A couple days ago I had wanted to attempt to quantify how the United States’ standing in the world has suffered under Trump and GOP leadership. As expected, the information that could be gathered was less then desirable. It would be anecdotal and patched together from disparate source.
As fate would have it, yesterday Gallup released their findings in worldwide polling of 134 country’s, as to how the US is perceived as a global leader. They have undertaken this poll every year since 2007, so the data has comparables and that’s awesome.
Now this data doesn’t quantify how the US fares in any way, it’s merely perception, but don’t ever discount perception as that more often times than not, leads to reality, especially in an area like leadership, where one’s ability to lead directly correlates to another’s inclination to follow.
It’s bad news right from the get-go. Very bad.
The really startling aspect of how awful this chart is, is look at that precipitous drop of 18 points….especially in relation to how stable the chart is up until 2016. Every country’s numbers are, more or less, consistent with modest fluctuations. That kind of drop doesn’t even belong on the same chart it’s such an outlier.
The US is viewed as only slightly better than Russia…Russia. Germany’s numbers are flat and boring over the years. That’s exactly what the Germans do. They don’t make any crazy moves. All systems ahead; keep plodding along, and wouldn’t you know it, who is viewed as the preeminent world leader now.
“This year marks a significant change in our trends. Only 30% of the world, on average, approves of the job performance of the U.S.’s leadership, down from 48% in 2016. In fact, more people now disapprove of U.S. leadership than approve. This historic low puts the U.S.’s leadership approval rating on par with China’s and sets a new bar for disapproval. We’ve seen somewhat similar numbers before. In the last two years of the Bush administration, approval ratings of U.S. leadership were in the mid to upper 30s — close to ratings of China’s leadership at that time.”
You can’t get a chart this bad without serious effort:
Trump’s stated “America First” policy is duly noted by the world. The unilateral removal from: The Paris Climate Accord, The Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Iran Nuclear deal, and threats to abandon Nafta are all also, duly noted. Trump’s directionless and thoughtless verbal attacks on literally all of our allies, is duly noted. America desires to recede; duly noted.
China can be the central cog to pacific rim trade. You can have it…we’ll take scraps. China can become the largest trade partner to every country in the United States’ own hemisphere…and they already are becoming just that.
“In seven Latin American countries, China has surpassed the United States as the main destination for exports. And in five of those countries—Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Peru, and Uruguay—China is now the largest export market. This is a drastic and rapid shift in the region’s economic landscape.”
“President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership sends an additional signal to Latin America that the U.S. is retreating from the world stage. The door is open for China and other emerging powers to fill the void and become the new hegemonic economic power in the region. “
With that increased trade comes an interconnectedness in the forms mutual outreach- expanding business locations into each other’s countries, diplomatic and trade envoys, cultural exchanges; the whole gamut of a symbiotic relationship up to and including learning each others languages and customs. As it should be and inevitably shall be.
Whether or not anyone supports globalism, it has been forming, is coalescing, and shall be a fact. It’s an unavoidable consequence of the social and industrious creatures that we are. You can’t- not “believe” in globalism; it’s not Santa Claus. Much like global warming, it exists regardless of anyone’s opinions.
The US is removing itself form the world stage economically and diplomatically. Another mainstay of the United States’ influence over the world has been our scientific and technical prowess. This alone forces other nations to learn English, so that they can stay on the cutting edge. With this administration’s continual attacks on science, research, and fact-driven data at home, we have to wonder how long that will be sustainable. Global warming is happening regardless of our ideological beliefs. The need to convert entirely to renewable energies is a foregone conclusion; it’s a fact, and we shall cede that expertise to the Chinese too while we piddle over how best to rip up the land and enrich oil companies.
Trump’s ardent desire, is to have “wins” from which he can derive adulation and a sense of power. It doesn’t matter what form that comes in. There is no long term plan; there isn’t a plan at all. To that end, he does require to not have the constraints of partnerships and responsibility, or the misfortune of having social obligations to live up to. Therefore, everything…everything as it already existed is a bad deal. He just wants to do quick deals that require no forethought or planning. It’s just a “win” for the day and it feels great. Nationalism and nativism serve that purpose. If we could become an isolated, backwater fiefdom, that would be ideal. I do not doubt Trump would be very happy to learn that 20 years from now that the Queen President Ivanna was handing out to the serfs, the rights to do final assembly of her latest jewelry line in some lucky region of America.
Surely, somewhere in the world the US’ perceived ability to be a global leader improved, right? Yes.
Not among a single one of our allies except Israel, but if it’s a Soviet Bloc country or a third world dictatorship, well….there the US is looking pretty, pretty good.