Donald Trump, eight months into power is being debated about whether he is the most unpopular president ever in United States. The paradox of Trump as perceived worldwide is that more he tries to project his country as the leader of the world; he ends up playing less of a leadership role. Trump campaigned to make America great again, while reality finds America looking increasingly weak.
It is not that no other American president has been belittled by media and the public before. The Time magazine in its cover page showed Bill Clinton as ‘The Incredible Shrinking President’. However, Bill Clinton overcame such criticism, despite his proposed impeachment over Monica Lewinsky affair, by generating unprecedented economic growth that defeated the Japanese challenge for being the most robust economy of the world.
However, can Trump create such turnaround? The news of investigations and scandals against Trump is flying every other day which is more profound than anything seen since Watergate. The business leaders are resigning and leaving Trump for their refusal to accept Trump’s policies.
Leaving of Paris Accord made several business leaders breaking with him inside the White House. Other business leaders are continuing moving of jobs overseas despite their initial promise to retain employment for the Americans. Recently, Boeing announced layoff of 200 personnel in South Carolina, the very state where Trump promised to protect jobs for the Americans.
Mark Bloomfield, president of the American Council for Capital Formation said, “As far as the business community is concerned, in this administration they are orphans. It’s unclear how much influence they have. I’m not sure they comprehend what is going on with trade policy. I’m not sure they know how to get a handle on it. The average businessman would have been more comfortable with George W Bush or George HW Bush.”
On the foreign policy part, Trump’s unpredictability is making everybody nervous. Quite unceremoniously, Trump dumped Qatar on grounds that have been despised even by his own party men. He projected Iran as if it is the enemy of the world and is main country that harbors terrorism. In reality, the truth is that very little terrorism emanates from Iran.
“He’s almost given them a blank check by making Iran the number one enemy. China is complicated. He’s discovered that Russia is complicated. The enemy has narrowed down to one: Iran. If you’re in the Gulf States, you can let your hair down on some of their deeper grievances, which are encapsulated, in a way, by Qatar as the fifth column, the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. This is risky at this moment when so much is up in the air across the Middle East,” says Robin Niblett, the director of Chatham House.
In Europe, he is not only increasingly unpopular, but he also not contributing anything in the political domain of the continent. As a result, the leadership role in Europe is played by Germany and France.
Pew Research shows Trump’s ability of doing right things have been acknowledged by no more than 22 percent of the respondents across 37 nations. As against this, Obama’s ability was approved by 64 percent in the final years of his tenure. Needless to say the only two countries where Trump’s popularity has increased are Israel and Russia.