Sunday, April 10, 2016

More stupid stuff on the horizon

The Pew Research Center has dumped a lot of data from a March 2016 survey of U.S. voters. Little in the findings is surprising.

But I can't help being disturbed by what's caught in the adjacent chart.

When it comes to U.S. engagement with global problems, a majority of registered voters see the U.S. as having a positive impact. Six-in-ten (60%) say problems in the world would be even worse without U.S. involvement, while 34% say that U.S. efforts to solve problems around the world usually end up making things worse. Majorities of Republican (65%) and Democratic (58%) voters say U.S. global efforts usually do more good than harm.

Among Democrats, there is a divide in opinion about the impact of U.S. global involvement between Sanders and Clinton supporters. Two-thirds (66%) of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters who support Hillary Clinton say that problems in the world would be even worse without U.S. involvement, compared with just 28% who say U.S. efforts usually make things worse. By contrast, about as many Sanders supporters say U.S. efforts to solve world problems usually end up making things worse (45%) as say problems in the world would be even worse without U.S. involvement (49%).

That is, only among Bernie Sanders supporters -- and not even a majority of them -- think that the U.S. should stop meddling in other peoples' business.

How quickly we forget. A decade ago, most Democrats and a significant fraction of Republicans had learned from G.W. Bush's excellent adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq that there were limits to U.S. power. Popular revulsion with endless, pointless wars acted as some check on elites.

Whoever is elected in November is going to have a lot of room from the electorate to get the country in trouble -- to do "stupid shit" in the Prez's memorable phrase.

We're going to need a peace movement again in 2017 I fear.

1 comment:

Rain Trueax said...

Those Americans who think we improve things need to see the result of similar polls around the world. You won't find many out there agreeing.

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