Americans: bunch of UN-loving wimps

The BBC has a good summary of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ latest “Global Views” survey of U.S. public opinion on international affairs.  The main headline is that Americans have a strong sense their influence abroad is declining (above).

Digging into the full report, however, I’m taken aback by the picture of American public preferences that emerges.  Of the nearly 3,000 people surveyed…

  • 54% think the UN needs to be strengthened.
  • 64% want a standing UN peacekeeping force.
  • 67% want the US to participate in an international treaty on climate change.
  • 70% favor American participation in the International Criminal Court.
  • 68% want cooperation with China, against just 28% who favor containment.

And the Tea Party is a serious force in this country?  In fairness, opinion polls have always suggested that Americans are far more open to international cooperation than day-to-day politics suggests.  People may like the idea of the ICC, but they vote about the economy.  The Chicago poll emphasizes that all this internationalism is linked to a sense that the U.S. should focus more on domestic issues and less on foreign adventures.  Nonetheless, I have a question: where is the internationalist Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin who can harness America’s lust for multilateralism?