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America turns 247 on Tuesday, Independence Day, and much of the free world has given this country a gift: A favorable view of the U.S., its role in the world and its current leader, President Joe Biden.

The data, from a new Pew Research Center poll of people in 23 countries across continents reports that a median of 59% have a favorable view of the U.S., compared with 30% with an unfavorable view. And although a vast 82% majority say that the U.S. does, in fact, "interfere in the affairs of other countries," 61% say that such international involvement does "contribute to peace and stability around the world" (compared with 38% who do not). What's more, a median of 54% express confidence in Biden, compared with 39% who do not — numbers the president might wish he had at home as he runs for re-election.

With few exceptions, global confidence in Biden is higher than it was for former (and perhaps future) President Donald Trump. In some cases, dramatically so, especially in Europe. In Germany, confidence in the U.S. president "to do the right thing regarding world affairs" jumped from Trump's 10% level in 2020 to 67% under Biden. Several NATO nations show similar spikes, as do Asian allies South Korea (17% under Trump in 2020 vs. 59% for Biden now) and Japan (from 25% to 65%).

Biden is "doing an excellent job of alliance management in the context of Ukraine," said Thomas Hanson, chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations Minnesota. Hanson, a former Foreign Service officer and current diplomat-in-residence at the University of Minnesota Duluth, said that a quote from fellow Minnesotan Jake Sullivan, now national security adviser, reflected the administration's position: "If Ronald Reagan's formula was 'peace through strength,'" Sullivan said in March, "Joe Biden's formula is 'peace through American and allied strength.'"

That allied ethos is reflected in record highs in 12 countries on a metric America has long lagged in: Whether "the U.S. takes into account the interests of countries like theirs when making international policy decisions."

Regarding approval of America and its commander in chief, geography, not demography, is destiny. "Countries that are really close to the Ukraine conflict have astronomical numbers," said Hanson, pointing to Poland, which has a record 93% approval rating of the U.S. overall and 83% confidence in Biden. Strikingly, however, neighboring Hungary has an inverse international perspective, with only 44% approving of the U.S., 19% expressing confidence in Biden, 34% believing America contributes to global peace and stability, and 15% believing the U.S. considers other countries' interests.

"For better or worse, Orban has got some popular support for his policies," Hanson said, referencing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose illiberal rule has been lamented in Western capitals but lauded, loudly, by many Western populists, including in America, where he's been a key speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Another world leader often held as an avatar by American conservatives is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close Trump ally who's tested traditional bipartisan support for Israel. In turn, some Republicans have castigated Democrats, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who histrionically said this week that Biden and his administration "are pathologically obsessed with undermining Israel."

However, Israelis don't seem to think so: 68% express confidence in Biden, an 8-percentage-point increase — the most among the 23 nations surveyed — in the last year, just three percentage points below Trump's highest level of 71%. And overall, Israelis' 87% favorable view of the U.S. hit the highest level in the 23 years Pew has tracked. Some of the jump may be reflected in support from the crowds protesting proposed judicial changes by Netanyahu.

Asked about those developments, Biden calmly told New York Times columnist Tom Friedman: "The genius of American democracy and Israeli democracy is that they are both built on strong institutions, on checks and balances, on an independent judiciary. Building consensus for fundamental changes is really important to ensure that the people buy into them so they can be sustained."

Reminding America's staunch Mideast ally of shared values seems more like undergirding than undermining. "At a time that Israel is facing some internal challenges, probably that bulwark of U.S. support is maybe seen by more Israelis as more important than ever," Hanson said.

Eight nations in the so-called Global South hadn't been polled since 2019. All registered increased approval of the U.S.: India, up five percentage points to 65%, with Mexico making a 27-percentage-point leap to 63%. Throughout the poll, there's also been a perceptible shift in perceptions of economic power, with a rising percentage of countries more likely to say the U.S., not China, is the world's top economy.

However, there are red flags in America's international image, including inequality, violence and, strikingly in the land of the free, tolerance. A notable 31% of those polled said that "the United States is a less tolerant place to live than other wealthy nations," a higher percentage than the 21% who believe it's more tolerant (39% said it's "about the same"). The enduring — indeed, engulfing — culture wars that have become more prominent in the presidential race than the real war in Ukraine will likely only add to that negative perception.

China, Russia and other authoritarian nations have not been part of Pew's poll on America's global image since it started in 2000. Previous polls about perceptions of those countries themselves have justifiably shown much lower global approval, and Russia's invasion of Ukraine and China's menacing of Taiwan and other neighboring nations haven't likely won them any admiration.

That matters, Hanson said. "Whether you call it 'soft power,' or just the general reputation of the country, it strengthens our diplomacy to have a positive view out in the world among countries." Biden "believes we are in a very important competition right now between democracy and autocracy; that's almost the framing device of their national security strategy."

The picture within that frame is, of course, flawed, even more so domestically than internationally. While that imperfect image will be projected in the presidential race, Hanson said the debate must not get "unbridled or out of balance to the point where people start to wonder about our political process and about the health of our democracy; that's when it really becomes negative and can overflow and impact our foreign policy."

In other words, this country's global image is a gift that shouldn't be squandered. That's worth remembering on and beyond America's birthday.