(GUARDIAN) — The U.S. election matters as much to the world as it does to Americans. The overriding reason is that an immense and present danger hangs over multilateralism and the notion of a rules-based global order. A Donald Trump victory would immediately make the world more worrying and unsettled than it already is. The U.S. may no longer be seen as the world hegemon, whether benign or threatening, but it is still the single most important power. Its behavior has unique potential to either make solutions possible or to add to areas of chaos. A Trump presidency would be bad for the U.S. and dangerous for the world. A vote for Hillary Clinton is the most effective way of preventing it.
Domestic politics and the clash of personalities have dominated this campaign. But the little that Mr Trump has said is enough to know where the foreign policy risks and promises lie in the 8 November vote. A Trump victory would severely damage U.S. standing almost everywhere. His strongman antics are a liability, not an asset. They are as distressing as they are ridiculous. Believing a man-to-man approach with Vladimir Putin will instantly dissolve Russia’s aggressive revisionism reflects more ignorance than it does bravado. Mrs Clinton has a reputation for a hawkish outlook, but this will be tempered by war-weary public opinion in the U.S. She recognizes that in the 21st century, U.S. power has more chances of attaining goals if it acts inclusively, and not with go-it-alone reckless tactics. She has already applied much of this as secretary of state – playing a key role in the historic deal with Iran, in pushing a new relationship with Cuba and managing the complex U.S. relationship with China. A Clinton presidency should rely on soft power in a smart way, a philosophy she touched upon in her Democratic convention speech this summer. She should pay close attention to climate change, development and working out fairer global trade arrangements. The U.S. should also take the lead on international justice by signing up to the international criminal court – and Mrs Clinton has expressed “great regret” about Washington’s refusal to join.