WSJ/NBC Poll: Americans Want Less Interventionist Foreign Policy

John Glaser, April 30, 2014

This morning’s Wall Street Journal has the following headline on the front page: “Americans Want to Pull Back From World Stage, Poll Finds.”

Americans in large numbers want the U.S. to reduce its role in world affairs even as a showdown with Russia over Ukraine preoccupies Washington, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

In a marked change from past decades, nearly half of those surveyed want the U.S. to be less active on the global stage, with fewer than one-fifth calling for more active engagement—an anti-interventionist current that sweeps across party lines.

…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.

You can tell from the way the reporter frames the poll’s findings that she’s unhappy about what she calls “anti-interventionist” sentiment. She is shocked such sentiments can be so popular even as (in her words) Russia defies U.S.-EU sanctions and Ukraine continues to unravel.

But she must have missed the YouGov poll conducted last month finding that only 14 percent of Americans said the U.S. has “any responsibility” to get involved in Ukraine, and only 18 percent think the U.S. “has any responsibility to protect Ukraine if Russia were to invade.”

“Americans are more likely than not to say that the United States has no responsibility to get involved in Ukraine even under extreme circumstances, the new survey shows,” the Huffington Post reports. “Pluralities of Democrats, Republicans and independents agreed that the U.S. does not have a responsibility to protect Ukraine.”

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll is consistent as well with the Pew poll from back in December that found a majority of Americans – more than ever before in Pew’s 50-year history of polling this question – think the U.S. “should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along as best they can on their own.”

It will be interesting to see how these popular sentiments shape the upcoming 2016 presidential elections. One thing we can expect is a lot of vitriol for these kinds of opinions by Republican and Democratic standard-bearers. Typically, pro-war sentiments are taken to be very serious, while non-interventionist sentiments are condemned as either dangerously isolationist or naive.

It’s worth noting though that the poll numbers themselves have disproven the isolationist charge: 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.




49 Responses to “WSJ/NBC Poll: Americans Want Less Interventionist Foreign Policy”

  1. By and large, people are people and need the same things. It should surprise no thoughtful person that
    we are all losing enthusiasm for party and philosophical labels. If people think we've been doing great for the last fourteen years, they probably haven't been paying too close attention. Either that or they have a big stake in what's been going on, bless them. On the other hand, there are a few bright spots.
    The pace of scientific discovery- unprecedented. The increase in communication- historic. This new poll shows once again the " common" in common sense. Pretty much everyone alive gets it, especially right here in the good old USA.

  2. […] WSJ/NBC Poll: Americans Want Less Interventionist Foreign Policy […]

  3. Its about time, the American people beginning to realize the fact that it is them that are been played, lied to fraudulently and that it is them whom are paying for the manufactured lies, that it is them that are paying for the 1% fiestas party discussing their next wars around the world. Its about time.

  4. More and more clear that Americans don't actually run America. At least, the overwhelming voting public doesn't run America. And what the overwhelming majority of the public thinks- doesn't matter.

    "A Republic, not a democracy," as Ben Franklin (was it?) said.

    It would be a very different country if they did.

  5. Yes Glaser….this is exactly why there are mercenary terrorists and 'moderate' cannibals running wild in Syria with US supplied "aid"–both of the "lethal" and "non-lethal" kind…

    Duh….

  6. But, WARMONGER Republi CONS ARE proposing $ 100.000 000 in military aid to the Ukraine–INCLUDING anti-a/c & tank missiles. .ALSO, TO TARGET ALL Russian banks. What ARE YOU VOTING FOR? FOR WHAT REASON?

  7. It should be the policy of the USG to act only as a mediator or arbitrator in foreign disputes and not take sides. I believe we did so during the war between Russia and Japan about 100 years ago.. Also the UN should be the final arbitrator in disputes between nations.

    NATO should be abolished and Europe should set up its own defense organization minus the US and Canada.

  8. "…It will be interesting to see how these popular sentiments shape the upcoming 2016 presidential elections…."

    Unfortunately, the pols won't put much stock in pre-election polling showing a majority of voters are not interested in the US being the world's policeman. It will take a sound beating by the voters, tossing out many of the warmongers before the pols realize that they weren't listening to the citizens they were elected to represent. The problem is, and has been for a long time, that the pols impose their own desires and ideologies in their decisions and ignore the collective desires of those who elect them.

    But, the real problem will be convincing the voters that in order to stop the desires of our elected representatives for global hegemony they must vote for someone else because re-electing these people will only result in convincing these morons that they have a mandate to continue doing what they are currently doing.

  9. Since the Washington D.C. elites, their sons and daughters and the ones who are dependent upon the defense and defense support contracts that are given out are so eager to intervene and start wars around the world, send each and every one of them in the first waves.
    It is the 77%'s children who go off and do the fighting and the dying and endure the mental and physical aftermaths of the wars engendered by the D.C. armchair warriors who, along with their progeny, never have to so much as go near the combat zones they have created with their pathological desire to tell the rest of the world how to live and what to do.
    The world will get along just fine with less American interventionism.

  10. Street riot democracy

    Another street riot democracy, orchestrated by the CIA, funded and armed by Empire USA, surely it is the wave of the future in the destruction of democratic elected governments. So effective a counter revolution has it been of late, Egypt for example, that it has stopped the Arab Spring dead in it's tracks.

    So, what if the anti-government protesters in East Ukraine were to do the same thing? For if a street riot democracy can turn everything toward the bad, why can't the good guys use it to turn everything toward the good?

  11. True, for the same was it during the tour my brother and I did in the Vietnam Wasr, for 95% of those sent home in a body bag were of the impoverished lower half of society, surely 95% of all bleeding and dying in war suffered by laboring men.

  12. Yet, on every Sunday morning talk show, the only ones invited by the warmongering MSM (including Fox, of course) are the uber-Hawks, like McCain, Ayotte, Hunter, or Rogers. The media always pushes for military involvement and echo and parrot the Interventionist line. That's why both barrels have already been fired against a candidate who might reflect the will of the people, insofar as military foreign affairs is concerned., and stop the flinging of our hard-earned tax dollars at financial cesspools like Iraq, Afghanistan and probably now Ukraine.

  13. They cannot because they will not get US arms and the cash needed. Saudi Arabia and US removed elected Mursi, and then proceeded to use Egyptian military to crush every and any rebellion. That is why thousands are killed in the streets, live ammo against unarmed people, thousands arbitarily arrested, and now upward (so far) of one thousands sentenced to death — all for killing one policemen. Our press reacts with shruggs, like we have nothing to do with that. The problem with Ukraine is that two thirds of the county is against the coup in Kyev, while US wants to prop it up. But in this case those that are against have Russia to watch over their fate, so they do not disappear into darkness like in Egypt. So, the black hole of Ukraine will suck up a lots of our money for a long time. Will US stand for Russia orchestrating regime change in our back yard? Installing unfriendly regime that will use the power of its mentor to provoke us into war? Of course not. But we feel very entitled to do it anywhere on this planet.

    Public opinion is shifing, and it will be harder for neocons to justify their existence. But they have miltary profiteers on their side, and one can always provoke some an incident to get the public riled up again. I do not see much hope, as the neocons are doing everything to ISOLATE us from the world, and what is really going on. That is why Kerry is hopping mad at RTV, as the information from the real world comes in, exposing our mainstream media, and he does not like it a bit.

  14. At least the reporter wrote 'anti-interventionist' and not that (profanity) "isolationist" smear word.

  15. […] and Washington, DC are upset that Obama hasn’t been forceful enough, whereas the public, as I noted yesterday, in greater numbers than ever want a less interventionist foreign policy of […]

  16. Strange that he would do that. And Kerry referring to a future for the Israelis government as Apartied if they continue to steal the land from the Palestinians. Next thing you know, they'll stop using that fraudulent word Antisemetic when they mean AntiZionist!

  17. Bottom line John, Americans won't vote antiwar. They'll continue to be fooled by the weasel words of the Bushes and Obama. Convince themselves to vote for these guys who claim to be for non-intervention when they first appear on the scene because the real non-interventionists are tarred with being too extreme.

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  19. Maybe we would get a lot less intervention if the President wasn't so close with the enemy in Qatar.
    Hey, did you know the NATO contracts with the Taliban? Not kidding. http://www.rightsidenews.com/2014043034217/editor

  20. The greatest hurdle to change via the ballot box is that the Two Parties control the process. The most entrenched political hacks get the primary support, outsiders need not apply. This ensures that only the Serious Candidates make it to the ballots in November. Hence, we get the same ol' "stuff".

    I find it laughable when so-called leaders in the United States lecture other nations on The Democratic Process when we have but two parties from which to choose (thank you ballot access laws written by Republicrats) and nations such as Russia and Iran have multiple parties represented in their legislative bodies.

  21. PS: Expect Jeb Bush to face Hillary in '16.

  22. Just peachy NOT ONE BUT TWO WARMONGERS TO 'CHOOSE' FROM. Keep VOTING–DOPES..

  23. Yes, but then Americans will elect/re-elect warmongers…

  24. "Anti-interventionist" beats "isolationist" any day. I'm very glad the reporter used the right term to describe our attitude.

  25. With the withdrawal of military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, the USA has enough borrowed money to prepare for conflict in the Pacific, Iran, Syria and the Middle East. That's why Pres. Obama is going the round to drum up war cry in Asia. The administrators/political leaders of Uncle Sam will never change.

  26. "Public opinion is shifing, and it will be harder for neocons to justify their existence."

    Unfortunately, the presstitute media keeps them around and gives them a platform. It infuriates me every time I hear the likes of Paul Wolfowitz on, for example, NPR. Recently, the University of Minnesota gave Condoleeza Rice an honorarium of $150,000 to speak there. Disgusting.

  27. […] and Washington, DC are upset that Obama hasn’t been forceful enough, whereas the public, as I noted yesterday, in greater numbers than ever want a less interventionist foreign policy of […]

  28. ….Borrowed money from China….wait, isn't that the same guys they are trying to bully?

  29. […] Read more […]

  30. Breaking: Nuclear Alert

  31. but our Pl;utocracy makes the decisions.

  32. What on earth do the people matter? nobody takes any notice of what Americans want, just the few "leaders" like POTUS Obama and robot John Kerry, aligned with NATO extremists. War is the best way to solve problems and make profit. Public opinion is to be discarded in the great imperial democracy/superpower USA.

  33. […] WSJ/NBC Poll: Americans Want Less Interventionist Foreign Policy – AntiWar […]

  34. […] York and Washington, DC are upset that Obama hasn’t been forceful enough, whereas the public, as I noted yesterday, in greater numbers than ever want a less interventionist foreign policy of […]

  35. […] in ANTEPRIMA per L’Indipendenza la traduzione integrale in italiano dell’articolo Wsj/Nbc Poll: Americans Want Less Interventionist Foreign Policy di John Glaser, tratto dal sito Antiwar.com. (Traduzione di Luca […]

  36. […] the public is still highly skeptical of foreign adventurism – recent polls show overwhelming support for supposedly “isolationist” policies – the political […]

  37. […] the public is still highly skeptical of foreign adventurism – recent polls show overwhelming support for supposedly “isolationist” policies – the political class is […]

  38. If you desire to improve your know-how just keep visiting this web site and be updated with the hottest gossip posted here.

  39. […] Party is facing a dilemma: how to do an end run around the doggedly “isolationist” American people, who have had it up to here with the overseas adventurism of our […]

  40. Yes, but then Americans will elect/re-elect warmongers…
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  41. AMERIKA will bomb AGAIN SOON IN IRAQ—-THEY ARE TRULY WARMONGERS #1

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  46. What on earth do the people matter? nobody takes any notice of what Americans want, just the few "leaders" like POTUS Obama and robot John Kerry, aligned with NATO extremists. War is the best way to solve problems and make profit. Public opinion is to be discarded in the great imperial democracy/superpower USA.

  47. Points of the utmost importance, thank you, dear for the clarification

  48. thanks for this great article .
    people are sure that Russia has a powerful military and can create the problem for the world. In fact, not a lot of people know, that the heart of the arms industry of the Soviet Union was located in Ukrainian city, it still has powerful factories that produce all the important weapons, especially for the air forces.so if Russia will go too far, the military of Russia will stay with helpless army.

  49. What on earth do the people matter? nobody takes any notice of what Americans want, just the few "leaders" like POTUS Obama and robot John Kerry, aligned with NATO extremists. War is the best way to solve problems and make profit. Public opinion is to be discarded in the great imperial democracy/superpower USA.
    Report