By Bill Wilson
Public support for arming and funding military operations in Ukraine has dropped substantially from a year ago, and public opinion has turned decidedly in favor of non-intervention. A new AP poll shows over half of Americans reject outfitting Ukraine with weapons and sending financial aid to the country, and objection is highest among Republicans.
While war hawks on both sides of the aisle work to further ensnare the U.S. in the geopolitical disputes of Eastern Europe, the American people largely see the dispute as a minor threat to U.S. interests and do not want to become more involved.
The Pew Research Center found the share of Americans who think the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a “major threat” to U.S. interests has dropped in both parties. Well under half of Democrats (43%) now see the Ukraine situation as a “major threat” and just 29% of Republicans do. Pew also found the share of American who think the U.S. is giving too much aid to Ukraine is up 19 percentage points since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.
The war-hungry globalists pushing for intervention in Ukraine are losing power over public perception, but nonetheless it is still undeniably leftists beating the drums of war the loudest. If you are antiwar in 2023 but still identify as a Democrat you are in the wrong party.
Two-thirds of Democrats (63%) support arming Ukraine with weapons compared to 39% of Republicans, and 59% of Democrats support sending government funds to Ukraine compared to 21% of Republicans.
Democrats also support arming Ukraine with fighter jets (62%), long range missiles (61%), and tanks (69%) at far higher rates than Republicans do. Less than half of Republicans support arming Ukraine with these weapons for war.
Public support for continuing to supply Ukraine with weapons has dropped from 60% in May 2022 to under half (48%) today. Sending funds to Ukraine was never particularly popular among the public, but what little support there was for funding Ukraine’s disagreement with Russia is rapidly eroding. Just 37% of Americans now believe the U.S. should continue sending funds to Ukraine, down from a lukewarm 44% in May 2022.
What is more, almost three-quarters of Americans say the U.S. should have either a minor role (49%) or no role at all (24%) in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, while just 26% say the U.S. should have a major role.
The share of Democrats who say the U.S. should have a major role remains substantially higher than the share of Republicans at 40%, down from 48% last March. Back in March just over a third of Republicans (35%) believed the U.S should have a major role, but that sits at just 17% today.
Democrats beating the drums of war is sure to have repercussions with younger voters and minorities within the base. YouGov polling shows only 17% of Hispanics believe the U.S. should give more aid to Ukraine compared to around a quarter of Whites and Blacks. Hispanics, Millennials, and Gen X, are also more wary than other groups of arming Ukraine with weapons of war, including long range missiles, tanks, and fighter jets.
Americans for Limited Government Foundation found that younger voters won’t even consider a candidate who supports foreign wars. Our research shows 68% of young Republicans, an equal share of young Democrats (68%) and 71% of young Independents say the U.S. should stay out of international conflicts as much as possible and over half would not support a candidate who supports foreign wars.
The tide turning in favor of non-interventionism is breathing life back into the idea of peace through strength, and that is essential if the U.S. is going to fortify our own military should we be threatened directly.
Support for intervention in Ukraine was used by those in power as a political litmus test, much like the draconian covid-19 mandates were. It was intended to test compliance – obedience to those faceless bureaucrats who actually control the government. Originally, close to two-thirds of Americans bought into the idea that the U.S. should involve itself in Ukraine, but that number has shrunk to less than half. Americans have rejected the litmus test and thrown it right back. After watching the costly, pointless, and drawn-out nightmare that became our legacy in Afghanistan, the American people are weary of entering an equally worthless course in Ukraine.
As the cheerleaders for war make speeches calling for ever greater amounts of treasurer to Ukraine and ever increasing risk of serious war for the U.S., their voters are walking away. Whether Mitch McConnell’s blind subservience to the Deep State or Joe Biden’s dutiful reading of the que-cards, the so-called “leaders” of both parties could not be more out of step with the public than they are today.
Bill Wilson is the former President of Americans for Limited Government.
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