Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer delivered a whopper of a spin concerning the new president’s impact on international relations.
On the defensive against widespread criticism of the president’s lacklustre and at times downright disastrous first 100 days, Spicer asserted that Trump has effectively “rebuilt America’s standing in the world.”
“The world is responding to the leadership that the president is bringing under this – bringing to Washington. In all, during his first 100 days, the president has made 68 calls with 38 different world leaders, and hosted a total of 16 bilateral meetings. The president has rebuilt America’s standing in the world.”
Make no mistake: Sean Spicer’s hyperbolic deflection is nothing more than yet another alternative fact-based ruse. It was President Barack Obama that brought international relations back from the brink after a similarly-disastrous two-term tenure of his predecessor, President George W. Bush.
But in typical Trump-admin fashion, historical accuracies are elusive.
If you do not recall the global recognition and near-unanimously positive international perception of Obama, maybe some simple hard numbers will jar your memory. According to a now three-year-old FiveThirtyEight piece, a 2012 poll showed that the “percentage of people approving of America’s leadership was up 7 percentage points in the median country since 2008. It was up 6 points in the Americas, 6 points in Asia and 18 points in Europe. It was down 3 points in Africa. More people approved than disapproved in every region.”
Despite Trump’s insistence of having “inherited a mess” both domestically and abroad, this upward swing actually continued throughout the extend of Obama’s second term.
“From 2007 to 2013, [The Pew Forum] found that views of the United States improved in 22 countries,” the article reads. “Eight nations’ favorable ratings increased by at least 20 percentage points; only four saw a decline. The median country’s views of the U.S. went up by 9 points.”
Some months prior to Trump’s election win, Pew’s “Global Attitudes & Trends” study found that impressions of the United States had gone up around the world since the Bush/Cheney years and that President Obama was, in fact, especially popular across much of the globe.
The idea that the world depicted the then-U.S. president as less than favorable is a fiction concocted not by Trump’s camp but rather the desperate detractors on the Right throughout Obama’s two terms. Trump’s campaign – and now presidency – simply adopted this mantra and ran with it, all the way to the White House.
But now, with his actual hard policies under intense and constant scrutiny and victim to astute and justified criticism, Trump et al. are doubling down on tried-and-true rhetoric to keep favor with his die-hard supporters who prefer bluster over reality.Click here for reuse options!
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