(CNN) — In just two months’ time, the world will bid farewell to President Obama. In his final overseas trip before exiting the White House next January, Mr. Obama stood alongside his German counterpart Angela Merkel at a press conference in Berlin, warning against a “meaner, harsher, more troubled world.”
In the wake of last week’s stunning electoral victory by Donald Trump and the Republican Party, he seemed a diminished figure, as did Mrs. Merkel, the guardian of a liberal ancien regime that is beginning to crumble on both sides of the Atlantic.
The winds of change are sweeping through the West, challenging decades of conventional wisdom, overturning the dominant liberal consensus, and reviving a greater sense of national identity and self-determination. Without a doubt, the extraordinary victory by the Vote Leave campaign in Britain’s EU referendum was a precursor to the November presidential election in the US, with an emphatic humbling of the political establishment against all odds and all expectations. Though the Brexit campaign was in many respects different to that of Mr. Trump in both style and messaging, both succeeded in delivering a political earthquake that shook the global political order.
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