Practically from the day Barack Obama took office, the stature of the United States on the world stage has been declining. In describing this decline, what has become known as his “apology tour” very early in his presidency is as good a place to start as any. But that was just the beginning, and just words. He has bowed — not just a courtesy nod, but in a very low, submissive way — to kings of Muslim nations. He has drawn “red lines” that he said would “change his calculus” on decisions to intervene in international situations, only to simply back away when the red lines were clearly and openly crossed. He has stood by and watched U. S. soldiers humiliated on world-wide television broadcasts. He has done nothing when Russia flew several times within 100 feet of a U. S. aircraft carrier in international waters, Mr. Putin’s intent clearly being to display an “in your face” attitude. He has done nothing of significance to stand up against clearly provocative saber-rattling actions by China in the the South China Sea. He has contradicted the advice of practically all military advisors and some of his own Cabinet members by announcing troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan — including numbers and dates. His desire to create a “legacy notch” for himself by consummating a nuclear arms agreement with Iran was so great that he “gave up the store and the keys to the warehouse next door” to get it signed off. Since the “deal” was made, Iran has on multiple occasions engaged in clearly “in your face” acts of violation and defiance, and their political and spiritual leaders not only condone but personally engage in “Death to America” chants and references to us as “The Great Satan”. He has snubbed his nose at Israel, clearly avoiding supportive remarks and even making accusatory ones — and even advocating positions that retreat from previously-negotiated ones in the age-old conflict with Palestine. Probably more damaging to our reputation than anything, he has simply refused on multiple fronts to take the kind of world leadership role for which America has always been known. Some media news/commentary hosts and contributors have summed it up well by saying “Our enemies don’t fear us, and our friends don’t trust us”.