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Horowitz: Trump Tanks US Image Abroad

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

 

Donald Trump

President Trump’s international image remains "poor" and continues to tank the perception of the United States throughout the world, according to a new 25 nation Pew Research Center Survey.

This new survey tells us that nearly 2 years into his first term, “Trump’s international image remains poor, while ratings for the United States are much lower than during Barack Obama’s presidency.”  More specifically, a median of less than 3-in-10 international respondents say they have confidence in Trump to do the right thing in world affairs, while a median of 7-in-10 lack confidence in him.  Trump’s unpopularity abroad is driving what were strongly favorable perceptions of the United States markedly down, with now only a median of 50 percent of international respondents rating the United States favorably, as opposed to a median of 43% rating our nation unfavorably,

Perceptions of Trump are markedly lower than the other world leaders tested.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron receive generally positive marks.  Even Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, while negatively perceived, receive higher marks than Trump.

Among the concerns expressed by the international public are that the “US doesn’t take into account the interests of countries like theirs when making foreign policy decisions”, and that the “US is doing less to help solve major global challenges that it used to." The percentage of people abroad who believe that we respect individual liberty has also significantly declined.

By his demonstrated ignorance, cozying up to dictators, attempt to bully allies, rejection of important international agreements and over-all mishandling of American foreign policy, Trump is taking a sledgehammer to United States soft power.  This makes us less influential around the world and the world less safe.  What is being lost every day is recoverable over time, but not easily   Simply put, Trump is recklessly squandering years of good will and the next president will have to clean up the mess.

 

Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island

 

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