A popularity contest: International perception of the United States has declined under Trump
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There are three reasons why Love, Actually remains one of the nation’s favourite films. Firstly, Emma Thompson (this point requires no further explanation). Secondly, the incongruous-but-indisputably-masterful inclusion of a Hugh Grant dance scene set inside the hallowed halls of Number Ten. And finally, it’s the wildly fantastical, entirely self-serving moment when the young, newly-elected Prime Minister stands up to the supercilious, smarmy President of the United States in order to declare the so-called special relationship defunct. It’s a scene that, despite being entirely unimaginable, never fails to puff the chests of my (older) family members each Christmas and momentarily replace the festive feeling with a sudden burst of patriotism. Unrealistic as it may be, when Hugh Grant’s character takes to the podium at that fictional press conference and declares that "a friend who bullies us is no longer a friend", he does at the very least exhibit more resolve than Theresa May has indicated in her interactions with and commentary on Donald Trump. The current Prime Minister may have run an election campaign which embraced a reputation for being a "bloody difficult woman", but many have noted that May’s responses to some of Trump’s most controversial acts as president have been remarkably lukewarm. I couldn’t help thinking about Love, Actually’s depiction of the special relationship as I read the news that according to a new study conducted by the nonpartisan American organisation the Pew Research Center, the results of which were released today, Trump’s presidency has led to a sharp decline in international perspectives on America and its leadership.
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