If Polls Ruled: Should polls decide foreign policy?

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series If Polls Ruled
Cuba coral reef

ARE AMERICAN’S EAGER TO DISCOVER CUBA’S TREASURES? Since President Obama’s move to reconnect with Cuba, a host of news stories are emerging about treasures Americans may want to experience in the island nation. Much has been reported on Cuba’s environmental sustainability. Last week, National Public Radio broadcast a report on the remarkably pristine giant coral along Cuba’s northern coast. This photo was taken by “Calind,” who has provided the photo for public use.

Republicans and Democrats are immobilized by their mutual opposition, but Americans agree about a range of issues. Yesterday we considered domestic issues.

Today, we look at two key foreign policies. How would you feel if polls dictated our foreign policies?

Use of Force …

In his State of the Union (SOTU) address, Obama asked Congress to pass a resolution that would authorize the use of force against the ISIL, also known as ISIS. (The Administration prefers the term ISIL or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant over ISIS—Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.) We’re already using force against ISIL, but a Congressional resolution would convey broad political support.

What do Americans think about this use of force? Americans generally favor it, according to Gallup. In September 2014, Gallup asked respondents if they approved or opposed the military actions the U.S. was taking against ISIS. Two-thirds of Democrats (64%) said they approved. Two-thirds of Republicans (65%) also approved. A majority of political independents (55%) said they were in favor as well.

Opening doors to Cuba …

Obama also addressed foreign policy closer to home, calling for an end to the trade embargo with Cuba. On this issue, Pew has more recent data than Gallup. In a survey just this month, Pew found that almost two-thirds (63%) approved of re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba. And, two-thirds (66%) also favored ending the half-century-long trade embargo with the island nation.

Would you like to see a Congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force against ISIS?
Should we end the trade embargo with Cuba?
Should polls decide foreign policy?

Share your thoughts …

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  1. Don’t know how POTUS will authorize force against ISIL trrorists when he cannot even admit that
    Islamist terrorists exist or had anything to do with the recent attacks in Paris. No, polls should not
    decide foreign policy. How will Cuban government modify it’s decidedly non-democratic policies
    against its citizens in order to normalize diplomatic relations with the US?