The United States of America is no doubt the most influential, as well as the most powerful nation on the face of the earth. The reasons for these are quite obvious: the United States has one of the most influential cultures in the world. It also possesses the largest economy, as well as the most powerful military in the world. In as much as these factors count for a lot when the United States has dealings with any country, it has some limitations. Neither America’s super-strong economy nor its strong military might make her internationally respected or popular among other nations of the world.
Just a couple of years ago, the United States was one of the countries in the world with an enormous amount of trust. However, at the moment, the level of trust which other nations of the world have in the United States is gradually on the decline. This, indirectly implies that the level of American influence is also on the decline. There could be a whole lot of reasons for this decline in the influence of the United States. However, one major reason for this decline is the present image of the United States. Generally, when a nation has a good image, governments of other nations have an increased willingness to work with such nation.
In a study that was carried out by Pew Research Center in 2016 and 2017, only Nigeria, Greece, and Hungary considered the influence of the United States to be on the increase. Other nations such as Japan, Australia, France, Canada, Kenya, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and India considered the popularity and Influence of the United States to be on the decline.
Whilst a lot of drastic changes that have occurred since President Donald Trump came into office could be considered responsible for this drastic decline in the influence of the United States on a global stage, one question remains unanswered. Are there other reasons for the decline in the power and influence of the United States apart from the “Trump factor”? Well, based on a research that was carried out by Pew Research Center, there are really no other factors that can be considered responsible for this decline in the influence and popularity of the United States. The researchers gave an explanation of how Trump’s short time in office has affected the United States negatively. These are their worlds: “Although he has only been in office a few months, Donald Trump’s presidency has had a major impact on how the world sees the United States. Trump and many of his key policies are broadly unpopular around the globe, and ratings for the U.S have declined steeply in many nations.”
Although things are already very bad, they do not appear to be getting any better. Based on a January Gallup poll which was taken between the months of March and December in 2017, international approval for the leadership of the United States went down from 48% which it was in 2016 to 30% in 2017. In the same vein there was a major increase in disapproval. Foreign disapproval rose from 28% all the way to 43%. In as much as this is not the only rating that is perceived to be bad, it is even worse than the rating of the President Bush administration. Well, quite unlike the United States, some other countries such as Germany, China, and Russia maintained a positive foreign approval.
Based on the poll that was carried out by Gallup, generally: “The weakened image of the U.S in 2017 reflects large and widespread losses in approval and relatively few gains. Out of 134 countries, U.S leadership approval ratings declined substantially-by 10 percentage points or more-in 65 countries that include many longtime U.S allies and partners-and aspiring U.S partners.”
In as much as the drop in the United States leadership approval rating occurred all around the world, it was even more substantial in Europe and the Americas. In as much as the percentage point drop from countries across the world were quite alarming, the most alarming was the 51 points drop in Portugal, followed by 44 points in Belgium.
Citizens of the United States are not oblivious of the fact that the image of the United States gets stronger and also weaker occasionally. (Ironically, their opinion of how others view the country has remained relatively constant over time). The biased disputations, however, were substantial. According to a survey 80% of republicans are of the opinion that the United States is more respected under the administration of President Donald Trump than it was under the administration of President Barack Obama.
Close to nine out of ten people that are democrats are also of the same opinion. Out of this nine, seven are of the opinion that it is a major challenge.
Although it is believed that lots of foreigners do not like the United States, it can be said that a lot of people like Americans. Based on a research that was carried out by Pew, it was discovered that between 2013 and 2017, out of 28 nations, the favorability status of Americans dropped in 16 countries, remained unchanged in 1 country and grew in 11 countries.
The culture and liberties of the United States enjoys massive support among people from various parts of the world. American culture enjoys support from 65% of the world’s population while its liberties enjoyed 54% of support. In as much as American culture and liberty support is very strong across the world, it is very week in Islamic countries and in India which is dominated by Hindus.
While the level of support for American culture and liberty can be assumed to be positive, the same cannot be said about the confidence degree of various countries in the presidents of the United States. At the time President Bush’s administration came to an end, he had very lamentable ratings. Some of his ratings were about 2%. President Barack Obama on the other hand had his least rating throughout his time in office to be 14% in Jordan.
Unlike former President George Bush and former President Barack Obama, it is believed that ratings for President Trump can only be on the rise. The perception of a lot of non-citizens of the United States about President Trump is; he is a strong president. Perhaps one of the strongest that the United States has had in a while. Whilst a large number of people are of the opinion that President Trump is a very strong president, even a larger number believe that he is an intolerant, dangerous, and arrogant president. In addition to these, the nation of Israel, India, and 5 other countries approved of his leadership in 2017. Apart from the seven countries that approved of his leadership, in 2 other countries, his rating is less than 20 but in double figures, while he has a rating of single figures in three other countries. The least being Mexico with 5 points.
There are lots of reasons for the unfavorable ratings that President Trump has gotten from a lot of countries. Topping the list of reasons are some of his policies. This policies include; erecting a wall between the United States and Mexico, backing out from the Paris climate change convention, putting an end to the Iranian nuclear deal, putting a ban on the entry of people from Muslim nations into the United States, and stopping free trade agreements.
Out of five major policies that were made by the Trump administration, 16 out of 32 countries were in absolute opposition of Trump’s policies. Also, of these 37 countries, four were in support of President Donald Trump’s policies. In addition to this the opposition to Donald Trump’s policies as only lower than 67% in just one issue out of several issues that were looked into.
Whilst all these things are happening, it is important to note that once in a while, the ideal actions and approaches to certain issues might be unpopular among people. That, however, does not in any way mean that they should be swept under the carpet. With this in mind, Donald Trump and his cabinet members are not supposed to put popularity over right judgment. It is however, important to also know that the respect, as well as the support of other nations is a key factor to the influence of the United States on a global stage. The respect which other nations have for the United States plays a key role in making them willing to cooperate with the United States on its policies.
President Trump seems to be paying too Much Attention to his Military Might
In as much as a lot has been said about the effect of Trump’s foreign policies on the relationship that the United States has with countries from other parts of the world, Trump has to be given credit for some of the things that he has achieved while in office. President Donald Trump might be the worst America president in recent times as far as foreign policies are concerned. However, based on America’s present military might. Trump can be said to have outdone what his predecessor was able to achieve in two terms in less than two years in office. The United States’ military is considered the biggest in the world at the moment. Although it seemed to be on the decline for a while, since the emergence of President Trump as the leader of the United States, there has been an improvement in the United States’ military on all fronts. Already, the United States’ budget for its military saw a rise by $61 billion this year and is expected to increase by $18billion in 2019. This is therefore going to make it the biggest military budget in the history of the United States. In addition to increasing the United States’ military budget, President Trump is making sure that the United States’ nuclear arsenal is undergoing modernization. To ensure that this is a reality, he has called for an increase in research in key areas such as artificial intelligence, electronic warfare, and other areas where the United States appears quite vulnerable.
In as much as it is important to up America’s military might, President Trump appears to be missing something. Military might is not the only thing that is responsible for making the United States a world power. It is just one of the many things responsible for the position that America occupies on a global stage. One point that President Trump is obviously missing out on is the fact that the United States is a country that is fortunate to have friendly neighbors. Unlike other countries with very strong military forces in the Middle East and Europe, the United States has not fought a war with its neighbors in about a century. Just in 2014, Russia attacked Ukraine and is still at war. Also, the Middle East is particularly known for conflicts which occur on a regular basis. The United States, unlike Russia and other regional powers that exist in the Middle East last went to war with its neighbors in 1848.
President Trump does not seem to be taking advantage of the benefits of having friendly neighbors and this might cause him dearly. Already, his policies are causing frictions between the relationship that the United States has with Canada, as well as that that it shares with Mexico.
President Trump Appears to be Getting Friendly with Countries Perceived to be Enemies
Since coming into office, President Donald Trump seems to be straining the relationship that the United States has with its allies. At the same time he appears to be building a relationship with countries that the United States has always considered political enemies. Just a couple of months ago, Trump signed a denuclearization deal with North Korea, a country that is perceived to be an enemy of the United States. In as much as this denuclearization deal is a welcome development, it put unwanted strains on the relationship that the United States shares with its allies South Korea.