Gallup released its 2018 Global Leadership Survey yesterday and the results for the U.S. are, um, not good. The story highlights from Gallup tell the story:
- Median approval of U.S. leadership is 30%, down from 48% in 2016
- U.S. approval dropped substantially in 65 countries and areas
- Germany’s leadership now tops that of U.S., China and Russia
The Gallup survey asks respondents “Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of the United States?” So its a question that directly measures people’s opinion of the Trump Administration and its fair to say the world has the same view of Trump as Americans’
The former is an interesting comparison because it shows that the world isn’t buying Chinese global leadership either. The good news for the U.S. is that, based on the Obama Presidency, new U.S. leadership can bolster U.S. standing. That is unlikely for China not least because it won’t be getting new leadership for a long time with the way things are going.
Ultimately, American nationalists may crow “who gives a shit what the rest of the world thinks” but if you take these numbers to be indicative of America’s soft power then that means its going to be much more difficult for the Trump administration to get meaningful consensus on a whole range of U.S. foreign policy issues. I don’t think this is what he meant when he said it would be nothing but winning.