World opinion of the US was already low earlier than the Trump-Biden debate


The first 2020 presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was an international embarrassment, exposing the rot of US politics to the world.

The sorry show had pundits in France calling it “worrying for American democracy,” in Italy bemoaning that “by no means had American politics sunk so low,” and within the UK predicting “this darkish, horrifying, unwatchable fever dream will certainly be the primary line of America’s obituary.”

That’s surprising stuff, and it might solely be pure to conclude that the talk radically shifted the globe’s perceptions of the US. However the actuality is much extra troubling: Within the Trump period, the US is traditionally disliked due to the president and his inept management.

The talk didn’t shatter optimistic perceptions of the US. They have been already damaged.

Polls present few actually like America as a lot as they used to

The Pew Research Center revealed a survey on international attitudes towards the US earlier this month, and the outcomes weren’t fairly. A few of America’s allies — the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, and Australia — now have record-low views of the US.

Pew Research Center

The important thing purpose? Trump.

“Since Donald Trump took workplace as president, the picture of america has suffered throughout many areas of the globe,” the report begins. It continues:

As a brand new 13-nation Pew Analysis Middle survey illustrates, America’s popularity has declined additional over the previous yr amongst many key allies and companions. In a number of international locations, the share of the general public with a good view of the U.S. is as little as it has been at any level for the reason that Middle started polling on this matter practically 20 years in the past.

Let that sink in: Views of the US have dropped to a two-decade low largely due to Trump and the way in which he has run issues. One of many prime causes cited is the nation’s weak response to the coronavirus, with solely 15 p.c of respondents saying the US has completed a great job.

But it’s clear from the chart beneath that even earlier than the coronavirus pandemic hit, Trump was already disliked in comparison with his predecessor, Barack Obama. How might or not it’s in any other case? In spite of everything, Trump has spent a lot of his presidency bashing allies, hobnobbing with autocrats, and infrequently performing like an autocrat himself.

Pew Research Center

What Pew’s survey makes clear, then, is Trump’s shenanigans stay a world downside as a result of they’re a globally acknowledged amount. The tarnishing of America’s standing thus started years in the past — and the talk didn’t assist reverse course.

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