President Trump’s abandonment of democracy promotion and human rights is among the most striking of his departures from the post-Cold War American foreign-policy consensus. To the despair and fury of liberal internationalists and neoconservatives alike, Mr. Trump often appears determined to conduct American diplomacy as if human rights abroad were not a concern.
But the human-rights recession in U.S. foreign policy was already under way when the president took office. It isn’t hard to see why: Efforts to base America’s foreign policy on human rights and democracy hadn’t been yielding their desired results for some time.
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