Poll: Almost Half of Americans Say US is Just Not as Important as It Used to be
Almost a majority of Americans think that the United States is in decline as a world power, according to a new survey released by Pew Research Center.
A total of 46 percent of Americans think the U.S. is not as important on the world stage as it was just 10 years ago, which is one of the highest rates exhibited by the public in the last 40 years, aside from 2013, when the rate was 53 percent.
As a result of Americans’ perception of a strong decline, 57 percent think that the U.S. should just deal with its own problems and let other countries work out their own problems alone.
Only 37 percent of Americans think the U.S. should help countries out for any reason. Still, 41 percent say the U.S. is far too generous in its involvement in other countries. Washington is doing too much, as far as these Americans are concerned. Just 28 percent of Americans think the U.S. is doing the right amount, and 27 percent think the U.S. is doing too little.
Along with isolationist attitudes, Americans to the tune of 35 percent think that defense spending should be increased. This rate hasn’t been seen since just after Sept. 11, 2001. In 2013, that figure amounted to only 23 percent.
The desire to increase defense spending is likely pegged to increasingly bold moves by Russia and China that challenge American influence in Eastern Europe and in the pacific. The rise of the Islamic State and its activity in Europe and North America, too, has stoked fear among the public.
A recent set of polls by Fluent in April found that for voters concerned with national security issues, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were viewed as the candidates best able to deal with external threats.
The new Pew survey also found the deep isolationist trend extended to the global economy, as well, with 49 percent of Americans saying that existing U.S. involvement in the global economy is negative. Of voters who back Trump, 65 percent think participating in the global economy produces negative consequences.
This is because these Americans perceive globalization to be the driving force between lower wages and fewer domestic jobs. A total of 44 percent of Americans, however, consider global economic involvement to be a positive force.
Pew conducted the survey from April 12-19 and relied on sample size of 2,008 adults in the U.S.
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