Former foreign correspondent Simon Tisdall fell in love with America during his posting. Here, he asks what happened to the ‘shining city on the hill’ and wonders: how did America lose its mind in the age of Trump?

It is difficult for Americans to watch the presidential parody that is Donald Trump with anything approaching equanimity. But it is also hard for non-Americans – long-time friends and admirers of the United States – who look on helplessly from afar.

Reactions range from amazement and amusement to shock and dismay. How has this frightening travesty come about? What does it mean for the America we love? And what does it portend for a world accustomed to sensible, reliable, rational American leadership?

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