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Yetanotheruser's avatar

Is there more than passing international interest in US politics?

Asked by Yetanotheruser (14815 points ) September 10th, 2012

It seems to me that there is a lot of interest in US politics. I hear reports on BBC, among others. I also occasionally hear reports on political changes in other countries, like Great Britain, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, and others. They do not seem to be as “in-depth” as reports about US politics. Is this just my perception, or is there more interest abroad in US politics?

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13 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

There is more interest abroad in international news than there is in the United States. The US population can be very self centered regarding things like this.

And, because US foreign policy can affect many regions of the globe, there is more interest in the US than the US has in other countries. Most educated people around the world have a greater knowledge and understanding of US internal politics than most US citizens do.

tedd's avatar

I would say 2 things, which @zenvelo pretty well explained.

1) Here in the US we’re probably more prone to notice the articles about us in the international news, than we are an article about who-cares-where. It’s like if you hear your name being talked about in a crowd, you’ll notice that before you notice the name of someone you’ve never heard of.

2) Politics here in the US have an incredible bearing on lives around the world. Who our next president is could have a very direct bearing on how the events in Syria play out, how the European Debt Crisis is solved, the long term dealings with Iran and Russia are carried out, etc, etc… so more than a little passing interest is understandable.

flutherother's avatar

There is a lot of interest in US politics here in the UK and it is well covered in the media. The BBC broadcast the recent Republican Convention live and will follow the candidates on the campaign trail. What happens in the USA is important to us and we like to be informed. We have less interest in European and world elections as they have less impact upon us.

Nullo's avatar

I was in Italy in the early 2000s, where I saw that the nightly news would regularly check up on the U.S, even the politics to an extent. Including coverage of the Iraq war, because no news service can resist war correspondence.

@zenvelo I’d like to point out that the U.S. is something of a super-entity with respect to the States, rather like the E.U. is to the European States. What’s going on in other states is like what’s going on in other countries. A lot of our international news is domestic. We’re not so much self-centered as we are regional, lacking the good fortune of other news purveyors to be able to boil fifty states and assorted cultures down to “The U.S.”

JLeslie's avatar

I was just on a cruise with a lot of Australians and many of them turned the conversation to US politics. They knew a surprising amount. They also had a generalized view that we have a lot of crazy radical religious zealouts in our politics and in the country in general.

KNOWITALL's avatar

When I was out of the country, like JLeslie, I was also surprised by the number of people expressing interest in US politics/ how Bush was Satan, etc…. The people I were talking to were very knowledgeable about politics, unlike a lot of people here in the US who simply don’t care either way, or care what happens elsewhere.

The fact is that a LOT of the people of the US are happy if they get their McDonalds and Starbucks, other than that it ‘doesn’t affect’ their lives so why bother.

That wasn’t what happened with 9/11 though. You talk about an entire country ready to go to war, men, women, children and elderly, everyone was furious. Frankly just talking about it gets my blood boiling still.

And for those of you just waiting to point out how our military has made ‘mistakes’ in bombing schools or hospitals, I know and I get it, we’re not perfect but do not write me and tell me we deserved it because those people were innocent civilians not military who signed up for war.

Keep_on_running's avatar

@JLeslie They also had a generalized view that we have a lot of crazy radical religious zealouts in our politics and in the country in general.”

That’s ‘cause you guys do. ;p

tedd's avatar

@Keep_on_running Haha, don’t I know it.

JLeslie's avatar

@Keep_on_running But, they are not the majority of our citizens, even though they do have political power no question. And, they are a large minority at that. But, I just wanted to be sure they know there is a large group of Americans who aren’t extreme in their religion. I agreed with them on most political issues, I think they were surprised.

Nullo's avatar

@Keep_on_running I dunno; a lot of people seem to think that anything more serious than a pleasant agnosticism or watered-down faith is crazy radical religious zealotry. A side effect of everyone thinking that they’re the norm, I suppose.

Adagio's avatar

I live in NZ and listen to Radio New Zealand (public radio), there is news every day about US politics, unsurprisingly the coming election features strongly. Personally, I am interested but only to a point, I’m far more interested in NZ politics although I’m definitely aware that your choice of US president will have an enormous impact on global affairs.

Crumpet's avatar

I live in the UK and it gets a lot of coverage here.
As for myself, I am mildly interested enough to realise that I don’t like Mit Romney.

rojo's avatar

I would say that given our violent and unpredictable nature, it would be in their best interest to at least keep and eye on us.

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