The United States is a global superpower, known for its big-name companies, such as Apple, General Motors, Pfizer and Coca-Cola. These corporations are household names in many countries.
But the United States’ global influence extends far beyond consumer goods. Hollywood movies and broadway shows like “Avatar,” and “Hamilton,” are internationally renowned. American culture, music, and way of living are also exported worldwide.
Moreover, the U.S. exports democracy, often through military intervention. Historically, the United States has defended military intervention to promote democracy, including in the Mexican-American War in 1846, Lebanon in 1980, Granada in 1983, Panama, Haiti, Afghanistan, according to Political Science Professor James Meernik, of the University of North Texas.
Most recently, the United States has even exported some of its politicians’ behavior. For instance, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Polish President Andrzej Duda, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, all took a more radical approach after Donald Trump became U.S. president in 2017. While Jair Bolsonaro, former president of Brazil, was dubbed the “Trump of the Tropics” for his similarities to Trump.
Many countries and cultures take cues from the United States on how to behave, both good and bad, according to Mark Neuzil, a professor at the Department of Emerging Media at the University of St. Thomas.
“When they take these cues from something that happens in a powerful nation and export it to someplace else, you are going to see the results of that good and bad,” he says.
Assistant Professor of Political Science Timothy Lynch at the University of St. Thomas says a solution might lie in understanding our communities: “I do think that understanding and seeking to understand where other people are coming from is a really powerful tool in potentially overcoming some of these issues.”
While the U.S. international trading has brought positive contributions to the world, it is crucial to acknowledge its influence and examine its impact. As Neuzil puts it, he hopes that exporting a “good strong democratic system” becomes important across the world again.