It has been a remarkable few weeks around the world.
Britain voted to leave the European Union. China rejected an international court’s ruling on the South China Sea dispute. A truck rammed into a crowd in Nice, France, killing 84 people, in an attack for which the Islamic State subsequently claimed responsibility. And, to top it all off, a coup attempt in Turkey during the weekend has reignited debate about the country’s continued membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Given all these developments, many are wondering how presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump would handle such events if he became president. Trump is a businessman with no real political record. It has becoming increasingly clear that Trump views the world very differently than the U.S. foreign policy establishment.
And, perhaps more importantly, so do his supporters.
A poll from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs released Monday contrasts the views of Trump’s core supporters and Republicans who wanted another candidate to win their party’s nomination. It reveals a remarkable divergence of opinion about the world and America’s place in it among supporters of the same party.
When looking at the difference in opinions between those who name Trump as their “top choice for president” (31 percent) and those who name a different candidate (65 percent), a few themes stand out. First, almost 70 percent of supporters of other potential candidates said they favored the United States playing an active role in world affairs, but only 55 percent of core Trump supporters agreed.
Trump supporters are also more likely to question foreign policy orthodoxy, with only 34 percent saying that maintaining existing alliances is a very effective way to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals.
That pattern continues with regard to NATO, one of the world’s longest-lasting and most important military alliances. Only around four in 10 core Trump supporters say that NATO is essential to U.S. security vs. 61 percent of those who favored other candidates.
These concerns are reflected in ideas about trade, too. Only half of core Trump supporters say globalization is good for the country, while 62 percent of those who preferred other candidates do. Trump supporters are also more concerned about protecting American jobs (86 percent deem it very important, compared with 72 percent of other Republicans), and less than half (47 percent) supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, as opposed to 58 percent of supporters of other candidates, the poll found.
SOURCE: Adam Taylor
The Washington Post