US President Donald Trump doesn’t like being told what he must or must not do. Yet his transactional approach to political relationships — I’ll give you what you want after you give me what I want — says less about his attitudes toward democracy and dictatorship as forms of government than about a basic drive to shed restraints. This doesn’t make him a tyrant. The US political system includes all sorts of checks on would-be strongmen. But his foreign policy, and his approach to traditional US allies, in particular, threatens the entire international order. This threat is most obvious in his approach toward Europe. Many US presidents have feared that European demands create unwanted burdens on Washington, and that a strong Europe will limit US freedom of action. More than a century ago, US president Theodore Roosevelt created a "Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine", which expanded on 19th-century claims of US pre-eminence in the Western hemisphere to keep Europeans out. During...

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