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foreign policy fail
Americans Tired of Foreign Policy Failures

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.

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  • Corlyss

    “They no longer believe that the people asking for their support really know what they are talking about.”

    There’s been a failure of leadership across so many fields. Americans will go where they are led. Right now they’re being led into a dark wood without a torch. Where’s the leader to come from for the next few years? Not the Dems. We might get another president from them, but not a leader because they are clueless. From the military? Unlikely because the same kind of time-servers who populate the political parties are in the military – probably decent enough chaps, but careerists not up to the tasks put upon them. From the Republicans? I ain’t holdin’ my breath. Meanwhile, regulation nation marches on, trying to compensate for what Americans have identified as their inability to cope.

    • Andrew Allison

      It’s worse than that. The only people who believe that the people asking for their support will represent their interests are the takers (who, it appears, are now the majority).

  • Pait

    Bring Clinton back!

    • Corlyss

      Bring Reagan back! Even dead, he’d be better than what we got.

  • lukelea

    I believe there was another recent study that showed that it doesn’t matter what most Americans believe, think, want, or fear when it comes to setting national policy on issues like immigration (to take the most salient example). What matters is what the big moneyed interests — the wealthiest Americans, businessmen overwhelmingly — think. It’s called plutocracy. It has to stop.

    • Andrew Allison

      We still live, although for how long I don’t know, in a somewhat representative democracy. In other words, we get the government we elect. If we elect people who are more interested in representing donors who will get them reelected rather than those who elected them, we deserve what we will get (pass the Vaseline). There’s a simple solution: term limits. Actually, there are two: anybody who approves deficit spending should automatically be disqualified from reelection.

      • Bruce

        When you oppose interventions, the powers that be call you isolationist. When you are as broke and ineffective as the USA, isolationism is a good thing.

  • Breif2

    “Americans Tired of Foreign Policy Failures”

    “And they brought him on a stretcher a man who was sick of the palsy. And they cried unto him: ‘Maestro, this man is sick of the palsy.’ And the Lord said: ‘If I had to spend my whole life on a stretcher, I’d be pretty sick of the palsy, too!'”

    • Twiglet maniac

      Rowan atkinson, classic

  • Andrew Allison

    Another false equivalence from TAI! There is absolutely no relationship between foreign policy and the USA’s global military presence. In fact, military presence represents a failure of foreign policy.
    Incidentally, while Americans is (just barely) passable, “America’s global military presence” is not. Are you referring to the N. American continent, or is the apostrophe misplaced? If if the former, do you presume to speak for our neighbor to the north.

    • Corlyss

      “In fact, military presence represents a failure of foreign policy.”
      Yer kidding, right?

  • rheddles

    It’s not 15 years of poor performance, it’s 23. If Clinton had taken out the Nork Nukes in ’94 the world would look very different today.
    And if he had taken out bin Laden also, it would look even more different. He may not have sent large numbers of troops overseas, but he suffered the Cole and the first Trade Center attack silently. Over all, the boomer presidents have a terrible foreign policy record, exceeded only by the stupidity of the boomers in re-electing each of them after demonstrated failure. Probably due mostly to lack of exposure to WWII.

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