We Americans are very familiar with the joke that is today’s Republican Party. They’ve been a joke for a long time, but since 2010, they’ve become positively clownish. Gone are ideas and policies that might help a majority of the country, just with a conservative spin, and in their place are ideas that help just a few, cloaked in the notion that helping those few people get even further ahead is somehow helping the rest of us.
Vice went and asked some of their international staff what the rest of the world thinks of the Republican Party, and we asked a few people ourselves. This shows how delusional the GOP’s opinion about itself really is.
The War On Women Is, In Fact, A Thing
First and foremost, other countries see the Republicans the way that many of us here in the States see them: They’re the party of old, rich white men, who will do anything to maintain their power over every group imaginable. From the Netherlands:
[W]hy, for the love of all that is holy are you people still letting all these old white guys decide on what women get to do with their uteruses? There is no excuse. Please get it together and either ignore them, or start policing their penises.
That opinion is… totally shocking. This is our shocked face. Really.
Those of us who don’t support Republican policies have spoken for a long time about the War on Women. Considering that other parts of the world see it, too, the Republicans’ mantra of, “There is no war on women,” is about as hollow a lie as it gets.
The GOP Is Also Astonishingly White, And Likes To Show It Off
Racism and xenophobia abound in the GOP, but who else sees that? Surely their international image shows them to be the fair-minded, non-discriminating group that they think they are. After all, it’s the Democrats who are the real racists. Sadly (for them), Colombia said:
The thing about Republicans is they remind me of that bigot uncle we all have but can’t manage to hate as much as we feel obliged to.
And here’s Mexico’s opinion:
[W]hat distinguishes American Republicans from the right in Mexico is that the GOP is mainly a white and Protestant homogenous group that will always fight for their status quo, at any cost. Even if this cost is denying international realities that have already happened.
Those international realities include… immigration. Immigration, particularly from Latin America, contributes to the “browning” of America, which the old, white men think is a problem, and they couch it in immigration.
It’s no secret that Donald Trump wants to combat illegal immigration by building a wall and forcing Mexico to pay for it – a stance they are not taking kindly to. A spokesperson for Mexico’s president even called it wildly irresponsible of him to say that.
But yes, Colombia and Mexico would have this kind of opinion of the GOP, since their xenophobia and racism contribute to everything from statements, to actual policies, that negatively affect both those countries.
NOBODY Understands Our Obsession With Guns!
Republican gun policies (and zealotry) contribute to the stereotype that we’re a bunch of poorly-educated, beer-bellied, gun-toting, religious nutballs. From Australia:
It might not be totally accurate anymore, but to non-Yanks, America still stands for guns, big cars, tycoons, trailer parks, fast food, and not believing in evolution. And to us, these are all Republican things… I guess the most confounding thing about Republicans is their stance on guns. We really don’t get the right to bear arms argument. Surely the right to not get shot takes precedence. People can have guns in Australia, they just can’t walk around with them and I believe we have fewer people being killed with them because of that.
Good point. Yet, here we are, listening to ammosexual morons like Ted Cruz brag about his record in “blocking” 2nd Amendment “infringements,” in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook (or really, in the wake of any of the terrible shootings that are only accelerating as gun laws continue to relax). Anybody who blocks efforts to enact some commonsense regulations on guns spits in the faces of all the victims of gun violence, and their families. The right to life trumps the right to bear arms, and it’s long past time for the GOP and their handlers at the NRA to learn this.
One question that we’ve seen come up periodically on social media: If guns make us safer, then why isn’t the U.S. the safest country on the planet? Will someone from the GOP kindly explain that?
Germany’s opinion of whether we’re gun-toting, backyard rednecks isn’t much better. They say, according to Vice:
The Republican Party is a bit tricky. For us, it stands for a lot of things that many Germans loathe about the US: moronic gun laws, homophobia, and a foreign policy that combines heavy weaponry, extreme paranoia, and a blissful ignorance of what people in other countries actually think.
They do seem unable to grasp what a lot of the world thinks of us. As far as what they stand for, Theodore, a German man, gave us his feeling for what his countrymen think, which appears to agree with Vice:
The Republicans are seen as far right wing, in our system they would be next to the [Union Party] and those are seen as strange. We don’t have a religious right here luckily, we don’t understand your free gun policies and we don’t understand the Tea Party.
He went on to explain that their opinions are not of the party itself, but rather, its leaders. Lest we forget, though, leaders are seen as speaking for the entire group they lead. As such, the GOP’s insane leaders are seen as speaking for the entire GOP.
Half of Germany loved Ronald Reagan, while the other half hated him, according to Theodore. They respected Bush the Greater, but his son, Bush the Lesser, along with Sarah Palin, are laughingstocks to the German people. They think Monica Lewinsky was a Republican plant meant to derail the Clinton administration (yes, he really said that), and that Donald Trump is a loud fool.
That last one is about as shocking as the Netherlands wondering why we let old white men dictate women’s issues. See our shocked face?
The Lot Of Them Are Christian Fundamentalist Shock Jocks
Over in the U.K., they think the GOP is a bunch of Christian fundie shock jocks who are stooges for the oil companies (Koch brothers, anyone?). Vice says:
The Republicans may as well have someone who doesn’t believe government can or should do anything as their leader. Does the party even care about the presidency anymore? Or are they just happy to win Congress and f*ck sh*t up from there?
Debbie, a woman in the U.K., summed up her opinion of the GOP for us in the following way:
My impression is that they are bible bashing, old fashioned, backward, full of prejudice and stupid ideas.
We can’t really add to that. She’s right, and that’s a very succinct summation of what Vice
They Prefer Untested, Unprovable, Religious Dogma Over Science And Logic
Canada doesn’t understand the Republicans’ rejection of science and logic. One might think they’d be a little more tempered, because we share an 8,000-mile long land border with them, after all. Alas:
[T]he quick and easy (and accurate!) response is that the party’s dedication to opposing science and logic would be laughable if it weren’t so disastrous, and that sometimes someone in the GOP says something so ludicrous that it does, for a brief moment, become funny again.
But it’s impossible to have just one opinion about the Republican Party. Decades of faux-populist and real-bigoted campaign strategies have empowered the most extreme wings of the party to the point that they are now capable of bending the party proper to their will, as the Tea Party movement demonstrated….[T]he Republican Party is] just a bunch of politicians being handed truckloads of cash and encouraged by both donors and voters to engage in a mad dash to the bottom, espousing ever more radical anti-immigrant, anti-woman, racist, just-plain-nonsense opinions and policies.
We spoke to a man who identifies himself as Green, and is a Canadian citizen and resident. He said this is what roughly 75 to 80 percent of the population of Canada thinks. He also said:
[The Republican Party is] seen as insane shock-jocks who appeal to primarily the basest form of populism.
So, we have both Canada and the U.K. who see the GOP as insane shock-jocks. In other words, at least some of the world looks at them and sees people who intentionally say outrageous things just to get attention in public office. They would rather do that instead of put forth real, well-thought out policy. And it’s getting worse, not better, thanks to their Tea Party wing.
Republicans Are Uncaring, Inhumane And Appealing To Our Inner Darkness
Vice did not talk to anybody from Denmark in their article. However, we got a chance to speak to Anne-Marie, a Danish immigrant who still has close family living in Denmark. She said:
My cousins in Denmark described the Republicans as ‘saying things which appeal to the inner pit-bull in the soul.’ (i.e. ‘throwing red meat’ and appealing to the dark side).
She also said that Danes are mainly not fans of the GOP because they’re pro-death penalty and anti-sexual freedom. The death penalty, she said, is considered inhumane in Denmark. The Danish also laugh at the GOP’s Puritanical attitudes towards sex.
In other words, it’s pretty clear that the world’s opinions of the Republicans are low, and getting lower.
On Foreign Policy, Some Countries Are Downright Scared Of Them
Countries like Romania worry about the militaristic ambitions of someone like Donald Trump. According to Vice‘s article, they had their own version of Trump in office, but the main difference between him and Trump is that he went to jail for corruption. They worry about the possibility that we might actually elect Trump, saying:
[L]ooking at the geostrategic landscape and Romania being one of Russia’s targets—especially because we’re a NATO member, a US-trusted partner, and one of the countries that host the anti-missile defense shield—you have to recognize one fact: the Republicans are the bellicose ones in American politics….
Look back at history. During the Obama-McCain race, the latter couldn’t wait to go to war. Before him, another Republican, George Bush Jr., went to war with Iraq and got Saddam Hussein killed. His father, George Bush Sr., had his own fight with Hussein, while his Republican predecessor Ronald Reagan also had his own issues in the Middle East. Plus, he bombed the hell out of Libya.
Incredibly enough, of all the international offices Vice spoke to, Serbia had a more lukewarm opinion of the Republicans than everybody else. But then again, it was under Clinton that we bombed everywhere in what was once Yugoslavia, including Serbia. We do have to ask, though, what would George H.W. Bush have done? What would Bob Dole have done? The GOP has been a war machine forever; it’s not likely they would have done much that was different.
So, Republicans, take note. Your insanity actually has far-reaching effects that you’re not considering at all. And if you think that the world laughs at us because Democrats won’t do what you want, think again. They laugh at us because of YOU.
Featured image by Rika Christensen/Liberalistics