Being off line the last couple days, I spent this evening catching up on a few news items in my mail box. I thought this story at the Washington Post was interesting.
Americans appear to be less interested in U.S. foreign engagement that at any other time over the last half-century, judging by a Pew poll that has been measuring U.S. public opinion since 1964. The poll found an all-time low in public support for an active U.S. foreign policy, as well as a growing desire to focus away from the world stage.
The most striking poll result is the share of Americans who believe that “the U.S. should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own.” For the first time since Pew began asking in 1964, more than half of respondents say they agree with that statement, a staggeringly high 52 percent. That number has historically ranged between about 20 and 40 percent. The share who said they disagreed with that statement is now only 38 percent.
Another metric found similar record highs in isolationist attitudes. When asked if they agreed that the United States should “not think so much in international terms but concentrate more on our own national problems,” 80 percent surveyed said they agreed, an all-time high. Only 16 percent disagreed.
Slightly more than half of Americans say that the country tries to do too much in “solving the world’s problems.”