Donald Trump vs Monty Python: “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life”
February 21, 2017
By FTI Consulting
One month into the Trump presidency, many Germans have discovered the bright side of it: You wake up in the morning, and there´s a strong likelihood you find something entertaining on the new POTUS in the failing media of the old world. Quite often, there´s even reason to laugh (#lastnightinsweden), and it´s only when you´re finished laughing that you realize: THE REAL DONALD NOW HAS REAL POWER, AND NO-ONE KNOWS WHAT HE WILL DO WITH IT!!!
Responsible German politicians from left to right are united in being considerably concerned about where and what this will lead to, and it´s only the degree of carefulness in public statements that differentiates those in government from those in opposition, with the governing ones in the awkward position of being restricted by the basic rules of tact, politeness and diplomacy (of which they uncomfortably do not know if they still apply). And reassuring words from Vice President Pence and Defense Secretary Mattis at the Munich Security Conference haven’t helped to clear up the fog of what the Administration actually aims for in transatlantic relations.
Much of this is mirrored by the population: According to Civey research institute who reached out online to some 5,000 people over the weekend, one in two respondents think the job of the new administration so far was “very bad”, with another 23 percent stating it was “rather bad”. A negative verdict is also passed on US foreign policy, and most respondents have “some” or “serious concerns” about world security.
1. Left-leaning voters are especially sceptical of Trump
More than 75 per cent of Germans view the Trump presidency as very negative or rather negative, and voters with a preference for the left-leaning Social Democrats and Greens are especially sceptical. Positive responses were only recorded by those favoring the populist AfD party.
2. Strong doubts about US foreign policy
The bad image of the president himself impacts on perceptions of US foreign policy. 40 per cent of respondents have a “very negative” view on US foreign policy, while an additional 36 per cent think the outlook is “rather negative”. Again, the picture changes with party allegiance, and a clear majority of AfD supporters even have formed a positive view of US foreign policy under Trump.
3. Younger generation less concerned about world security
A majority of people have “some” or “serious” concerns about world security, with only 9 per cent of respondents saying they have no concerns. Among this group, those aged between 18 and 29 form the biggest part. Older respondents are more at unease: 37 per cent of those aged 65 or more have “great concerns” on world security, with 42 per cent of this group indicating they have “some concerns.”
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting LLP, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals, members or employees.
With over 25 years’ experience in journalism, political communications, and consulting, Mr. Kothé advises companies seeking relevant impact with politics and politicians. He founded FTI Consulting’s public affairs practice in Berlin in 2010. Previously, he served as spokesperson for German Federal President Horst Köhler. He also headed the communications and media team of the German liberal party, FDP. Starting his career in journalism at the BBC’s World Service in London, Mr. Kothé has also worked as a senior parliamentary correspondent for Germany’s news channel n-tv.