February 10, 2006

Mexico v. America

"You hate us, you really hate us" -- Considering that over 40% of the 106 million Mexicans left in Mexico want to immigrate here, it's worth knowing what Mexicans think of the United States.

According to a new survey by the BBC World Service of 39,000 people in 33 countries, the 1000 surveyed Mexican adults more or less despise America's influence on the world, Only 10% of Mexicans viewed America as having a "mainly positive" influence on the world, while 55% viewed us as "mainly negative."

No other country of the 33 surveyed had such a tiny minority who viewed America's role in the world favorably, although nine other countries had larger majorities who found us to be a negative influence. (Mexicans seem less likely to have opinions of world affairs in general than almost all other countries, which goes along with a lot of other evidence, such as tiny newspaper readership rates, that suggest Mexicans tend to be poorly informed and not very interested in civil society.) In only one country was the margin between negative and positive views of American influence larger than Mexico's -45%: Finland at -46% (19% positive - 65% negative)

In contrast, Mexicans had a slightly positive overall view of Iran, 22% positive and 21% negative. Mexico was one of only five countries to look on Iran with favor. I suspect that one of the few things most Mexicans know about Iran is that it is anti-American.

Mexicans also viewed China's impact marginally favorably 28% to 26%, which is interesting because China's surge into world manufacturing dominance is ruining Mexico's last chance for prosperity. A smart play for Mexico would be to argue in America for a Grand Bargain: that we shouldn't export our manufacturing industries to China in search of lower wages, because the Chinese are our long run competitors for world leadership. In case of war with China over Taiwan or elsewhere, we'll be in deep trouble. Instead, the Mexicans should contend, we should outsource our manufacturing industries to Mexico, where no matter what happens in the Pacific, we'll have safe overland supply routes. In return for America imposing tariffs on China, Mexico would agree to be our faithful lapdogs on foreign policy. But, the Mexicans are so reflexively anti-American that this idea would never cross their minds.

Mexicans looked upon Russia slightly negatively (17% to 22%), France solidly positively (30% to 20%), Japan somewhat favorably (29% to 24%), "Europe" quite positively (37% to 13%), Great Britain quite negatively (15% to 36%), and India quite favorably (33% to 22%).

Overall, America appeared to be the second least popular country of the eight that the survey inquired about, with our image being more negative than positive in 18 countries versus 13 where we were viewed less favorably. The only less popular country than America is Iran.

our positive total is inflated by our high ratings in strategically insignificant Sub-Saharan Africa, where all eight countries like us. I'm glad to know that Tanzanians think we're hot stuff by a 63%-16% margin, but, in the big picture, so what?

So, leaving out black Africa, we're losing 18 to 5. The only countries that like us are Poland (62%-15%), the Philippines (82%-10%), Afghanistan (72%-14%, a gratifying tribute to our more limited war aims there than in Iraq), strategically important India (44%-17%), and Sri Lanka (30%-20%). And we're tied in Saudi Arabia (38%-38%).

In Iraq, we're down 27%-56% (although God only knows how you get a representative sample there without getting beheaded). And when Michael Ledeen tells you how popular we are with the people of Iran, well, he's full of it: we're down 26%-65%. (And I suspect if we blow up their nuclear facilities, that will drop to about 1%-99%, just as Pearl Harbor didn't make Americans more open to merits of the Japanese case.)

The countries that oppose American influence on the world include our cultural cousins in Britain (36%-57%), Canada (30%-60%), and Australia (29%-60%).

Obviously, much of America's unpopularity is related to the unpopularity of George W. Bush and his Iraq Attaq. Yet, Bush's views toward Mexico have been wildly biased in favor of Mexico at the expense of his own country. And they still hate us!

This raises some severe questions about the neoconservative "propositionist" justification for mass immigration from Mexico -- they're coming here because they believe in the propositions that America stands for! But, propositionism was always an obvious crock, a jerry-rigged justification for a policy favored for reasons the neocons didn't want to admit in public.

Gideon's Blog has lots more analysis of the survey results.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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