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Being Unpopular

Being Unpopular

Date: Mar 20 2007

Themes: News


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Various media organizations conduct polls to gauge the opinions of Americans as a way to analyze the political mood of the country.

Polls can be conducted in a number of ways. A common way is by telephone. Random phone numbers are called and the people who choose to participate answer a series of questions. An example of a question might be: “Do you think the US should send more troops to Iraq?” The responses are then turned into percentages that are believed to represent the general opinion of the entire country. So if 70 people out 100 polled say that they do not agree that the US should send more troops to Iraq, the results of the poll will be reported as “70 per cent of Americans.”

Listen to Kevin and Amanda talk about recent polls around the world.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Kevin:  I was reading this morning in The New York Times about Bush’s international approval ratings.

Marni:  Oh.

Kevin:  They’re nothing short of pathetic.

Marni:  Well, I think that sums up his presidency.

Kevin:  I agree.

Marni:  Yeah. So what, what is his approval rating now?

Kevin:  Well, like, I mean, hovering at 20 per cent. I mean it’s really terrible, you know. In, in many cases, it’s ten per cent, you know, with the exceptions of…

Marni:  Just varies in different countries.

Kevin:  Yeah, And especially Western Europe, very low.

Marni:  Yeah. They don’t like us.

Kevin:  You know, Israel, higher, Russia, a bit higher. I mean, it’s really bad. And it makes, unfortunately, everybody look bad here, you know?

Marni:  Right. Well, do you think it affects your image as an American? That’s what I’ve been curious about.

Kevin:  I think when I’m traveling, people meet me and they’re pleasantly surprised, you know.

Marni:  That you’re American and that you’re not a jerk?

Kevin:  Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. And, and I think, you know, going around saying I’m Canadian, for example, doesn’t help us…

Marni:  Right. Exactly.

Kevin:  Because there are so many of us who are travelers and progressive thinkers and open…

Marni:  Yes.

Kevin:  ... and educated that we need to say, “I do live in the US,” you know and that’s OK.

Marni:  Yeah. The last time I was traveling, I was talking to a Canadian man and he was saying, you know, “I don’t dislike Americans, I dislike your president.” And I think it’s important to make that distinction.

Kevin:  Big difference.

Marni:  Yeah, definitely.



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Kevin and Marni agree that Bush’s presidency has been “pathetic.” You say that someone or something is “pathetic” when you totally disagree with the decisions they make, or when their actions don’t make sense to you. In this context, “pathetic” is a derogatory term and is an expression of exasperation and disgust. However, the word “pathetic” has other connotations too and can actually be used to express empathy and compassion. But that is not the case in this dialog.

Kevin explains that in countries around the world, the governments and their citizens strongly disapprove of Bush’s policies.

Marni and Kevin hope that when they travel to other countries, they are not judged for Bush’s mistakes. They hope people understand that not all Americans agree with Bush.

Do you approve or disapprove of Bush’s policies?

Does your opinion of President Bush affect how you feel about America or Americans?



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Iran, Islamic Republic Of

who are Pol Pots, Idi Amins ?

12:37 PM Oct 26 2013 |



United States

and you are entitled to have it! But I might have put some Pol Pots, Idi Amins and Joseph Stalins in between Hitler and Bush!!

12:31 PM Oct 26 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

my you are right but i think boush relation with bad Bankers
 was good too .even i think boush was agree with bad bankers economic politics, even if boush was not agree with they so he was unable to control of bad bankers .he even can not control own country banker,he just know a thing :attack ,attack and oil wars.

g. w. boush was After Hitler most dangerous politic man for humans.

just in my opinion!!

12:11 PM Oct 26 2013 |



United States

Maybe but I don’t think it was entirely his fault.  We also suffered quite a bit from bad banking. 

In my opinion. 

11:57 PM Oct 23 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

your mind about he is 100% true.

he was a tsunami for all of world .

for example he was liable of today of America ’s economic problems and even all world economic crisis.

11:27 PM Oct 23 2013 |



United States


Stentorian? The heavy metal band?

Yes Bush was unpopular at the end. Had he left Iraq and Afghanistan right after defeating them, he would not have been so unpopular here at the end.

Had Islamists never attacked us, he would not have been so unpopular at the end. He’d have been just another president like the ones that went before him.

Nothing Bush did was prevented by protest. Unpopular though he was, half the country agreed with what he tried to do. The protesting side was the minority then. The protests you mention were not representative of the majority, if they had been, things would have been different than they were.

It didn’t become the majority who opposed him until the majority realized that trying to help these people was a waste of blood and money. It was the ‘trying to help’ that was objected to in Afghanistan.

As for Iraq, he made his call. He warned them. They knew it was coming. They said they wanted to fight. They didn’t really. At the time, Saddam was a problem. Now he isn’t. I’m ok with that.

Iran could have invited Saddam to come stay with you for protection. The way France protected Khomeini until he could return to Iran and safely betray them with his hatreds.  

There was no stentorian voice of the people for Iraq.

The stentorian voice of the American people is what saved Irans’ bacon this last summer.

Not many people here know that word. I had to look it up. Talk about a three dollar word.

Good job.  

11:24 PM Oct 23 2013 |



United States

I personally thought he was an idiot but he’s been out of office for more than four years.

And really, most presidents don’t have to deal with what he did. It’s not like he had a lot of examples of how to deal with the things he dealt with.

Hardly Satan’s right hand. More a fratboy who could have done things differently.

This lesson is from 2007. The hate is current.

11:04 PM Oct 23 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of


what is your mind about g.w.boush?!

10:54 PM Oct 23 2013 |



United States

Bush never worked for or with Khomeini. How could he be Khomeini’s hand?

Khomeini’s hand was as Iranian as the rest of him was.

Bush would have had no troubles if the Islamic liars of Afghanistan hadn’t decided to protect the mass murderers in Afghanistan. Blame them. Where does God command them to shelter murderers? To lie?

Or if those Iraqi liars which used chemical weapons on Iranians and Kurds had actually kept their word and allowed the UN to search unimpeded as they agreed when they surrendered. They played the games and they paid the price. It’s not Bush’s fault they followed an idiot to their deaths. They said proudly they’d follow Saddam to their deaths. Blame them.  Where did God command them to kill their own? To lie?

I guess this website has become nothing but hate from Islam, even though they brought Bush the troubles he faced.  When do we see anything else but hate and blame?


04:02 PM Oct 23 2013 |

1 person likes this



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

excellent ,perfect lesson!!!  bush was hand of satan

06:31 PM Oct 22 2013 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Well, I totally frown uponG.W.Bush’spolicies and I don’t like him at all,‏ ‏yet there are millions of open-minded people all over the world who don’t put a group’s fault withG.W.Bushbeing in charge on Americans’ account,‏ ‏because even there in the U.S,‏ ‏we could hear stentorian voice of people indicating to be‏ ‏against his policies,‏ ‏For instance,‏ ‏I saw many Americans oppose the two started wars in their demonsterations. All people aren’t the same in a same place.

05:56 AM Oct 15 2013 |




I don’t like Bush either but I totally agree with the idea that we’ve got to distinguish b/w Bush and Americans. Americans I’ve met were far different from Bush. (There must be some jerks too though)

07:05 AM Apr 20 2007 |




i dont like BUSH,

04:17 PM Mar 25 2007 |

1 person likes this


Viet Nam

Well, Bush is kinda crazy. But I believe that lots of American people don’t like him either.It’s not fair to think that American people are as bad as Bush.I love American people!

03:43 PM Mar 25 2007 |





03:19 PM Mar 23 2007 |


zeus2006Super Member!


What a nice coversation this is.US people should take a lesson from this.I guess,There will be nobody who like from them on the world soon except :)Isreal:)

08:55 PM Mar 20 2007 |




long live Bush

10:26 AM Mar 20 2007 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Happy new year to all Iranian people!

09:26 AM Mar 20 2007 |




we shouldn’t talk or criticise something we don’t have any clue about it!!
politics is something …only special people can understand!! american people don’t have to be shame about what isq happening!!
in this world someone has to lead the world!!!like we say about the boat…when there are a lot of chiefs on the boot..this boat will sink!!

07:46 AM Mar 20 2007 |





06:22 AM Mar 20 2007 |

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