We have developed the same thinking and way of being the British had during the prelude of the Revolutionary War. We view the world as our playground. The British believed the colonies were there to serve and enhance their wealth. Trump wants to break trade agreements and do deals to make us wealthier. The British thought the Americans were freeloading off of them and they can no longer invest in their military to protect America from attacks of the Indians, Spanish, or French unless they pick up some of the military. Likewise, we fuss at NATO for not doing their fair share and suggest we can no longer be expected to protect them from the Russians. Sure the British had the greatest military of its day as we do, but we both resented having to act as the enforcer of peace because it cost some of our wealth.
The British refused to let the colony have voices in the decisions that shaped us. Taxation without representation the colonies yelled. We refused to join in the climate control accords with the rest of the world. We will dictate how we do these things which effect the whole world. Again we feel our wealth threatened. We are suddenly trying to claim exceptionalism without offering exceptional behavior. We act within the world as the British did to the colonies. You need us and we do not need you. We arrogantly think they are not quite the great nation we are.
The end result for the British was the loss of prestige in the world and a colony. We seem to be on a similar path. We are losing prestige in the world. The French are now aligning with the Chinese in climate change actions. New alliances are being made without us. Now some may think this a good idea. But Russia is poised to enter the military void and China is poised to enter the economic void. Neither of these countries are known for their human rights. What this will mean to the world as they develop into powers that influence the thinking of nations cannot be good. Our loss of prestige and influence, ironically enough, will also in the end hurt us economically. Corporations are global and will follow the money. If we are local and do not have as big a role in the world we will see less of these global corporations.
If we want our way and we want to be thought of as an exceptional people then we will have to do the exceptional things. China has been invested heavily in Africa to gain their allegiance, even though they currently may not show a return on their money. If or when Africa develops economically the Chinese will be poised to have sway; we will not. They are doing the exceptional thing now and will reap the benefits later.
Eventually, the American colony went to war with the British. The world is slowly rebelling against the United States and its leadership; what this will portend for our nation is yet to be seen.