Consequences, which include potential damage to a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement, are yet to be fully imagined. What we cannot avoid registering is that we look like not the glimmering city on the hill but a ship of untrustworthy fools.
We reportedly eavesdrop on our allies and force citizens to buy insurance through a system we can't manage. We concoct character-smearing rumors and attach them to our political adversaries. And that's just the executive branch. Most important, we have damaged our bonds of trust with nations we need to keep as friends.
Any one of the above would make for a very bad week in governance. Combined they suggest an uncomfortable conclusion to the world we purport to lead: The lights are flickering in the city on the hill and our ship of state is floundering.
Kathleen Parker's email address is email@example.com.
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