buruma167_Drew AngererGetty Images_trump netanyahu Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Who Still Loves Trump?

Most Europeans and a majority of Americans are overjoyed that they will soon see the back of US President Donald Trump. But Trump retains an allure to many in Asia not only for standing up to China, but also for his boorish political incorrectness, which is viewed as both refreshing and principled.

NEW YORK – Apart from 74 million voters in the United States, who still approves of President Donald Trump? Most Europeans are overjoyed to see the back of him. But he has been popular with a number of right-wing strongmen and demagogues, and many of their followers. His admiration for autocrats, his disdain for immigrants, racial minorities, and Muslims (except for a few Saudi princes), and his contempt for liberal democratic norms boosted authoritarian governments in Hungary, Poland, Brazil, India, and the Philippines. His esteem for Russian President Vladimir Putin was never in doubt.

Trump’s election defeat is a setback for the global populist right. While many of its leaders will survive him, an already-rampant anti-liberal movement probably would have grown even stronger with a triumphant champion of its cause in the White House.

Trump also found support among a majority of the population in two democratic countries, Israel and Taiwan, where he was seen as the most powerful enemy of their enemies, Iran and the People’s Republic of China, respectively.