When the divisive presidential campaign mercifully comes to an end in November, the victor will face the Olympian task of restoring flagging public and congressional support for strong US leadership. A truth once undisputed in American politics – that US global primacy is beneficial for our country – is now under assault. Bernie Sanders’ narrow, pessimistic view of the US’ great-power future has encouraged twin scourges of protectionism and isolationism on the left. Donald Trump’s fearful, fact-free campaign has been infinitely more damaging. This project, carefully engineered by the past three presidents, is arguably one of the most important US foreign policy advances in decades.
Bill Clinton broke the ice by suggesting the United States’ 21st-century global interests were in alignment with India’s. George W Bush made the major push forward by negotiating a civil nuclear agreement between the two countries and persuading both parties in Congress to remove sanctions. Barack Obama became the first president to support India for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.