New York: Verso, 2004).

[13] Stephen Wertheim, Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2020).  See also Patrick J. Hearden, Architects of Globalism: Building A New World Order During World War II (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2002); Christopher D. O’Sullivan, Sumner Welles, Postwar Planning, and the Quest for a New World Order, 1937-1943 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008); John A. Thompson, A Sense of Power: The Roots of America’s Global Role (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015).

[14] Jessica Wang, “The United States, the United Nations, and the Other Post-Cold War World Order: Internationalism and Unilateralism in the American Century,” in Ellen Schrecker, ed. Cold War Triumphalism: The Misuse of History after the Fall of Communism (New York: The New Press, 2004), 212.

[15] Jefferson Cowie, The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016).

[16] For the debate, and this judgment, see Corey Robin, “Trump and the Trapped Country,” The New Yorker, March 13, 2021.  https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/trump-and-the-trapped-country, accessed March 28, 2021.

[17] Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (New York: Crown, 2017) 12.