This is what comes of feckless presidential leadership. A new joint poll from the WSJ and NBC shows that Americans are weary of America’s global military presence and support the reduction of our overseas commitments:
The poll findings, combined with the results of prior Journal/NBC surveys this year, portray a public weary of foreign entanglements and disenchanted with a U.S. economic system that many believe is stacked against them. The 47% of respondents who called for a less-active role in world affairs marked a larger share than in similar polling in 2001, 1997, and 1995.Similarly, the Pew Research Center last year found a record 53% saying that the U.S. “should mind its own business internationally” and let other countries get along as best they can, compared with 41% who said so in 1995 and 20% in 1964.
More than anything else, the failures of our last two Presidents are to blame for these responses. Under President Bush we fought two inconclusive wars, and things haven’t gotten much better during President Obama’s tenure. Only 37 percent of respondents in the WSJ poll approve of Obama’s handling of Ukraine, down from 43 percent in a March survey. And Ukraine is just the most recent example of how he has floundered, especially during his second term.Fifteen years of poor performance by the country’s foreign policy experts, under the direction of both parties, have instilled in Americans a deep distrust of the establishment. They no longer believe that the people asking for their support really know what they are talking about.