MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Yesterday, Donald Trump tweeted out his personal awards for alleged "fake news" -- a term by which he means any news coverage that is critical of him or that he doesn't like. It's his way of keeping his base sufficiently misled and the mass news media off balance.
However, it would be hard for Trump to apply his "fake news" label to a just-released international Gallup Poll that reveals that the US's standing in the world has plummeted under his presidency. Germany is now, according to the poll, the "top-rated global power. The poll reveals that respect for US leadership has dropped 40 points in Canada and 28 points in Mexico (the two other major economic powers in North America). That's quite a plummet in a little less than a year.
CNN summarizes the findings in a January 18 article,
The Gallup poll puts global approval of US leadership at just 30%, slightly behind China on 31% and only three points ahead of Russia. Germany is now the top-rated global power in the world, with an approval rating of 41%, according to the survey.
The US rating is down nearly 20 points from the 48% approval rating in the last year of President Barack Obama's administration, Gallup said. It's also four points lower than the previous low of 34%, seen in the final year of George W. Bush's presidency.
By comparison, in Obama's last year in office the United States led Germany by seven points, China by 17 points and Russia by 22 points, according to Gallup.
More people around the world disapprove of US leadership than of Russia's standing, and Putin rates higher than Trump in approval.
Trump's campaign and presidential promise to "Make America Great Again" is belied by a plummeting standing in the world. Unless, of course, Trump measures such a notion solely by his domestic ratings. After all, he is alienating many international ties by advocating for more independent policies and disengaging from other nations. However, a recent Gallup Poll within the US showed Trump receiving only a 38 percent approval rating. Thus, Trump's presidency is taking a heavy hit both internationally and domestically.
As technology has brought the world closer together, Trump is trying to create fissures that separate it. On top of that, he defies international consensus when he rescinds US involvement in agreements such as the Paris Accord on reducing global warming.
The US has long had a preference for promoting capitalism over democracy -- as we are now seeing in Central America, most recently in Honduras -- but Trump has unabashedly advanced a policy of openly promoting "strongmen." This position does not make fans of residents of foreign nations whose citizens advocate open, transparent and free governments.
A January 18 Newsweek headline notes: "Trump Era Is Encouraging Rise of World's Dictators, Human Rights Group Says." The article explains,
In its annual report analyzing the state of human rights across the globe, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned that the surge of authoritarian populists seems increasingly inevitable with the U.S. led "by a president who displays a disturbing fondness for rights-tramping strongmen."
The group's director, Kenneth Roth said Trump's failure to condemn "strongmen" like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte has had dangerous implications outside the U.S.
Trump "has this insatiable admiration for strongmen," Roth said
These "dangerous implications" are that while many residents and leaders of the world are trying to establish new economic structures and direct accountable democracy, Trump is siding with the torturous demagogues of the world, such Duterte.
Although polls are not 100 percent precise, they do offer a measurable standard to approximate results. In this case, Trump's boasts of being the most-loved and best president are not borne out by the data, at least the latest Gallup poll measuring his international leadership.
Beware of the promoter who self-testifies to his greatness.