Will Biden succeed in improving America’s image?
The United States is the most interested country in the world with the mental image, as it realizes that this image constitutes the most important source of soft power. Studies of the mental image have developed in American universities, but what are the characteristics of the American image in the world? And how could this picture affect the future of America?
A 2018 Pew Research Center report made it clear that the image of the United States in the world was not positive during Trump’s rule, and that the majority in many countries of the world view the United States as not taking into account the interests of other countries, and not working for a solution global problems. The report added that the negative view of the United States has spread within the European continent, as 52% of Europeans expressed their rejection of its foreign policy.
One of the most important ideas put forward to improve America’s image is to publish American films and series in the world – especially in the Islamic world – to influence public opinion. The White House adopted this idea and provided a lot of money to fund content and entertainment companies, and these companies succeeded in spreading American popular culture in the world, and increasing the attractiveness of American films that focused on presenting the American character in a positive way.
Since Trump came to power, the image of the United States has worsened in North America and Asia, but how can the image of the United States worsen as it controls the global media system and uses it to influence people’s consciousness? Can this open the way to think about the influence of various other factors on the process of building a mental image?
amusement industry use
The United States has done everything it can since 2001 to improve its image in the world, and to achieve this, filmmakers, dramatic content, and entertainment have convened meetings, overseen by Bush aide Karl Rove, to discuss how to use the entertainment industry to improve the United States’ image abroad.
One of the most important ideas put forward to improve America’s image was to publish American films and series in the world – especially in the Islamic world – to influence public opinion. The White House adopted this idea and provided a lot of money to fund content and entertainment companies, and these companies succeeded in spreading American popular culture in the world, and increasing the attractiveness of American films that focused on presenting the American character in a positive way.
Despite all this, Tim Arango wrote an article in the “New York Times” on November 30, 2008, in which he said: “American cultural popularity has not been translated into friends,” and based on this, an opinion poll – conducted by the Pew Center – explained The image of the United States is still negative in the 24 countries in which the survey was conducted.
This strong campaign carried out by the United States after September 11, 2001, achieved little success, despite what Arango calls “cultural populism”. Why did the campaign not achieve these desired goals? And how can a campaign that uses all the technical advances, glamor and creative ideas fail to improve the image of the United States of America?
Obama works to improve
Obama based his campaign mainly on the idea that he will improve the image of the United States in the world, saying: These are not good days for the reputation of the United States. But how successful is Obama in achieving this goal? A poll conducted by the University of Maryland indicated that the image of the United States improved slightly during Obama’s rule, as 46% of those who participated in the survey in 22 countries expected that Obama would improve America’s relations with the countries of the world.
It was clear that the American people had realized the danger of the negative image of the United States in the world, so they elected Obama with the aim of improving it, as Obama can be presented as a man of peace in exchange for Bush, a man of war, and that Obama – the color of his skin – is evidence that America is not based on white domination. But it is a multi-ethnic society, in which every individual can find his chance even to reach the presidency of the state.
The idea was good, and it could attract people who began to view Obama with admiration, with stories of his diligence, his ability to work long hours, and his constant talk of peace and democracy.
But after a short time, the peoples of the world realized that Obama was not ruling America, and that he is just an image that is presented to the world, at a time when institutions – especially the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense – control foreign policy making, and that Obama could not change anything in America’s relations with the countries of the world. .
Studying America’s image shows that the most important feature that impressed people is democracy. America took advantage of the fall of the Soviet Union, and presented itself to the countries of Eastern Europe as supporting their struggle to achieve democracy, and thus succeeded in building a positive image of itself in those countries that were looking forward to building their future on the basis of democracy.
But America was not able to develop this feature, or use it to build its image in other countries. It was clear that America contributed to the overthrow of elected democratic regimes when it saw that these regimes were working to break the dependence on the United States of America, and were working to achieve comprehensive independence, and that America supported They organized military dictatorships and supported them in violating human rights, because they work to achieve American interests and ensure Israel’s security.
This feature was clear even during the Obama era, and it is certain that America’s support for military dictatorships leads to an increase in peoples’ hatred and hostility to America, and that America’s image will remain negative in the minds of peoples who see America as the main obstacle that prevents it from achieving its goals of freedom, democracy and comprehensive independence.
The Trump presidency witnessed the clarity of the characteristic of American support for dictatorship, and that it works to achieve its own interests, does not adhere to its principles, and is hostile to democracy if people use it to achieve their independence.
in the face of the other
In shaping its image after the events of September 11, the United States relied on the fact that the “Islamic” other hates us, because we are democrats, wonderful and progressive, and this other is a terrorist who wants to destroy the United States.
This image succeeded in pushing the American people to support launching the aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq, as the American entertainment industry focused on the traits of the civilized and advanced American in the face of the backward Muslim terrorist.
But that image led to an increase in hatred and hostility to America, as the people watched the civilized American committing massacres in Afghanistan and Iraq, destroying cities and destroying urbanization.
People can remember the beauty and civilization of Baghdad, and have realized the falsehood of the American propaganda about weapons of mass destruction, which it used as a justification for the destruction of Baghdad’s civilization and the killing of more than a million Iraqis.
In order to get acquainted with the impact of America’s image on building its relations with the countries of the world, we can clearly observe the state of joy in the Islamic world over America’s defeat in Afghanistan, and admiration for the struggle of the Taliban, which succeeded in achieving victory and expelling the Americans.
But will Biden succeed?
There are indications that peoples are pinning hopes on Biden to rebuild America’s relations with the countries of the world in accordance with American principles and values, and not on the basis of interests, as Trump did.
Contributing to this is Biden’s withdrawal of his forces from Afghanistan, and this decision is supported by the majority of Americans who feel that America has lost thousands of lives, and spent trillions of dollars without justification, and that the war against Afghanistan and Iraq was a mistake.
The idea of correcting America’s mistakes can be transmitted from the American people to other peoples who aspire to be corrected by Biden, especially in the areas of democracy and human rights.
Among the most important of those mistakes that led to the distortion of America’s image is its support for dictatorial regimes and preventing peoples from achieving democracy. So far, we can note an improvement in America’s image since Biden came to power in 14 countries, including Germany and Mexico.
But the hopes of some peoples in Biden began to be shattered. Until now, Biden is still dealing with dictatorial regimes in the same ways that Trump used, and Biden did little to defend democracy and human rights, and did not declare his support for the peoples’ rights to freedom and democracy.
Biden inherited a negative image of America, one of its most important features is that America is a country that does not adhere to principles and values, and that it is only keen to achieve its interests, and that in order to ensure Israel’s security and hegemony over the Middle East, it abandons all human principles and values and oppresses peoples. Can Biden change that image, and prove that he can defend human and peoples’ rights?
In order for Biden to do so, he must realize that the slogan “America First” raised by Trump cannot improve America’s image, as it refers to selfishness, greed, abandonment of principles in order to achieve interests, and the use of hard power in the face of peoples seeking freedom from American hegemony. .
Instead of a hawkish policy
One of the most important explanations for the improvement in the image of the United States in some European countries is that Europe hates the hawkish policy that distinguished Trump, and that Biden will rely on diplomacy in building America’s relations with the countries of the world instead of using hard power, and that he will put an end to the idea of “America first,” and will build a policy Pro-democracy cooperative.
Storer Raleigh says: The most important challenges Biden faces is improving America’s image, and that the most important idea that he can use to achieve this goal is that American democracy has been subjected to aggression, but it has been able to overcome it and get out of it stronger, which refers to the assault on the US Congress.
It seems that Raleigh’s proposal is good, but if America succeeded in saving its democracy, and this constitutes the most important features of its new image, then America can improve its image abroad by proving its respect for the peoples’ right to democracy, and the struggle of these peoples to confront the aggression against their democracy.
A country that can be proud of its success in defending its democracy against the assault of thugs on Congress, it is not permissible for it to support the bullying that was represented in violating the rights of other peoples to democracy, and choosing the system that expresses its hopes for freedom and democracy, and leads its struggle to achieve comprehensive independence, and to break the hegemony American.
In order for Biden to succeed in building a positive image of America, he must re-evaluate its foreign relations with the countries of the world, and rebuild these relations on the basis of respect for the rights of peoples to independence, freedom, democracy and justice, and to defend democracy in all countries of the world, not only in America. Can Biden succeed?