.
R

esearch reveals that America’s reputation in the world diminished significantly under the Trump administration. We can expect the January 6 storming of the US Capitol to erode that standing further. America’s reputation may improve with the transfer of presidential power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. President Biden has vowed to restore previous international alliances, stating, “I’m letting them know that America is back.” However, Biden will struggle to resurrect traditional foreign policy roles in an altered world following the Trump presidential era.

The January 6 insurrection at the Capitol harms the global reputation of America's democratic institutions. America's closest allies condemned the insurrection, expressing grave concern over the seeming erosion of American democracy. European Council President Charles Michel went so far as to call it a sacking by vandals of "a temple of democracy." Biden will be unable to reassure America’s allies that “America is back” while the country remains wracked by domestic division. Biden must rebuild unity in America to reassert the standing of America’s democratic institutions.

Ailing global alliances and national disunity injure America’s ability to promote democracy overseas. Democracy promotion has been a core objective for US foreign policy since the end of World War II. Democracy promotion often entails sanctions, aid, or security promises to incentivize democratic institutions and conduct in other countries. The January 6 insurrection makes the US vulnerable to allegations of hypocrisy the next time America promotes democracy. Countries can object to US democracy promotion rebutting that America does not practice at home what they promote for others. Biden must determine the importance of promoting democracy overseas as an objective of his presidency.

Trumpism and Trump’s presence in the political sphere deter support Biden needs to rebuild democratic example and unity. A pro-Trump mindset prevails in the Republican Party. Trump loyalists such as senators Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) remain presidential hopefuls for the 2024 election. Another presidential run for Trump could also occur. America’s allies may fear that Biden’s presidency will only serve as a limited respite from another Trump-like leader. Biden can assuage worries by repairing unity and moral influence in America to carry on past his presidency.

America’s global reputation suffered further amid widespread criticism of the US’s poor handling of COVID-19. Biden inherited the country with the most COVID-19 cases in the world. He faces the issue of gaining control of a deadly disease that transcends international borders. Additionally, Trump’s proposed withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) brought global backlash. The former head of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, stated "we’re turning our back on the world” if the US withdrew from the WHO. America’s withdrawal from the WHO under the Trump administration demonstrated an “America First” sentiment that impairs responses to global issues. Biden must focus on international cooperation rather than “America First” to not turn his back on the world.

The US’s withdrawal in 2018 from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) poses threats to global security that Biden must work to mitigate. Iran has breached the JCPOA further by enriching uranium to 20% and building nuclear weapons capacity. Former Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Margot Wallstrom stated the US withdrawal from the JCPOA "has critically decreased the trust in international peace and security deals." Biden can help demonstrate America’s commitment to resuming its leadership role in global security by leading negotiations to persuade Iran to recommit to the JCPOA.

The January 6 insurrection revealed troubling division in these United States. People around the world see that 74.2 million American citizens support a leader who has now been impeached for inciting an insurrection. Biden inherited issues of domestic divisions, damaged democracy promotion, foreboding Trumpism, COVID-19, and threats to global security. Biden claims that with his presidency America is resuming its role of global leadership, but there are reasons for our allies to remain wary of this assertion.


About
Whitney DeVries
:
Whitney DeVries is a Diplomatic Courier correspondent currently pursuing a master’s degree in International Affairs and Global Enterprise at the University of Utah.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.

a global affairs media network

www.diplomaticourier.com

The Struggle to Rehabilitate America’s Reputation

February 6, 2021

President Biden claims that with his presidency America is resuming its role of global leadership, but there are reasons for our allies to remain wary of this assertion.

R

esearch reveals that America’s reputation in the world diminished significantly under the Trump administration. We can expect the January 6 storming of the US Capitol to erode that standing further. America’s reputation may improve with the transfer of presidential power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. President Biden has vowed to restore previous international alliances, stating, “I’m letting them know that America is back.” However, Biden will struggle to resurrect traditional foreign policy roles in an altered world following the Trump presidential era.

The January 6 insurrection at the Capitol harms the global reputation of America's democratic institutions. America's closest allies condemned the insurrection, expressing grave concern over the seeming erosion of American democracy. European Council President Charles Michel went so far as to call it a sacking by vandals of "a temple of democracy." Biden will be unable to reassure America’s allies that “America is back” while the country remains wracked by domestic division. Biden must rebuild unity in America to reassert the standing of America’s democratic institutions.

Ailing global alliances and national disunity injure America’s ability to promote democracy overseas. Democracy promotion has been a core objective for US foreign policy since the end of World War II. Democracy promotion often entails sanctions, aid, or security promises to incentivize democratic institutions and conduct in other countries. The January 6 insurrection makes the US vulnerable to allegations of hypocrisy the next time America promotes democracy. Countries can object to US democracy promotion rebutting that America does not practice at home what they promote for others. Biden must determine the importance of promoting democracy overseas as an objective of his presidency.

Trumpism and Trump’s presence in the political sphere deter support Biden needs to rebuild democratic example and unity. A pro-Trump mindset prevails in the Republican Party. Trump loyalists such as senators Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) remain presidential hopefuls for the 2024 election. Another presidential run for Trump could also occur. America’s allies may fear that Biden’s presidency will only serve as a limited respite from another Trump-like leader. Biden can assuage worries by repairing unity and moral influence in America to carry on past his presidency.

America’s global reputation suffered further amid widespread criticism of the US’s poor handling of COVID-19. Biden inherited the country with the most COVID-19 cases in the world. He faces the issue of gaining control of a deadly disease that transcends international borders. Additionally, Trump’s proposed withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) brought global backlash. The former head of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, stated "we’re turning our back on the world” if the US withdrew from the WHO. America’s withdrawal from the WHO under the Trump administration demonstrated an “America First” sentiment that impairs responses to global issues. Biden must focus on international cooperation rather than “America First” to not turn his back on the world.

The US’s withdrawal in 2018 from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) poses threats to global security that Biden must work to mitigate. Iran has breached the JCPOA further by enriching uranium to 20% and building nuclear weapons capacity. Former Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Margot Wallstrom stated the US withdrawal from the JCPOA "has critically decreased the trust in international peace and security deals." Biden can help demonstrate America’s commitment to resuming its leadership role in global security by leading negotiations to persuade Iran to recommit to the JCPOA.

The January 6 insurrection revealed troubling division in these United States. People around the world see that 74.2 million American citizens support a leader who has now been impeached for inciting an insurrection. Biden inherited issues of domestic divisions, damaged democracy promotion, foreboding Trumpism, COVID-19, and threats to global security. Biden claims that with his presidency America is resuming its role of global leadership, but there are reasons for our allies to remain wary of this assertion.


About
Whitney DeVries
:
Whitney DeVries is a Diplomatic Courier correspondent currently pursuing a master’s degree in International Affairs and Global Enterprise at the University of Utah.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.