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Friday, August 19, 2016

America Comes Last?

Donald Trump has called for a new America First foreign policy that includes an end to the nation-building efforts by the U.S. government that have led to chaos in Iraq and Libya and U.S. boots still on the ground in Afghanistan after 15 years, making it America’s longest running war. Not surprisingly many of the Republican architects of that strategy have denounced Trump in a widely reported recent letter, and President Obama and other major players in both major political parties have questioned the GOP nominee’s fitness for office.

But voters have been telling us in surveys for years that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be seen as failures by future generations. Whether it’s Syria or Libya or Egypt or wherever in the Muslim world, most voters have urged the U.S. government to stay out. But the last two administrations - one Republican, one Democrat - just keep soldiering on, despite the opposition of the American people.

In May when Trump first articulated his foreign policy goals, just 30% of voters felt U.S. foreign policy in recent years has put America first. Twice as many (60%) said that American foreign policy instead was more interested in the rights of those in other countries. Sixty percent (60%) agreed with Trump’s statement: “No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first.”

Meanwhile, 50% of voters say the federal government does not focus enough on the threat of domestic Islamic terrorism, and just 26% say the country is safer than it was before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the lowest level of confidence ever.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Fran Coombs.