by John Hawkins | December 5, 2002 9:02 pm
America’s Popularity Drops — So What?: According to the much heralded “Pew Global Attitudes survey“, America is not as popular as it used to be. The main thrust of the press coverage of this survey has been centered around the negative. Mainly the fact that the “favorability ratings for the U.S. have fallen in 19 of the 27 countries where trend benchmarks are available.”
But actually, if you look at, the data in this report (Adobe Acrobat file), it looks pretty good. Out of 44 nations surveyed, the only nations that have a less than a 50% favorable rating of the US are Turkey (30%), Pakistan (10%), and Argentina (34%). Just to show you the contrast, the nations have a 75% favorability rating for the US or higher are Great Britain (75%), Poland (79%), Ukraine (80%), Uzbekistan (85%), Honduras (80%), Venezuela (82%), Guatemala (82%), & Kenya (80%).
To me, the most interesting number in the survey was our huge increase in popularity in Russia. We had a 37% favorability rating there two years ago but now? We’re at 61%. I think Pooty Poot and W have managed to team up and put that final nail in the coffin of the Cold War.
So to conclude, even though our numbers are solid, it wouldn’t matter even if they weren’t. I’d certainly never back off of the war on terrorism, give up some of our sovereignty to the UN, or sign the ridiculous Kyoto Treaty just to make people in other nations happy. Like Charlton Heston said, “Popularity is history’s pocket change. Courage is its true currency.” Having the courage to do keep the right things for our country is far more important that trying to make the rest of the world love us.
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