This is simply too comical. One thing Donald Trump loves to do is peacock about, convincing himself and anybody within earshot, that when he was in office, America was greatly revered, nay, feared even. The Mighty Trump had the world trembling in awe and deference.
A new Pew poll of 23 countries finds that people have almost twice the regard for the United States now that Joe Biden is in office than when Trump was, and almost four times the confidence in Biden as they had in Trump. The walls will run red with ketchup when this gets out.
Trump wasn’t just a joke though. His obvious instability and tenuous hold on reality were unnerving to the world. His America First slogan alienated allies. And his softness toward dictators and strongmen emboldened adversaries.
International opinion polls leave no doubt about how America’s reputation fared under Trump. In September, 2020 Pew found that
America’s reputation has declined further over the past year among many key allies and partners. In several countries, the share of the public with a favorable view of the U.S. is as low as it has been at any point since the [Pew Research] Center began polling on this topic nearly two decades ago.
Some of this was in response to the U.S. handling of COVID-19. Among thirteen European nations, only an average of 31 percent held a positive view of the United States, while only 16 percent expressed confidence in Trump. In fact, Trump was less trusted than the leaders of Germany, France, the U.K., China, or Russia.
President Biden has gone some way toward restoring America’s global image. Pew reports that a new survey of public opinion in 23 countries finds an average of 59 percent holding favorable views of the United States and 54 percent having confidence in President Biden.
Though views of the United States have improved during the Biden years, doubts must persist. Hell, they persist among Americans. Though other presidents have been unpopular (George W. Bush in particular), our foreign friends and foes never before had to wonder about America’s political stability. Confidence about that will take years to rebuild, or just another election to wreck utterly.
It’s been said that George W. Bush was the Mulligan. We were given a pass in the eyes of the world. Then came Trump and the world gaped and gawked. Now, if by any insane twist of fate, Trump gets back into power, it is banana republic time and we don’t mean the clothing outlet.
We have used up all our chances. Our best shot, on a planetary level, is to reelect Joe Biden and show the rest of the world that America is still America, despite how polarized the politics have become and how deep the cultural rift runs.
Once again, 2024 is the most important election of our lives. Hopefully it will be the very last one where the Trump presence unbalances and discombobulates politics. But maybe not. Maybe Trump will keep trying to grift in 2028 and be with us until death us do part. Perhaps that’s the way this will all go down.