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Leonid Bershidsky

Trump Finds a New Way to Squander Soft Power

Global leadership depends on winning over immigrants from far and wide.
Friends from afar.

Friends from afar.

Photographer: Gregor Fischer/AFP/Getty Images

Let's step back from the abnormality of a national leader calling other countries "shitholes," as President Donald Trump apparently did while complaining the U.S. got too many immigrants from Haiti and poor African nations and too few from countries "like Norway." He probably spoke  -- as he often does, in his damn-the-consequences way -- for many others, Americans as well as Europeans.

As one of some 257.7 million people not living in the countries of their birth today, I have something to tell these people: Your own countries could quickly lose their standing in the world if you try to limit immigration to people from the wealthier nations.