Monday, October 29, 2012

Plurality of Americans see the Arab Spring as bad for the US

As well aware of public sentiment as I like to think I am, I'm not impervious to the occasional surprise, this one of the pleasant variety. The following graphic comes from Pew Research's recent report on how Americans feel about our involvement in the Middle East and North Africa generally and the 'Arab Spring' in particular:

Quite encouraging. Americans were instinctively skeptical of the uprisings as the numbers from the beginning as the March/April 2011 show--pluralities thought they would "not lead to lasting improvements" and would "be bad for the United States" and an outright majority, in defiance of neocons and the interventionist left, expressed a preference for stable governments over democratically formed ones in the Arab world. Since then, these "America First" positions have only become firmer.

Further, the Republican electorate appears to have lost some of the enthusiasm for preaching messianic democracy with the aim of remaking the rest of the world in our own image over the last decade:

 That shouldn't be oversold, though:

The GOP has long way to go before it's the party of Rand Paul, but the country is inching in his direction. I'll gladly take evidence that the ratchet doesn't have to inexorably move in just one direction all the time where I can get it.

Welcome news as this may be, however, it's disheartening that most Americans don't have a presidential candidate from either of the major parties who shares their sentiments on our nation's relations with Muslim countries.


Noah172 said...

49 percent of the under-30s want to avoid war with Iran, versus only 24 percent of geezers.

IOW, the pool of people from whom the fighters of said war would be drawn, and the people who would suffer the most from economic consequences of said war (increased national debt, sky-high oil prices, higher unemployment, etc.) show a healthy skepticism. The people who will not fight this war, and are somewhat more insulated from its economic repercussions (or who, in any case, won't live long to suffer these repercussions) aren't showing healthy skepticism.

Also, look at this graph from that Pew report:

US support of Israel Total R D I

Too suppotive 22 13 25 26

Not supportive enough 25 46 9 24

About right 41 34 55 39

I wonder how many of those answering "not supportive enough" -- especially that whopping 46 percent of Republicans, mostly premillenial Dispensationalist loons, I figure -- have any ****ing clue how much support we give to Israel, year in and year out, no matter who is in nominally in charge in Washington. I ask because there are "Christian" Zionists who cannot locate Israel on a map, have never heard of the USS Liberty or Jonathan Pollard, and are unaware of the existence of Palestinian and other Arab Christians (who oppose Israeli policies pretty much unanimously).

Anonymous said...

It is not like the Arab Spring is "good" for arabs. Poor bastards; they are their own worst enemy.

Ron Unz said...

Dear Epigone,

Back in 2008, there was some discussion on various blogsites including yours of the surprising finding that (white) Episcopalians had slightly higher Wordsum-IQ than Jews, with the difference being 109.9 vs. 109.

In the last couple of days, I've tried to replicate that results on the GSS site, and can't, whether I use DENOM or DENOM16. I'm getting a high figure for the Episcopalians, but a point or two below the Jewish one.

I wonder if you're sure about that result, and if so, what you think I might be doing wrong. I'm sure you're much more expert in using GSS than I am.

Anonymous said...

Ashkenazi Jews, the only Jews posited to have elevated IQ, are an ethnic group that has absorbed few outsiders until the last 25 years (via intermarriage). Are Episcopalians an ethnic group? Have they absorbed converts? The answer to the second question is yes as membership in the Episcopal church was seen as prestigious and a marker of social advancement. Given that luster, it is not unreasonable to expect that those converts would have been both wealthier and more intelligent than average.

Audacious Epigone said...


I didn't run the GSS numbers myself since the Inductivist already had, so I'm not sure what specific parameters he used. One point of difference might be that your pulling the '08 and '10 surveys while his only ran through '06.

Checking it without time or racial restrictions, I'm getting 7.10 for Episcopalians and 7.33 for Jews, or about 1/10th of a SD, which roughly translates into 1.5 IQ points. That seems pretty close to what the Inductivist found.

Ron Unz said...

Thanks. Without using any date constraints but with RACE=WHITE, I'm getting a difference pretty close to yours, though the gap changes in size when I use RELIG16/DENOM16 rather than RELIG/DENOM.

However, in all cases the Jewish Wordsum is higher than the (white) Episcopal one, which was the opposite of the reported 2008 finding (which got attention exactly because the conventional wisdom is that Jews have the highest IQ, especially on a Verbal-loaded test like Wordsum).

Anyway, it's nice to see you're getting the same sort of result I am, and since I left a note for the Inductivist fellow, maybe he'll dig through his old findings and see what happened.