More Americans Than Ever Think US ‘Should Mind Its Own Business’

John Glaser, December 04, 2013

For almost 50-years, the Pew Research Center has been polling on the question of whether Americans think the U.S. “should mind its own business internationally,” but only now, for the very first time, have a majority of Americans answered in the affirmative.

I’m often wary to cite public opinion approvingly, mostly because it changes all the time. These results are a byproduct of a particular place and time, more than a decade of near constant war and excessive interventionism with nothing much to show for it.

12-3-2013-2There was an uptick in this sentiment following the Vietnam War too, and it slowly receded. Nevertheless, the results are significant.

Pew:

Foreign policy, once a relative strength for President Obama, has become a target of substantial criticism. By a 56% to 34% margin more disapprove than approve of his handling of foreign policy. The public also disapproves of his handling of Syria, Iran, China and Afghanistan by wide margins. On terrorism, however, more approve than disapprove of Obama’s job performance (by 51% to 44%).

The public’s skepticism about U.S. international engagement – evident in America’s Place in the World surveys four and eight years ago – has increased. Currently, 52% say the United States “should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own.” Just 38% disagree with the statement. This is the most lopsided balance in favor of the U.S. “minding its own business” in the nearly 50-year history of the measure.

Interestingly, most Americans (77%) think increased trade and business ties with the rest of the world is a good thing, while only 18% think its negative. So, quite explicitly, Americans don’t like greater involvement in the world by the U.S. government and they do like greater economic involvement in general.




12 Responses to “More Americans Than Ever Think US ‘Should Mind Its Own Business’”

  1. I'd like to know when this poll was taken. Pew states that President Obama's foreign policy has become much less popular, "by a 56% to 34% margin." "The public also disapproves of his handling of Syria, Iran, China, and Afghanistan by wide margins." If the public has turned against foreign intervention, you would think that Obama's popularity would have gone up some after he wisely reconsidered his Syrian strike (although Putin force his hand) and especially after the recent deal with Iran. As for the growing belief that the US is less powerful than it used to be – if that is true, then it's all to the good.

  2. I don't know, is real opposition (even real keyboard opposition for that matter) to war and empire really sustained on such weak tea?

    "Interestingly, most Americans (77%) think increased trade and business ties with the rest of the world is a good thing, while only 18% think its negative. So, quite explicitly, Americans don’t like greater involvement in the world by the U.S. government and they do like greater economic involvement in general."

    All "increased" trade involvement that the U.S. takes is heavily government mediated of course.

  3. USG of all kind been at war for last 65 years expending the US militarism regime all over the world, its about time for Americans to wake up and realize that enough is enough. People starting to understand that it is in their interests to give up on that phony hope and phony promises of change made by USG, although its the beginning but one need to start somewhere.

    Next time open your eyes, your ears, your mind and vote for those who are by the people, for the people and not working or wanting to expend NSA spying or AIPAC war mongering institutions. People have changed due to the facts of information they are receiving, antiwar.com is part of that process.

  4. We should mind our own business. No one likes a nosey nose sticking their face where it doesn't belong. #minyourownbusinessUSA

  5. Next time open your eyes, your ears, your mind and vote for those who are by the people, for the people and not working or wanting to expend NSA spying or AIPAC war mongering institutions. People have changed due to the facts of information they are receiving, antiwar.com is part of that process.

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  8. …how to find out who those ppl would be is the problem…

  9. People starting to understand that it is in their interests to give up on that phony hope and phony promises of change made by USG, although its the beginning but one need to start somewhere.

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