Even against the backdrop of US president Donald Trump’s sinister and shockingly inept implosion over events in Charlottesville, the news that people in 22 countries trust Russia’s president Vladimir Putin more than they trust Mr Trump seems to cross a Rubicon most democrats in the West never imagined even existed.
Even if this poll, like America’s presidential election, represents a choice between awful and the terribly awful, this kind of shifting perceptions are a sobering and groundbreaking development.
Washington’s Pew Research Center found that the former KGB man is more trusted to do the right thing for the world than the New York playboy turned president among citizens of Japan and South Korea.
Amazingly, and what an indictment of Trump and America this is, that perception extends to seven European Nato members — Greece, Germany, Turkey, Hungary, France, Italy, and Spain.
Trump scored higher than the dangerous autocrat, who better understands how powerful a weapon discretion can be, in Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Israel, and Poland.
Not one Latin American country picked Trump over Putin. Unsurprisingly, only 5% of Mexicans say they’d trust Trump. Putin was endorsed by 19%.
This survey may fuel late-night TV comedy sketches, but it is another indication of the huge and growing burden the sane people — there must be a few — in the Trump administration carry.
Be afraid, be very afraid.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved