Thursday, June 15, 2006

They like me, they really like me

Since I am deep into the world of public opinion and public diplomacy this week, I thought I would share a few interesting facts from the Pew Research Center's latest public opinion poll that was released on Tuesday.

1. We (Americans) "really like" the Germans better than they "really like" themselves. Americans have a 66% favorability rating of Germany, with 20% having a "very favorable" opinion. Germans also generally like themselves (65%), but only 12% had a "very favorable" opinion. This probably has to do with general German feelings towards "a lot"/"to a great degree" of anything. The Germans who had a "somewhat" favorable image of Germany are probably the same ones I meet who tell me they speak a little English, when in fact they are compeletely fluent.

2. No big surprise here...we like ourselves! That said, we do like ourselves less than we did last year. Last year Americans had an 83% favorability rating of America. This year we only had a 77% favorability rating of the country.

3. When asked have you heard of abuses in American run prisons at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and elsewhere, 98% of Germans said yes and 2% said no. This was not a surprise. What is a surprise is that 23% of Americans said no. How on earth can that be? I would like the post addresses of the rocks they are living under so I can send them a newspaper!
I told a German at lunch today that I was highly disturbed by this fact and she reminded me that a freakishly high number of Germans don't know about concentration camps. That's bad too. Germans have to deal with Germans, but I am still disturbed by the number of uninformed Americans.


At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even more disturbing is the conversation I had with the acting GC of the CIA who informed me that the CIA does not torture. It is one thing not to know since you don't pick up a newspaper. It is another thing altogether to be in denial (or not acknowledge) what you are you doing. To the Americans who are reading this -- his confirmation hearing is coming up. Read up on him and communicate your thoughts to your representative.



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