U.S. Leadership approval in the world slips to unprecedented low
BY WILLIAM J. FIGHTER
Worldwide approval of the United States role has slipped to a new low, a Gallup poll published today says. U.S. approval rate is now below that of China, the report indicates.
The survey, conducted in 134 countries, shows an unprecedented disapproval of the U.S. role in the world, with a drop from 48% under former president Barack Obama, to 30% under current president Donald Trump. The Gallup poll survey about world leadership started a decade ago.
The findings of this poll are linked to another Gallup poll showing that Donald Trump has the lowest average approval rate of any U.S. president in his first year. Trump, according to the survey, has averaged 39% approval rate since taking charge a year ago.
This unprecedented low approval rate of the United States underscores the concerns voiced, sometimes in private, other times out loud in public, by foreign policy expertrs both at home and abroad—especially in Europe—over Trump’s ‘America first’ slogan and the chaos with which he runs the White House and the country, not to say his irascible personality.
This has proven detrimental to U.S. relations with its traditionally closest allies in Europe. People surveyed in U.K., one of Washington’s historical allies, ranked the United States the lowest, with a drop of 26 percentage points. According to the survey, one British out of three disapproved of the U.S. role in the world today.
In half of the countries surveyed, the United States has lost at least ten percentage points. More people across the world now see Germany as a global leader—41% average. China comes second with 31%, that is higher than U.S. dismal 30%. Russia scores 27%.
An African diplomat in Washington contacted by “The African Magazine” (who required anonymity for obvious reasons) said: “The survey’s results reflect the reality in Africa, not only because of the popularity President Obama still enjoys in Africa, but also because of Trump’s wrong stands in many issues affecting the world and Africa, and Africa in particular.” The African diplomat mentioned, among other things, U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate accord, pointing out that “Africa, which pollutes less than all other regions in world, pays the highest prices in terms of climate change.” Not surprisingly, the African diplomat referred to the disparaging comments Trump made recently during a White House meeting about immigration when he referred to African nations and Haiti as ‘shithole nations.”
However, the U.S. global leadership rating under Trump got a 10% boost in the West African country of Liberia, as it did in Belarus, Israel, and Macedonia. Respondents in Canada and Latin America were the harshest critics of U.S. role in the world. In these countries, Obama scored a 49% approval rate and a 27% disapproval rate in 2016. That rate is now down to 24% approval rate and 58% disapproval rate under Trump.