The United Nations has never done a worse job in its 60-year history.
That's what Americans think, according to a Gallup poll that shows a meager 26 percent approval rating for the world body — which U.S. taxpayers gave nearly $3 billion to support last year.
Gallup's test of American attitudes toward the U.N. has become an annual February tradition in recent years, something like a curmudgeonly groundhog who always sees his shadow. The poll of roughly 1,000 U.S. adults had a margin of error of +/– 3 percent.
Since the run-up to the Iraq War, when the U.S. faced stiff opposition to the coalition invasion, the U.N.'s popularity in its host nation has steadily dropped. Sixty-five percent of Americans think the sprawling bureaucracy has done a "poor job" in confronting problems it has to face.
The world body has never polled very high in the 56 years of the Gallup poll, topping out at 58 percent approval in 2002. But the current drop is hardly unique; during the Reagan administration, the poll bottomed out at 28 percent, which stood as a record for over two decades.
The U.N.'s numbers took a similar nosedive in the mid-1990s amid the conclusion of the Bosnia War (which it tried unsuccessfully to stop) and the Rwandan genocide, in which it did not intercede.
Even the U.S. Congress, whose approval rating was barely the legal age of consent back in 2008, has rocketed ahead of the U.N. A FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll from March 3-4 shows that 41 percent of Americans have given Congress the thumbs up, even in the middle of an economic meltdown.