We know about the divisiveness, the chaos, the hate that is dominating the headlines here in the U.S. We are fed a steady diet of daily abominations, accusations, and ignorant spew. But how do people in other countries see us? Until four years ago, we were largely viewed with respect … sure, we had our flaws, but we tried to do the right thing … most of the time. We helped our allies and others around the globe. We were doing our part to promote solutions to climate change, nuclear disarmament, and to contribute to a global defense structure. And then, came Donald Trump, riding the waves of the populist movement all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, occupying a chair that he would never fit. So … how are we viewed abroad today?
From an article in The Guardian back in June …
The coronavirus crisis has caused a dramatic deterioration in the European public perception of the US, extensive new polling reveals.
More than 60% of respondents in Germany, France, Spain, Denmark and Portugal said they had lost trust in the United States as a global leader.
A report based on the survey’s findings argues that the shock of the pandemic has “traumatised” European citizens, leaving them feeling “alone and vulnerable”.
In almost every country surveyed, a majority of people said their perception of the US had deteriorated since the outbreak. Negative attitudes of the US were most marked in Denmark (71%) Portugal (70%), France (68%), Germany (65%) and Spain (64%). In France, 46% and in Germany 42% said their view of the US had worsened “a lot” during the pandemic.
On Tuesday, PEW Research released a new poll of 13 foreign countries that reveals that perceptions of America have dropped drastically in recent years. I strongly encourage you to take a look at their data.
Let’s hear directly from some of those people, shall we?
- Have you tried turning your country off and then on again?
- I think Mexico is probably now in favour of that wall
- Sad. Disappointed. We used to think pretty highly of you, but now we just feel sorry for you. You are so divided we’re not sure how you can ever come together as a country again. Your guns are out of control. Your racism is dividing you. Your politics are a disaster. Your healthcare system is a joke. Your pandemic is out of control and you will soon be in the depths of a depression, with more than 30m people without jobs. How do you feel so far?
- Being an Italian and knowing roman history, I can say that in my opinion America is showing the classic symptoms of an empire in decline
- The US always appeared like an older, stronger brother – now it feels like this brother started using meth.
- Being in the U.K. right now kind of feels like being a little boat that has broken down and everyone’s too busy being mad at the captain to fix anything. But then you look to the left and there’s a big cruise ship burning as it sinks with people fighting on every deck, and the captain’s throwing gasoline on everything, and you feel a little bit better about the s***** boat you’re in.
- I used to really admire America. The last few years have changed that perception drastically. The blatantly corrupt politics seem to have the whole country in such a tight grip that from the outside it looks like a 3rd world country. Your president is lying constantly and obviously yet he has outspoken followers in the millions who just disregard his lies. There seems to be no safety net for the average person at all and you seem to rely on luck to get through your life.
- I live in Germany. When I was younger, I always wanted to live in America. I thought it was great. Now, not even for a million dollars, I would never move there
- I knew there were lots of idiots, but the sheer quantity is mind blowing. And how so many Americans just can’t handle a view that’s different to their own or at least allow others to have a different view, is crazy.
- You’re a country blessed with diverse land, money and democracy. But you have become your own worst enemy—healthy patriotism has turned into extreme nationalism and xenophobia, freedom has turned into anarchy. Also guns, like howww are they still a thing? Sad.
- The Second Amendment is there to protect your precious democracy from tyrants. Ironic who the gun owners support the most.
- What saddens me the most is how the basics, such as universal healthcare and social support are so reviled by so many. Worst is that those who are the most vocal are probably not far from those who would benefit the most.
- I keep wondering why the “richest” country in the world still doesn’t have national free health services.
- I can’t believe how Americans can politicise EVERYTHING?! Wearing masks, postal service and before these newer topics universal healthcare, free (or at least vastly cheaper) uni, higher taxation etc. are a reality in most developed countries, but in America it seems like you can just scream socialism and people are against everything. From my German point of view the two party system and electoral votes is seriously f**ked up and even the moderate democrats are pretty right-wing.
- With the economic divide larger than ever, I don’t believe the majority of Americans, who struggle to live decently, pay for healthcare and their kids education, still buy the freaking “american dream” BS.
- Trump is an Emperor, with his princess and princes. Everyone with any insight or brains can see it, but there are a lot of supremely uninformed Americans in the Rust belt, the south and parts of the north who have been fed the line from Fox and Facebook that he is their saviour.
- I’m a Canadian, living in Mexico since 2014. I seriously can’t wrap my head around it from either vantage point. It’s like watching a slow-motion car wreck – it’s horrifying and you know nothing good is going to come of it but it’s fascinating at the same time.
- As a Millennial from Toronto, I grew up thinking America was awesome. I thought it would be cool to live in New York when I was older. The past 5 years have been such a s*** show, I am so thankful to be from Canada. I dont think its Trump that is the main problem (although hes a huge one.) Its his legion of supporters that feel the same way he does. They will not go away once he leaves office. The problem is more permanent than some realize. Its been sad to see the US deteriorate.
- I feel sorry for the sane people over there.
- I genuinely feel sorry for you people.
Remember when we were mostly respected by people in other countries? Remember when Trump said he would “make America great again”? Remember when we thought of this as a country of equal opportunity for all? Remember when we had a president, not a tyrant in the Oval Office? Think long and hard about it between now and November 3rd, for your vote could help save this country, or it could help sink it.