Monday, March 26, 2018

Power Ranking of World Leaders

Similar to the new trend in pro sports of keeping a running power ranking list that is utterly meaningless but is fun to debate, I'll keep a running list of power rankings of world leaders. I'm not sure yet how regularly I'll update the list just yet: weekly, monthly, quarterly, irregularly- we'll see. And like those sports power rankings, the rankings will be determined by recent events and not overall power.

1. Xi Jiangping - China
2. Theresa May - United Kingdom
3. Emmanuel Macron - France
4. Mohammad bin Salman - Saudi Arabia
5. Kim Jong-un - North Korea
6. Moon Jae-in - South Korea
7. Donald Trump - USA
8. Angela Merkel - Germany
9. Vladimir Putin - Russia
10. Narendra Modi - India

1. Xi recently amended the laws to allow him to become president for life. As the US pulls back its clout around the world, China seems to be filling the void.

2. Prime Minister May's strong statement and actions against Russia's assassination in England of a double agent not only knocked Putin down, but forced U.S. President Trump to act and has elicited an increasingly strong alliance against Russia.

3. President Macron has taken up the role as leader of global liberalism usually reserved for the president of the United States. He has also been strong with Putin and Russia without needlessly being antagonistic.

4. Crown Prince MBS is attempting to pose himself as an anti-corruption reformer. He's been a player on the international front with a horrible war in Yemen and creating an multi-lateral blockade of Qatar. MBS influenced President Trump to come out against Qatar, contrary to his administration's position. Trump later waffled.

5. Kim seems to be very much in control. When he wants to ratchet up tension, he tests missiles and tensions rise. When he wants to quell the fire, he sends his sister to South Korea, negotiates a unified Olympic team, holds bilateral talks with South Korea, and backs President Trump into meeting face-to-face with him before back-tracking.

6. President Moon is coming off a successful Winter Olympics and is the mature adult in the crisis with Kim and Trump.

7. President Trump's recent expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats helps his cause. It shows a clear message that he is not Russian President Putin's pawn as the investigation into collusion between his campaign and Russia continues.

8. Angela Merkel had been a leading voice of NATO and the EU, but suffered an ambiguous election result. She won a fourth term six months after the election.

9. President Putin is poised to win another term by a landslide. Despite that fact that he would win easily in a free and fair election, he has resorted to disqualifying a leading contender and puffing up his numbers. The recent backlash to Russia's murder of a double agent in England has pushed Putin back on his heels.

10. Modi scored two wins internationally this year without even trying. In a game of "who wore it better" he trounced the heartthrob Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who was accused of cultural appropriation when he wore "local" clothing during a visit to India. And Modi's other win came when President Trump publically called out India's rival Pakistan on Twitter back in January.