Safely ensconced on the immense North American continent, Americans are not famed for knowing or caring a lot about the rest of the world. But they do know one thing: The countries they like and the ones they don’t.
As it does annually, Gallup has now calculated its list of 21 nations and how we feel about them.
The least-liked country is North Korea, and not just because it hacked Sony emails. North Korea would need more than a Kellyanne Conway to rehabilitate its image in American minds. It’s currently led by diminutive dictator Kim Jung-un (shown above installing a Windows update). He followed in his father’s bloody footsteps who followed in his father’s bloody footsteps.
The current Kim ordered everyone with his name to change it. He also turned his botched haircut into a national fashion. Kim’s crowd is actively building nuclear weapons and an intercontinental ballistic missile to erase portions of the U.S West Coast. President Trump has vowed to prevent this, but successive U.S. administrations have seemed powerless or unwilling to alter North Korean plans.
North Korea is certainly one of the most barbaric nations on Earth with the chubby Kim keeping his starving people in medieval conditions and executing perceived rivals with poison and, in one case, a firing squad consisting of an artillery gun.
So, lines are short to visit the darkened northern half of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea came in dead last in Gallup’s survey of 1.035 U.S. adults. The main question is who the heck are the 11% of Americans who think favorably of North Korea?
Eighty-one points higher with a 92% approval rating in the minds of Americans is good old Canada. Yes, we invaded there in the War of 1812 and sacked the community now known as Toronto. But we don’t play favorites; we also invaded Mexico. And our Canada, then still a British colony, got payback by burning Washington and the White House.
Although Americans take their friendly northern neighbor (or neighbour) for granted with the world’s longest undefended border of some 5,000 miles (not counting all the electronic monitors), Canadian interests are responsible for many millions of U.S. jobs. The two countries have by far the globe’s largest economic relationship with more than a billion dollars in goods and services crossing the 48th parallel every single day. More trade crosses just Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge each year than the U.S. conducts with Japan.
Trump says he wants to renegotiate the free trade agreement with Canada. But so did President Obama, who vowed that one of his first acts would be to bring up the issue with the president of Canada, which doesn’t have one.
Canadians took thousands of stranded American air travelers into their homes on 9/11. They smuggled Americans out of Iran during its revolutionary hostage-taking. And on a per capita basis, Canadian families paid a bloodier price than the U.S. for their coalition support in Afghanistan fighting.
Right behind Canada in Americans’ minds is Great Britain (91% favorable). France (83%) has recovered from its negative liberty fries 2003 period, but just can’t quite surpass Japan (85%) in favorability yet. Taiwan (73%) tops Israel (71%). Mexico (64%) and Cuba (51%) come in ahead of China (50%) and Saudi Arabia (34%).
And even hackers can’t seem to improve the standing of Russia (28%).
Not surprisingly after 16 years of various combat, Mideast entities fall near the bottom: the Palestinian Authority (24%), Iraq (19%), Afghanistan and Syria, both at 17%, and Iran, yet another rogue nuclear-weapons developer at 12%.