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Opinion
Leonid Bershidsky

2018: The Year of the Woeful World Leader

Trump, May, Macron, Merkel. Italy, Spain, Sweden, Latvia. Even the dictators stumbled. So much bad governing, so little time. 

They had a really bad year.

They had a really bad year.

Photographer: Daniel Reinhardt/AFP/Getty Images
Corrected

The dictionaries have decided on their 2018 words of the year. Oxford picked “toxic.” Merriam-Webster went for “justice.” Collins chose “single-use.” I’d zero in on “misgovernment.” Surely, 2018 saw a staggering number of countries woefully misruled by the worst crop of world leaders in recent memory.

The most egregious examples are in the news every day. U.S. President Donald Trump tops the chart as he runs out of straws to clutch in trying to convince Americans that his election has been good for them. The stock market bump of which he was so proud is disappearing. The fiscal deficit is the highest since 2012. Trade wars notwithstanding, the trade deficit is at a 10-year high.