Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NZ & Australia like the USA—once again

As nearly every American knows, worldwide approval—and even like—of the US crashed during the Bush-Cheney years. That duo was so desperately unpopular that people’s feelings about the US plummeted because of them.

Times change.

No matter how much the American right wing hates the fact, the US’ image in the world has improved pretty dramatically since the election of Barack Obama. For example, a Gallup poll released last week found that approval of US leadership has reached new heights in New Zealand and Australia, up 43% and 44% respectively. About two thirds of respondents in both countries now approve of US leadership, rising from around a quarter approving during the low point of the Bush-Cheney years.

This improved international relationship is important for so many reasons. It’s also good to see some concrete evidence of the good that President Obama’s election is doing to the US’ reputation overseas.


Roger Owen Green said...

Talk about your irony; even as Obama's poll numbers sink domestically (but still better than Congress), he's doing better abroad almost everywhere.

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

I noticed that, too, but I don't think it's all that ironic: Outside the US, we're not subject to the constant drone of the US' rightwing noise machine. Our newsmedia isn't consistently negative or pessimistic when reporting on the Obama Administration and it doesn't have an axe to grind or agenda to push.

In reality, not much beyond the "big" stories is covered in New Zealand at all, and that's probably true in other countries. So, without all that filler, people see healthcare reform passing, wall street reform passing, Obama taking an internationalist approach to world affairs and the Republicans—if we're aware of them at all—as trying to block all that.

Our pay TV service carries Fox "News", but entirely without commercials because hardly anyone watches it. CNN International has only CNN commercials for much the same reason (anecdotally, NZ viewers seem to prefer BBC World over both, but they're far more likely to watch NZ news).

So, without the US' rightwing echo chamber promoting the idea that this administration is "bad", and searching for ridiculous things to "prove" it, people outside the US are free to make up their minds without partisan influence.