Do We Care What They Think of America?
By Mona Charen
Friday, April 4, 2008
Why is it so important to win an international popularity contest? If America is not popular in the world, what are the other nations going to do to us? Stop buying our products? Kick us out of the U.N.? Vote us off the island?
Actually, some of those consequences, particularly the U.N. bit, don't sound so awful.
A new poll commissioned by the BBC World Service will doubtless give Democrats more fits. Questioning respondents in 34 countries, the BBC asked for opinions about 13 countries.
The United States did not fare very well. On average, 47 percent of those questioned had a "mainly negative" view of America's influence in the world, versus only 35 percent with a "mainly positive" view.
Actually, these international polls may not mean much. If the U.S. were truly unpopular, would we be building fences to keep immigrants out? Would the U.S. be the world's third most popular tourist destination? And would the world's people be glad to not have the U.S. available when another catastrophe like the Asian tsunami or the Bosnian crisis looms?
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