In case you’re wondering, the rest of the world also watched the real Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, and the Saturday Night Live lampooning of those hearings, and saw very little to distinguish between the two. Here in Britain, as long as you stay away from London cab drivers, Kavanaugh supporters – and by extension Trump supporters – are getting increasingly difficult to find. And Trump’s declining polls in Britain and elsewhere reflect that.
According to a poll conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center surveying more than 26,000 people in 25 countries, a median of 30 percent of respondents across 25 countries said they “have confidence in Trump to do the right thing.”
By comparison, more than double that number expressed confidence in President Obama. According to USA Today, “Former President Barack Obama, who championed multilateralism and nurtured ties with foreign leaders, was seen as a more trustworthy steward of global affairs, with a median of 64 percent expressing confidence in his ability to direct American foreign policy.” Unfortunately Trump’s declining numbers in the rest of the world also reflect badly on America itself, “with a median of [only] 50 percent holding a favorable opinion of the U.S.”
From the British perspective, a nation where high court justices still wear powdered wigs, it’s difficult to convey to the hearts-on-their-sleeves denizens of America just how truly discountenancing Brett Kavanaugh’s performance was. Britain is still a nation with the famous stiff upper lip that cannot entirely fathom America’s trembling lower one, most particularly on the face of a man being considered for the highest court in the land. Since the British rightly see Kavanaugh as Trump’s pick, and Trump is universally despised here, there was no existing predisposition to view Kavanaugh in anything resembling a favorable light.
I can attest from experience that, in England at least, it’s safe, in conversation with a stranger, to begin a sentence, “I detest Donald Trump,” and seldom meet with anything short of immediate and unqualified consensus. On those rare occasions when I have encountered dissent, the dissenter is always unfailingly polite and rational. And we still accept immigrants here.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.