Why Be Popular?
What few world leaders Bush counted on as friends are fading fast. As Bush’s foreign polices make him ever more unpopular in the world, his foreign allies are losing elections or being forced from power. Democracy can be really inconvenient sometimes. Bush apparently doesn’t worry what foeigners think. Heck, he doesn’t even seem concerned about what American voters think.
And why should Bush or any American care what foreigners think of America? Being the only superpower on Earth isn’t a popularity contest, the USA should do what it needs to do without concern of what anyone else thinks! Yada yada yada. In the real world, what people think does matter. I’m not advocating basing American foreign policy on making foreigners happy, but it should be part of the equation. There are definite disadvantages to having your government’s policies loathed around the world.
Seven Reasons Why Being Unpopular Abroad is Bad for America:
- It puts pressure on foreign governments that are pro American. Pro American foreign governments are a good thing, when America is unpopular they become unpopular.
- It makes it more unpleasant and even dangerous for Americans who travel abroad.
- It hurts American business interests, it’s harder to do business with people if they don’t like you.
- American products won’t sell as well on the international market.
- It encourages our enemies. And makes it easier for them to demonise and distort our policies.
- It discourages foreigners from coming to the USA to study. We get our best and brightest immigrants this way, and the foreigners who study in America and go home act as good will ambassadors for the USA.
- It discourages foreign tourists, the USA gets a lot of money from foreign tourism.
The eighth reason would be, it’s stupid! Dear God, Bush has more power than any human in history, can’t he contrive to get his own way without pissing off half the planet? Is he even trying?