Public Opinion On Foreign Policy

1852 Words May 8th, 2015 8 Pages
The impact of public opinion on America’s foreign policy has always been significant but has increased in the last decades and now plays a pivotal role in the development and implementation of America’s strategy abroad. This paper explores the effects of public opinion on foreign policy in the United States’ recent history, focussing on security and economic issues. How strongly the public express their views on a particular issue is normally connected with the implications the policy will have on them personally. Whilst it must be recognised that gender, race, religion, region and age have a large impact on the views of individual, public opinion refers to what the majority of Americans believe at the particular point in time.
Foreign policy has always presented a challenge for democratic governments as they are elected to serve the wishes of the people, however the majority of the Americans have little knowledge and vague opinions about foreign policy. Although many presidents have maintained that they are not governed by public opinion, all governments since the late 60s have employed pollsters to track the public approval. When drafting the United States Constitution, the founding fathers debated the role of the common man in deciding foreign policy and decided reliable and stable government is preferable to the ‘numerous and changeable’ opinions of the people. It was said that the public is likely to be only interested in ‘nationality, justice or traditional…
Open Document