Few people in western countries believe US sets a good example on democracy, poll finds

Nearly a year after voters showed Donald Trump the White House door, the global image of US democracy has not recovered

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Tuesday 02 November 2021 19:53
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Nearly a year after Americans voted Donald Trump out of office, very few people living in a group of 17 western countries think the United States sets a good example when it comes to being a functioning democracy.

According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, just 17 per cent of the 18,850 adults surveyed across 17 countries for their Global Attitudes Survey believe America’s political system is a good example to follow.

Nearly a quarter of respondents from outside America – 23 per cent – said the US has never been a good example for democracy, while more than half – 57 per cent – said American democracy “used to be a good example, but has not been in recent years”.

The Americans surveyed were equally pessimistic about their own country, with just under one-fifth – 19 per cent – seeing the US as a good example of democracy. And nearly two-thirds – 72 percent – said the US “used to be a good example” until recently.

The dismal results for the global image of US democracy come almost one year to the day that former president Donald Trump began telling lies about his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden being the result of fraud.

Mr Trump, who unlike nearly all of his predecessors did not concede the election or participate in the transition process, continued lying about the election results for months afterwards as his attorneys pushed unsuccessfully for courts to throw out legitimate votes in a number of key states.

His campaign to delegitimise and discard the results of the election kept on up to the day Congress certified Mr Biden’s electoral college win – the same day Mr Trump incited a mob of supporters to storm the US Capitol in hopes of keeping Congress from putting its imprimatur on his status as the first US president to lose a reelection bid in three decades.

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