Saturday, July 1, 2017

UGLY AMERICA: New Polls Show America's Image Has Taken A Beating Under Trump

On the eve of the day we celebrate this great countries independence day perhaps we should take a step back and see what the world thinks about us.

If we were to do that it would become painfully apparent that the image of the United States has deteriorated sharply across the globe under Donald Trump's extremely short tenure in office.

Just five months since his inauguration, the survey spanning 37 nations showed U.S. favorability ratings in the rest of the world slumping to dismal 49 percent from 64 percent at the end of President Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House.

But what is more concerning were the steeper declines in what many presume to be America’s closest allies such as Mexico, Canada, and European partners like Germany and Spain.

These declines are not hard to comprehend since Trump has taken office in January touting his “America First” policy he has pressed ahead with plans to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, announced he will pull out of the Paris climate accord, and accused countries including Canada, Germany and China of unfair trade practices.

Not a good way to ingratiate yourself with people considered to be your friends and allies.

• Just 30 percent of Mexicans now say they have a favorable view of the United States, down from 66 percent at the end of the Obama era. 

• In Canada and Germany, the US's favorability ratings slid by 22 points, to 43 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

• In many European countries, the ratings were comparable to those seen at the end of the presidency of George W. Bush, whose 2003 invasion of Iraq was deeply unpopular.

• The countries with the lowest confidence in Trump were Mexico, at 5 percent and Spain at 7 percent.

The report shows the drop in favorability ratings for the United States is widespread and has plummeted in a diverse set of countries from Latin America, North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

The only two countries where ratings improved compared to Obama were Russia, where confidence in the U.S. president surged to 53 percent from 11 percent, and Israel, where it rose 7 points to 56 percent.

As for the Trump himself he faired about the same or worse that the stature of our country as the survey showed that an overwhelming majority of people in other countries have no confidence in Trump's ability to lead.

Globally, 75 percent of respondents described Trump as “arrogant”, 65 percent as “intolerant” and 62 percent as “dangerous”.

Based on the responses of 40,447 people and conducted between Feb. 16 and May 8 this year, showed even deeper mistrust of Trump himself, with only 22 percent of those surveyed saying they had confidence he would do the right thing in world affairs, compared to 64 percent who trusted Obama.

Compare that to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who both enjoy a confidence ratings of 27 percent and 28 percent respectively. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, almost doubled up Trump's confidence rating with 42 percent, which was scored highest among the four leaders in the survey.

The survey showed widespread disapproval of Trump’s signature policy proposals, with 76 percent unhappy with his plan to build the wall on the border with Mexico, 72 percent against his withdrawal from major trade agreements and 62 percent opposed to his plans to restrict travel to the U.S. from some majority-Muslim countries.

In this gloomy an unsettling poll there is however one bright spot as the survey showed that 58 percent of respondents had a positive view of Americans in general.

So at least there's that.

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