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Public Opinion

Majority Of Australians Oppose US War On China

A majority of Australians (51 percent) want Australia to adopt a policy of neutrality when it comes to considering a U.S. war against China, according to the latest polling by the Lowy Institute think tank. The poll, conducted in 2022, reinforces earlier polling by the Lowy Institute that found most Australians, while happy to support military involvement in humanitarian interventions or peacekeeping, do not want the country to support U.S. military action in a war against China – and the number of Australians saying this is increasing each year polled (2020 63 percent, up from 2013 60 percent). This runs contrary to mainstream media representations of such polling

Change The World And Watch Public Opinion Follow

The work of political struggle goes on constantly, forever and ever, without end. True moments of opportunity, though, come about rarely and without warning. They cannot be manufactured; they can only be taken advantage of. The lulls between them — like right now — are the time to remember the lesson that we always seem to forget when things get interesting: Forget public opinion. Public opinion is a trap. Capture the structures when you have the chance. In my adult lifetime there have been two great moments of opportunity for the Left. One was after the 2008 financial crisis, a period that you can generously construe as lasting several years, through the heyday of the Occupy movement.

What Polls About A Ukraine ‘No-Fly Zone’ Really Tell Us

Last week, Reuters/Ipsos reported on a poll that found some 74% of Americans said the United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization should impose a no-fly zone in Ukraine. This was a surprising result, because there was strong bipartisan opposition in Congress to such an action. Typically, public opinion―especially on foreign policy―tends to reflect the prevailing political consensus. That poll announcement was followed this week from a report from YouGov (3/9/22) about three polls it had recently conducted―two for the Economist (2/6/22–3/1/22 and 3/5–8/22), and one for US News (3/7–9/22). The earliest poll found 45% of Americans saying it was a “good idea” for the US to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, with 20% saying it was a “bad idea.” The second poll showed a smaller margin of support, 40% to 30%.

The Public Has Been Ignored For Too Long On Pipelines

In school, we’re taught that the U.S. is a nation of laws, and no one is above the law. But for communities nationwide fighting natural gas pipelines, they quickly find that the law is stacked against them. Imagine receiving notice one day that a pipeline is going to cut through your property — maybe just yards away from your home, mowing down old growth trees, and cutting through pristine springs. The pipeline will endanger your family, damage your business, threaten your drinking water, and lower the value of your home. It could leak or even explode. But when you go through the process of objecting to the permitting of the pipeline, or file a case in court when that doesn’t work, you discover that the pipeline company is allowed to tear down trees on your property and begin work before your case is ever decided.

From A Friend In Aleppo: Syrians Are Laughing At US!

Just got an e-mail from a friend of mine in Aleppo regarding the recent "Friday the 13th" missile strike there -- brought to the Syrian people courtesy of FUK-US (France, the United Kingdom and the U.S.)  My friend watched the event on Syrian TV and apparently it was like watching a low-budget horror movie -- not all that scary.  70% of the missiles were shot down by Syrian equipment left over from the 1960s.  So much for Fire and Fury. "Yes, it was was a very long day here," wrote my friend, "and I watched Trump's ‘made-for TV movie’ from beginning to end.  I woke up around 3:50 am and switched on the television in time to see the terrorist Trump, live, giving his signal for the attack."  And my friend then stayed awake until 11:30 pm the next evening, not wanting to miss any part of the show.

Public Is Overwhelmingly Opposed To Endless US Military Interventions

Last week, the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Foreign Policy—a bipartisan advocacy group calling for congressional oversight of America’s lengthy list of military interventions abroad—released the results of a survey that show broad public support for Congress to reclaim its constitutional prerogatives in the exercise of foreign policy (see Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution) and for fewer US military interventions generally.

Poll: Most Americans Want Government To Fight Climate Change

By Timothy Cama for The Hill - More than 6 in 10 Americans believe that climate change is a problem that the federal government needs to address, according to a new poll. The poll, conducted in August by The Associated Press-NORC Center and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, found a large majority of Americans in both major parties believe that climate change is happening. But Americans’ opinions are less clear when it comes to what action they feel should be taken. Just 51 percent of respondents were willing to pay $1 a month to combat global warming, a figure that dropped to 18 percent when the prospective monthly fee increased to $100. “These results put the polarized climate debate in sharp relief, but also point to the possibility of a path forward,” Michael Greenstone, director of the Energy Policy Institute, said in a statement accompanying its Monday release. “Although half of households said they were unwilling to pay anything for a carbon policy in their monthly electricity bills, on average Americans would pay about $30 per month, as a meaningful share of households report that they are willing to pay a substantial amount,” he said. “So, while the raw economics appears to be less and less of a problem, the open question is whether it is feasible to devise a robust climate policy that accommodates these very divergent viewpoints.” Opinions were not entirely clear on hot-button climate policy issues, either. Only 17 percent of respondents said they support fracking. But if the pollster said it would save the respondent significantly on natural gas bill, support averaged 41 percent.

Just Like Healthcare Needs A Public Option, So Does Banking

By Zach Cartwright for Public Banking Institute - The recent kerfuffle over private health insurance companies refusing to accommodate those with plans acquired through the Affordable Care Act exchanges has exposed a glaring issue -- why don't we have a public option to compete with private health insurance profiteers? The same could be said for banking, as well. When health insurance giant Aetna pulled out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges, ACA opponents calling for its repeal celebrated the measure as proof that President Barack Obama's signature health care legislation was too cumbersome and too expensive for insurers to accommodate.

90 Percent Of Public Lacks Trust In US Political System

By Staff of AP and NORC - Seventy percent of Americans say they feel frustrated about this year's presidential election, including roughly equal proportions of Democrats and Republicans, according to a recent national poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. More than half feel helpless and a similar percent are angry. Nine in 10 Americans lack confidence in the country's political system, and among a normally polarized electorate, there are few partisan differences in the public's lack of faith in the political parties, the nominating process, and the branches of government.

Riots And Social Change

By Jonathan Chait in NY Mag - The recent spate of protests against police brutality have changed the way the left thinks about rioting. The old liberal idea, which distinguished between peaceful protests (good) and rioting (bad), has given way to a more radical analysis. “Riots work,” insists George Ciccariello-Maher in Salon. “But despite the obviousness of the point, an entire chorus of media, police, and self-appointed community leaders continue to try to convince us otherwise, hammering into our heads a narrative of a nonviolence that has never worked on its own, based on a mythical understanding of the Civil Rights Movement.” Vox’s German Lopez, while acknowledging the downside of random violence, argues, “Riots can lead to real, substantial change.”

What Did NSA Leaks Change About Public Opinion?

By David Sirota in IB Times - Two years ago this month, a 29-year-old government contractor named Edward Snowden became the Daniel Ellsberg of his generation, delivering to journalists a tranche of secret documents shedding light on the government’s national security apparatus. But while Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers detailing one specific military conflict in Southeast Asia, Snowden released details of the U.S. government’s sprawling surveillance machine that operates around the globe. In the years since Snowden’s historic act of civil disobedience, the politics of surveillance have evolved. For much of the early 2000s, politicians of both parties competed to show who could be a bigger booster of the National Security Agency’s operations, fearing that any focus on civil liberties might make them look soft on terrorism.

Americans Don’t Support Another Iraq War

Americans mostly oppose direct U.S. military action to help the Iraqi government fight Islamic militants threatening to take control of that country. A June 20-21 Gallup poll finds 54% of Americans opposed to and 39% in favor of taking such action, lower than the level of support for other potential U.S. military actions in recent decades. Americans were much more likely to favor taking military action against Iraq before the previous wars in 1991 and 2003, although both of those efforts were undertaken to oppose Saddam Hussein's regime. After Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the percentage in favor of sending U.S. troops there started out low at 23%. By the fall, after President George H.W. Bush built an international coalition in favor of military action, a majority of Americans were in favor, including 55% in January 1991 just before the Persian Gulf War began. A consistent majority of Americans supported sending U.S. ground troops to Iraq "in an attempt to remove Saddam Hussein from power" from the time the question was first asked in 1992 until the U.S. actually did so in March 2003. A March 14-15, 2003, poll conducted on the eve of the war found 64% of Americans in favor of taking such action.
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