“Big America” or “Little America”?:

Americans and their opinion leaders seem to have shifted their view of America’s proper role in the world. According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center and the Council on Foreign Relations, American opinion leaders are “less supportive” of the US role as “first among equals” and cool to the goal of promoting democracy in other countries. In the US public at large, Pew found a “revival of isolationist sentiment” that is “on a par” with views expressed after the Vietnam War. At that time, recall, the nation and some of its key political figures embraced the notion of “little America,” in which the US would tend to its knitting and stay out of other people’s quarrels. The obvious reason for the recent shift is the Iraq War, with its cost in lives and money. Click on Pew Research Results to view the two charts showing this data. Read the report “America’s Place in the World 2005: Opinion Leaders Turn Cautious, Public Looks Homeward” here.