New Study Reveals How The World Really Feels About The US. It’s Worse (And Better) Than You’d Think.
What do you want first? The good news, or the bad?
A new comprehensive study has just been released by the Pew Research Center, tracking opinions about the United States and its president in 37 countries.
Since I cant ask you all individually, Im going to assume you like to drink the chase after the shot. Well do the bad news first. But I promise if you stick it out, youll see that things arent actually as bleak as they may seem.
The bad news (in a nutshell) is this: if you thought Donald Trump was unpopular at home, hes spectacularly unpopular almost everywhere else. His peculiar policies and his personal, um, distinctiveness have had a seriously negative impact on how the world sees America.
Its not just the usual suspects either. Some of the countries who have soured on the US will surprise you.
This research was conducted in 37 countries by the Pew Research Center. Thanks to them for sharing their information and graphics.
Since President Trump took office, you can see that median confidence in the president has collapsed by 42 points. Maybe more shockingly, the percentage of people saying they have no confidence in the president has shot up 51 points.
Also, median favorable perception of the country as a whole has dipped by 15 points.
In the graphic below, you can see the differences between the end of the Obama presidency and where we are today in some individual countries.
Below, you can see presidential approval charted over a longer period of time in some key European allied nations. (And also Spain for some reason...)
Frankly, it can't be a good sign that President Trump is as unpopular at the beginning of his term as President George W. Bush was at the end of his.
One of the most shocking results of this study is the fact that Trump apparently inspires less confidence around the world than President Putin of Russia - a man routinely accused of having his opponents murdered.
But both men fared worse than President Xi Xinping of China.
(The green bar represents confidence that the leader will "do the right thing." Yellow represents those who said they don't have such confidence. Grey represents uncertainty.)
You may ask why there's so much visceral dislike for President Trump overseas. Is it just his brash personality? His appearance? His bombastic way of expressing himself?
Maybe. But this survey suggest it also has to do with his key policy ideas, which are wildly unpopular outside of the United States. (Also within it, in most cases.)
Of course, there are a lot of countries in the world that didn't necessarily love the US that much to begin with. But perhaps the scariest news of all is about one of America's best friends, and how their attitude has rapidly shifted in the past 6 months. (continued...)
Keep reading on the next page.
Canadians may send their apologies, but they're also sending a very somber message south of the border.
Take a look at this graphic:
At the moment, only 43% of Canadians hold a favorable (or should I say favourable) view of the United States, with 51% saying they see their closest neighbor and ally in a negative light.
Never before has a poll shown more Canadians disapproving of the US than approving.
That's a pretty ominous signal coming from America's second largest trading partner, which is directly responsible for creating at least 5 million jobs.
There are surely a multitude of reasons why most of the planet clearly does not see Donald Trump as "the leader of the free world" in the mould of former presidents.
But one of the most striking explanations hinted at by the study is his decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, the global plan to fight climate change that was originally agreed to by 196 countries.
This polling reveals widespread disdain for the Trump's decision to turn his back on (almost literally) the rest of the world.
The overall median of disapproval across all countries surveyed was 71%.
By the way, that number is consistent with the way most of Trump's own citizens felt about the decision to withdraw from the agreement. 69% of Americans opposed pulling out; in no state did a majority favor leaving.
Okay, I know this all looks pretty bad. But I promised you there was good news, didn't I? And unlike some people, I intend to keep my promises. (continued...)
Keep reading on the next page.
We'll start with some weird/good news and then move on to the good/good news.
One piece of good news is that pro-American sentiment has shot up by 26% in one of the countries polled. The weird thing? That country is actually Russia.
You can see that confidence in the president has also shot up an extraordinary 42%, which would seem to suggest that Trump is is considerably more popular in Russia than he is at home.
Perhaps at this point you would say that a leader who is respected by Russia is not a leader who should be respected. Or maybe you would point out that relations between Russia and the US are in a particularly tricky place right now.
While that may be true, I would say that it's ultimately a good thing if relations between the world's two biggest nuclear powers can remain cordial. It's a good, weird thing.
Another piece of good news is that American culture continues to be respected and appreciated all over the world, as shown in the graphic below.
(Green indicates a positive response; yellow a negative one.)
Despite all the smack that gets talked about Hollywood, look at these numbers. The American entertainment industry is arguably the nation's best ambassador. Even in Russia, the majority of those polled admit partaking of American cultural exports.
But here's the best news of all: the world may hate the president, but they still like the American people.
Moreover, most people don't think that Trump's presidency will lead to a radical change in the relationships between their countries and the US.
(With the exception of Russians, who seem to be surprisingly enthusiastic that US-Russian relations will get better. Again... let's file that under weird but good for now.)
This is why I think things aren't as miserable as they perhaps seem. There are limits to how much damage an unpopular and incompetent president can actually inflict, as long as people commit to holding him accountable.
If President Trump wants to pull back from the world stage, we've already seen that there are plenty of business and political leaders who will step in to keep America engaged.
Ultimately, the world needs the United States. It is American power, diplomacy, and innovation that has kept the free countries of the world together since the 1945. And yeah, it hasn't always gone great.
But what is the alternative, exactly?
What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading.
In most situations, when you're hurt by someone, it can be best to just forgive and forget. However, there are some people that can't help but hold grudges. Sometimes it can just be petty, but other times, it can be for very valid reasons.
HeySistaBrutus asked: What are you STILL mad about?