Democrats and Many Countries Think You’re Violent

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Democrats and Many Countries Think You’re Violent

Data from the Pew Research Center

As the Obama era comes to a close, the overall image of the United States among key publics in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region is generally favorable. In addition, U.S.-led military action against ISIS in Iraq and Syria wins broad approval, and many say America is as important a world leader as it was a decade ago.

U.S. image, in part, is linked to impressions of the American people. In general, Americans are perceived as optimistic and hardworking, although those outside of the U.S. are divided as to whether Americans can be described as tolerant. When looking at negative characteristics, many people around the globe associate Americans with arrogance, greed and violence.

Many associate arrogance, greed  and violence with Americans

Majorities in Greece, Australia, UK and Spain say Americans are arrogant, greedy and violentThe survey also asked whether respondents associate three negative traits – arrogance, greed and violence – with Americans. A median of 54% think arrogance is an attribute of Americans, and nearly as many say the same about greed (median of 52%). Slightly fewer across the countries surveyed think Americans are violent (median of 48%).

Majorities or pluralities in nine countries associate haughtiness with people in the U.S. Roughly seven-in-ten Greeks, Canadians and Australians associate a sense of superiority with people in the U.S. and six-in-ten or more in the UK (64%), Spain (62%) and China (60%) agree.

A 57% majority of Americans admit that the stereotype of the greedy American fits. Roughly the same portion of Spaniards (59%), Dutch (59%), Canadians (58%), Australians (58%), British (56%) and Swedes (55%) agree that Americans are greedy. In Greece, an even larger share (68%) associates Americans with avarice. Elsewhere, the survey finds roughly half or fewer agreeing that Americans are greedy. This view is least common in Italy, with just 21% ascribing avarice to people in the U.S. Meanwhile, the share of Poles (-13 percentage points), Brits (-9), and Chinese (-8) ascribing greed to people in the U.S. has dropped considerably since the last time this question was asked in 2005.

Across the countries polled, substantial percentages describe Americans as violent. In four nations this constitutes a majority view: Australia (68%), Greece (63%), the UK (57%) and Spain (55%). The last time this trait was tested was in 2005, against the backdrop of the U.S.-led mission in Iraq. The share of people in France describing Americans as violent was 15 percentage points higher (63% vs. 48%). Smaller but still significant gaps are evident in Canada (64% in 2005 vs. 53% today) and China (61% vs. 52%).

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to describe Americans as violent

In the United States, Democrats sometimes have a less favorable view of Americans compared with Republicans. Democrats are less likely to describe Americans as tolerant and more likely to associate Americans with greed and arrogance. The largest perceptual divide, however, is over violence. By a margin of 21 percentage points, Democrats (50%) are more likely than Republicans to describe Americans as violent.

Source: http://www.pewglobal.org/2016/06/28/americas-international-image/

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