The Whole World Thinks Donald Trump Is a Flake

Here’s an interesting tidbit that’s been sitting in my RSS feed for a few weeks. It’s pretty obvious by now that we’ve lost the confidence of most of our longtime allies ever since Donald Trump was elected, but a group of political scientists decided to try to measure this. They took a look at how often countries voted with the U.S. in the United Nations and used that as a proxy for being an ally. Then they compared that to global Pew survey data asking about confidence in the U.S. president to “do the right thing.” During Barack Obama’s presidency, the results are about what you’d expect:

Up in the top left are France, Germany, Japan, and other traditional allies. In those countries, confidence in the US president is high. Conversely, in the lower right you find Turkey, Venezuela, Russia, and other countries that are either fickle allies or outright antagonists. In those countries, confidence in the US president is low.

You probably already know what’s coming next. Here’s the same chart for Donald Trump in 2017:

Everything has plummeted. Practically everyone has low confidence in Donald Trump, and the very few with confidence above 40 percent are countries like Russia, Vietnam, and South Africa, which haven’t traditionally been close allies. Even the Israeli public has slightly less confidence in Trump than they did in Obama.

Under Obama, three-quarters of the world had at least 50 percent confidence that he’d do the right thing. Under Trump, less than one quarter of the world trusts him to do the right thing. The big outlier (surprise!) is Russia, which likes Trump a lot more than Obama. I wonder why?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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