Three-quar­ters of world has lit­tle or no con­fi­dence in Trump, Pew study finds

Tehran Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Patrick Win­tour

More than three-quar­ters of the world has lit­tle or no con­fi­dence in Don­ald Trump’s global lead­er­ship and his sig­na­ture poli­cies, with sup­port for the Amer­i­can pres­i­dency col­laps­ing fastest among Amer­ica’s tra­di­tional al­lies in Europe, ac­cord­ing to new polling by the Pew Re­search Cen­ter.

In many coun­tries, sup­port for the U.S. president is now be­low that of Ge­orge Bush in 2004, fol­low­ing the Iraq in­va­sion. Glob­ally, two-thirds of re­spon­dents de­scribe Trump as “ar­ro­gant and dan­ger­ous”.

The re­search con­ducted across 37 coun­tries shows a me­dian of 22% have some or a great deal of con­fi­dence in Trump to do the right thing when it comes to in­ter­na­tional af­fairs. Al­most three-quar­ters (74%) have lit­tle to no con­fi­dence in the Repub­li­can leader.

By con­trast, in the fi­nal years of Barack Obama’s pres­i­dency, a me­dian of 64% ex­pressed con­fi­dence in Trump’s pre­de­ces­sor to di­rect Amer­ica’s role in the world.

The low level of sup­port

The polling also shows that the low level of sup­port for the president is lead­ing to a de­cline in sup­port for wider Amer­i­can val­ues. Just 49 % ex­pressed a broadly pos­i­tive view of the U.S., com­pared with 64% in sur­veys car­ried out 2015 and 2016.

For the first time in Pew re­search his­tory, most Cana­di­ans no longer re­gard Amer­ica as a force for good in the world.

Just 43% of Cana­di­ans have a pos­i­tive view of their neigh­bor.

The two ma­jor coun­tries ex­press­ing faith in Trump’s abil­ity to be a force for good are Is­rael and Rus­sia.

The U.S. president has per­sis­tently low rat­ings across Latin Amer­ica and Europe, where me­di­ans of only 14% and 18% re­spec­tively have con­fi­dence in his lead­er­ship. Only 5% in Mex­ico and 7% in Spain have con­fi­dence in Trump.

The sur­vey also finds that Trump is per­son­ally dis­liked glob­ally, with most see­ing him as ar­ro­gant, in­tol­er­ant and dan­ger­ous, while few think of him as well-qual­i­fied or as some­one who cares about or­di­nary peo­ple.

Trump’s supporters will ar­gue his “Amer­ica First” poli­cies were never in­tended to make him pop­u­lar glob­ally, and some of his do­mes­tic ap­proval rat­ings have shown a small in­crease. But such high lev­els of un­pop­u­lar­ity are likely to make other world leaders be­lieve there is no electoral down­side in air­ing their dif­fer­ences with him – or with the U.S.

The poll sug­gests that An­gela Merkel has re­placed the Amer­i­can president as the politi­cian to whom the world’s peo­ple look for lead­er­ship.

Forty-two per cent ex­pressed con­fi­dence in the German chan­cel­lor, while 31% said they did not have con­fi­dence in her. A me­dian of 60% in Europe have con­fi­dence in her, a rare achieve­ment for some­one who has been at the helm of Ger­many for more than a decade. Her sup­port is es­pe­cially strong on the cen­tre-left, un­der­lin­ing how dif­fi­cult it has be­come for the op­po­si­tion German So­cial Demo­cratic Party to land a blow upon her in the German elec­tion cam­paign.

In con­trast, just 6% of Ger­mans said they be­lieved Trump was qual­i­fied to be president; 13% be­lieve he cares about or­di­nary peo­ple; and 91% re­gard him as ar­ro­gant, 81% as in­tol­er­ant, and 76% as dan­ger­ous.

In the UK, 89% see him as ar­ro­gant, 77% as in­tol­er­ant and 69% as dan­ger­ous. Glob­ally, 65% think Trump is in­tol­er­ant and 62% that he is dan­ger­ous.

Un­pop­u­lar poli­cies

Most of his trademark poli­cies are also un­pop­u­lar, in­clud­ing his pro­posed wall on the Mex­i­can bor­der, his withdrawal from the Paris cli­mate change treaty and his ban on im­mi­grants from sev­eral mainly Mus­lim coun­tries.

In Ger­many, hosts to the G20 sum­mit of world leaders next month, only 9% sup­port Trump’s de­ci­sion to pull out of the Paris cli­mate change treaty. Glob­ally, only 19% sup­port the move.

In just four of 10 EU coun­tries sur­veyed does the public feel pos­i­tively in­clined to­ward the U.S. as a coun­try. The most widespread sup­port is found in Poland (73%), Hun­gary (63%) and Italy (61%). In spite of the “special re­la­tion­ship” be­tween the U.S. and the UK, only 50% of the Bri­tish see the U.S. fa­vor­ably.

The most neg­a­tive views of the U.S. are in Ger­many (62% un­fa­vor­able), Spain (60%) and the Nether­lands (59%). And in the past year, the share of the Span­ish public that ex­presses a very un­fa­vor­able opin­ion has roughly tripled from 7% to 23%.

In more than half of the 37 coun­tries sur­veyed, pos­i­tive views of the U.S. ex­pe­ri­enced dou­ble-digit drops in 2017.

In Mex­ico, pos­i­tive views of the U.S. have roughly halved, down 36 points from 66% to 30%.

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