Statistics for the day

International confidence in US leadership has slumped since Donald Trump moved into the White House, with America now less trusted than China in the global approval ratings. A Gallup poll of opinion in 134 countries showed a record collapse in approval for US leadership, falling from 48% under Obama to 30% after a year of Trump. It is the lowest figure recorded since Gallup began the poll series a decade ago and follows Trump’s “America first” foreign policy which has prioritised American interests ahead of international cohesion. Germany is now seen as a global leader by more people (41%), with China in second place on 31%.  (quoted by The Guardian, January 18th, 2018).

I am surprised that Trump’s figures are not lower.  What aspects of Trump’s policies and behaviour do the 30% find positive?  Certainly, Trump is busy making the US a second class power, notwithstanding the obscene amount of money spent on the rather ineffectual military.


  1. Trump’s strikingly inept version of one-man diplomacy in the context of America’s ongoing global decline is shocking. World leadership lost is never readily recovered, particularly when rival powers are prepared to fill the void. As Trump undercuts the U.S. strategic position at the axial ends of Eurasia, China is pressing relentlessly to displace the United States and dominate that vast continent with what New York Times correspondent Edward Wong calls “a blunt counterpoint… synonymous with brute strength, bribery and browbeating.”
    In just one extraordinary year, Trump has destabilized the delicate duality that has long been the foundation for U.S. foreign policy: favoring war over diplomacy, the Pentagon over the State Department, and narrow national interest over international leadership. But in a globalizing world interconnected by trade, the Internet, and the rapid proliferation of nuclear-armed missiles, walls won’t work. There can be no Fortress America.

  2. Who would have thought that if you insult foreigners, they tend not to approve?! The vast majority of the world’s population live in countries Trump has insulted at some point. If you’re a Londoner, Trump has insulted you and your mayor too. For America, the worse may be yet to come. If Trump honours his promise to scrap the Iran deal, he will alienate the whole of the developed world expect Israel. At the same time, a trade war with China would only hurt the American consumer, even if the Chinese haven’t always played fair.
    I would argue the real global leader at the moment is not Germany, but France. Germany is currently without a government; Merkel’s CDU and Schultz’ SPD are in coalition talks, but some local SPD parties have voted down another coalition. Seizing the opportunity, Macron is determined to project France’s influence in the EU and beyond. This is mostly positive; France is generally very concerned with human rights and democracy, even if like Britain, it suffers from a post-imperial hangover.

    • Having just heard, coincidentally, an interview with Macron, I fully concur with Owen’s opinion that Macron is now the rising star in Europe. I was left with a strong feeling that his very obvious ambition, his grasp of current European political trajectory, and his apparent leadership potential, will take France forward into a very strong position indeed. Owen certainly sums up what I was thinking

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