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What Do Americans Care About? Not a Cold War With Russia and China

September 20, 2022
Katrina vanden Heuvel

This is a summary of an article originally published by The Washington Post.

The author, a columnist for The Washington Post, writes:

  • “Congress is about to add tens of billions of dollars to the military budget. Unrepentant hawks scorn this as inadequate, urging a 50% increase, or an additional $400 billion or more a year. Aid to Ukraine totals more than $40 billion this year, and counting. A new buildup is underway in the Pacific. Biden summons Americans to the global battle between democracy and autocracy.”
  • “Americans, it is safe to say, have different … concerns, as revealed in a recent Quinnipiac University poll. Asked about the most urgent issue facing the country today, 27% of respondents—the highest number—ranked inflation as No. 1, while only 2% ranked Ukraine at the top. In a range of Economist-YouGov polls over the past month, the top foreign-policy concerns included immigration and climate change.”
  • “The foreign policy ‘blob’ may be gearing up for a global Cold War, but Americans are focused on security at home. According to a survey by the nonpartisan Eurasia Group Foundation, nearly half of Americans think the United States should decrease its involvement in other countries’ affairs; only 21.6% would increase it.”
  • “Polls, of course, are merely snapshots—and war fever can transform opinion. However, a 2021 report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs reported many of the same priorities. Far more Americans (81%) said they were concerned about threats from within the country than from outside the country (19%). … Ranked lowest were ‘helping to bring a democratic form of government to other nations’ (18%) and ‘protecting weaker nations against foreign aggression’ (32%).”
  • “A foreign policy for the middle class must find a way to curb our adventures abroad so that we can rebuild our democracy and strength at home. A Cold War against Russia and China might empower the foreign policy elite, enrich the military-industrial-congressional complex and excite our bellicose media, but it ignores the American people’s common sense.”

Read the full article at The Washington Post.


Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel is a columnist for The Washington Post.

The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author. Photo by JessicaRodriguezRivas shared under a Creative Commons license.