Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Global Confidence in Donald Trump? Hillary Clinton? Vladimir Putin? Recent Pew Research Center Findings.

This table from a recent Pew Research Center survey of global attitudes is a fun one to explore:

Or a frightening one, should Donald Trump become the next president of the United States.  Note that the specific political and economic histories of the surveyed countries matters.  For example, that Greece has very little confidence in Angela Merkel is easily explained.

Another fascinating nugget of information in the survey concerns the difference in the confidence men and women have in Vladimir Putin as a foreign leader:

Men are more likely to have confidence in Putin.  My instant reaction was that this is easily explained by the patriarchal opinions Putin frequently spouts.*

Those will tend to put more women off, because they are bad omens about how he is likely to act when it comes to women's rights and stuff.  On the other hand, his "he-man-rules" demeanor might please some men.** 

A more rigorous exploration of that difference would require studying if belonging to a more right-wing party correlates with greater confidence in Putin and if men are a larger fraction among the members of such parties, but even if the answers to those questions were positive we couldn't rule out my instant reaction as one of the underlying reasons for both right-wing views and the love of one Vladimir Putin.  So.

*  Not that he is at all alone among powerful politicians in being a sexist asshat.  This 2014 article reminds us of that.

** The stance is shown here:

I love that picture.  It's the most hilarious thing ever.