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UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."

MOST AMERICANS THINK U.S. SHOULD ‘MIND ITS OWN BUSINESS’

April 3, 2014

Americans, we often hear of late, are war-weary, fatigued, and discouraged. Iraq and Afghanistan have not gone well and we’re tired, pundits tell us.  But the truth is very different:  deep down, it is not because ordinary Americans are weak but because they believe in morality that they think their leaders shouldn’t dictate to the world.

This week the Pew Research Center called attention to a number of recent surveys.  According to one of them, more and more Americans are “reluctant to see the U.S. take an active role in solving international problems.”

Pew reported that the view that “the U.S. should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along as best they can on their own” is held by a majority of Americans (52%).  The percentage of Americans who think the U.S. should either share leadership equally with other countries, or exercise no leadership at all, stands at 63%.

Pew attributed this “reluctance” to “disillusionment with U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Pew’s interpretation of its findings is too cynical. The truth is that Americans hold these views because they are a moral people, more moral than the elites who govern them.  Elites regard the morality of ordinary Americans as a problem to be managed, and have to portray their policies as morally defensible.  It’s a case of hypocrisy being the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

When their minds are not poisoned by fear, Americans are fair-minded.  They think that the U.S. should mind its own business internationally because they believe that individuals should mind their own business.  They believe that leadership should be shared because they don’t want people telling them what to do.  They believe in the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would they should do unto you.

UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."