Trump Lowers US Standing in the World

President Trump’s ill-informed arrogance has lowered the U.S. standing around the world, according to a new opinion study cited by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar

The Pew Research Center released last week the results of one of its periodic surveys of global views of the United States and its leadership and policies.  More than 40,000 people were polled in 37 countries across six continents, with the polling conducted between February and May. The most salient finding is a dramatic drop in confidence in the United States and more specifically in the current U.S. leadership.

President Donald Trump poses for photos with ceremonial swordsmen on his arrival to Murabba Palace, as the guest of Saudi King Salman, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

When asked about “confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing in world affairs,” 22 percent of those surveyed expressed confidence in Donald Trump and 74 percent expressed no confidence. This is a huge reversal from the last time the same question was asked about Barack Obama late in his presidency, in which 64 percent expressed confidence and 23 percent no confidence.

The rapidity as well as the magnitude of the change is striking.  Trump’s numbers approach those of George W. Bush near the end of his presidency, but in Bush’s case those depths were reached only after a long decline during his two terms. Trump has managed to bum people out around the world during his first four months in office.

In only two of the 37 countries surveyed was there an increase in confidence in the U.S. president since that last poll taken during Obama’s presidency. One is Israel, with a modest rise from 49 to 56 percent, although the latter figure is still slightly below the average for all five Pew polls taken during Obama’s tenure. A bigger rise is in Russia, where the figure of 53 percent having confidence in Trump is higher than any of the results in Russia for either Bush or Obama.

These results are not surprising in view of the deference Trump has shown to the governments of those two countries. The Pew survey did not include…

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