A newly released Pew Research poll, “America’s Place in the World,” indicates that the Obama approach to foreign affairs has had a profoundly negative effect on the way Americans see their role in the world.
Far from seeing the “shining city on the hill” articulated by American leaders from William Bradford to Ronald Reagan, Americans today consider their influence as a nation to be in decline globally. “For the first time in surveys dating back nearly 40 years, a majority (53 percent) says the United States plays a less important and powerful role as a world leader than it did a decade ago,” says Pew.
Among Pew’s startling findings from a survey, conducted October 30 to November 6 among 2,003 adults, is that the share of Americans who think U.S. influence is declining has increased 12 points and more than doubled since 2009, the first year of the first Obama term. Not surprisingly, writes Pew, “Increasing percentages want the U.S. to ‘mind its own business internationally’ and pay more attention to problems here at home.”
Even more respondents say that the U.S. is losing respect internationally: 70 percent say the United States is less respected than in the past. This almost matches former President George W. Bush’s second term (71 percent in May 2008), though Bush’s numbers were affected by general dislike of his Texas “cowboy style” and two wars that were unpopular with foreign publics. In the case of President Obama, he came into office on a tsunami of international goodwill, receiving a Nobel Peace prize before even taking office.
However, times have changed. This year’s precipitous drop in confidence has been caused by bumbling U.S. policy toward the Syrian civil war, appeasement of Iran’s nuclear program, and deference to the leaders of Russia and China.
As startling as the Pew findings are, they should not come as a surprise. The President, after all, started his term in office with a global apology tour. Critics of the Obama foreign policy have argued for years that a smaller global footprint is central to the President’s plan for this country, a natural outgrowth of his political views. Among those who have made this argument is Dinesh D’Souza, author of Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream, published before the 2012 election.
The Obama doctrine in action is nothing less than a wrecking ball aimed at American power and with it the post–World War II underpinnings of the global system. Americans are finally catching up to this chilling realization.