Age and Political Party Shape Americans’ Attitudes to Russia
Eric ZUESSE | 25.02.2017 | WORLD / Americas

Age and Political Party Shape Americans’ Attitudes to Russia

The ‘Cold War’ (U.S. versus Soviet Union — now fear of Russia) is increasingly hot for America’s Democrats, and for America’s oldsters; but not for Republicans and youngsters. How can this be explained? Considering the facts, these parts of the picture-puzzle fit together, to show a remarkable picture of where America is heading.

A Survey Monkey poll issued on February 22nd by NBC News found:

While 73 percent of Republicans under 30 have a positive view of Russia's relationship with the United States, just 31 percent of Republicans 65 and older say Russia is friendly or an ally. Of course, the age divide could be due in part to older Americans' experience with the Cold War. ...

Overall, Republicans and Republican-leaners are split on whether they think Russia is friendly or an ally (50 percent), while 49 percent think Russia is unfriendly or an enemy of the United States. Democrats and Democratic-leaners think the opposite — 75 percent consider Russia to be unfriendly or an enemy.

Those are huge group-differences: there’s around 50% more hostility toward Russia among Democrats than among Republicans, and there’s more than twice as much hostility toward Russia among old Republicans as there is among young Republicans.

The Survey Monkey reliability-rating by 538 dot com is C-, and this pollster was found to have called 91% of political contests accurately; so, it’s a respected but not outstanding polling organization. This means that we can at least say with confidence, that, as groups, Republicans are far less hostile toward Russia than Democrats are, and young Americans (or at least young Republicans) are far less hostile toward Russia than old ones are.

A deeper understanding of these enormous group-differences results from interpreting this poll in the light of the Gallup polling organization’s findings over decades of polling Americans’ attitudes towards Russia. The latest such results and long-term trend-lines are presented and analyzed here. What they show that’s relevant to both the age-differential and the Party-differential, that are indicated in this Survey Monkey poll, is that during the second Presidential term of a highly polarizing Democratic Presidency, Barack Obama’s 2nd term, 2012-2016, Americans' overall favorability-rating of Russia plunged, during the period while this polarizing Democratic President was declaring Russia to be the world’s most “aggressive” country; and, since America was (and still is) politically very polarized, Democrats believed that, to a much greater extent than Republicans did. Democrats’ trust in Obama was far higher.

There was one worldwide poll taken on the question of “Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?” and it surveyed 67,806 respondents from 65 countries during 2013, and found that by an overwhelming margin, the United States was mentioned by the most people; three times as many as named the #2 most-mentioned country, Pakistan; and Russia was only #12 on that list. (Even in Germany, the U.S. was #1 as “the greatest threat to peace in the world today.”) But, according to Gallup’s annual tracking of Americans’ attitudes toward Russia, Americans’ favorability toward Russia had already plunged from 50% down to 45% between the start of 2012 and the start of 2013, and then it plunged even more sharply down to 34% by the start of 2014; so, whatever news Americans were reading or hearing about Russia was already highly negative (far more so than in the other 64 nations in the global poll) even as early as 2012. Worldwide, Russia actually wasn’t viewed as an aggressor-country, certainly not nearly as much as the U.S. was during that time; but Americans thought that Russia, not America, was bad.

As regards the enormous age-differential in attitudes toward Russia that was shown in the Survey-Monkey poll among Republicans — 73% favorable among young Republicans, versus 30% favorable among old ones — that is almost certainly a result of the lingering anti-communist Cold War pre-1991 period when the U.S. and its NATO, versus the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact, produced decades of American hostility toward Russia which still largely shape the attitudes of today’s old Americans, but are only history never having been news as far as young Americans are concerned.

However, Americans’ hostility toward Russia was actually an engineered phenomenon, driven by a coup in Ukraine, “the most blatant coup in history” (though it was hidden by most of the Western press), which President Obama’s team perpetrated and set up to appear to have been a ‘democratic revolution’, on Russia’s doorstep. That hostility, after the original Cold War, wasn’t merely a continuation of the original Cold War and of its old threats and prejudices. Obama’s State Department had been planning this coup since at least 2011.

And, since 2011 (except for 2013), Gallup has polled Americans annually in February on “What country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy today?"

In 2011, only 3% volunteered “Russia.” In 2012, that percentage was only 2%. In 2014, when there were anti-government demonstrations in Ukraine, it soared to 9%. In 2015, a year after America’s coup (called a ‘democratic revolution’) in Ukraine, and the consequent breakaway of two Ukrainian regions (Crimea and Donbass) both of which had voted over 75% for the overthrown leader, this percentage doubled to 18%, and Russia in that year topped all other countries on Americans’ ‘enemies’ list. Then, in 2016, the percentage reduced slightly to 15% and Russia went down a notch to become America’s #2 ‘enemy’.

Clearly, Ukraine — or rather the U.S. press-coverage and misrepresentations about it — was the pivot, which restored the Cold War, hatred of Russia, and Americans’ appetite to spend more on ‘defense’ big-time, especially nuclear — that’s to say, against Russia. This is the boondoggle-supreme, for what Dwight Eisenhower had called “the military-industrial complex.” They yearned for a return to ‘the good old days’ of unlimited ‘defense’ budgets, and it’s happening, with cutbacks in non-‘defense’ spending.

America’s old people remember ‘the good old days’ and communism, and the Soviet Union, and so are inclined to believe that those things never really went away, after all. And, Democrats, who especially were suckered by Obama and his ‘news’ media, and even young Democrats (since they too trust Obama), are especially so inclined — but old Democrats are the most inclined to fear Russia.

The Republican President, Donald Trump, now (after having been portrayed in the media as ‘Putin’s Puppet’), has been taken over by that same military-industrial complex, which controlled Obama. The political Party might change, but the military-industrial complex’s party, it seems, will go on, as before. Different President, different political Party, but same policy on what actually matters the most to the future of the nation, and of the world, and that’s World War III — here we come, and there we now are heading; and old Democrats are leading the way there; Trump is following them.

That’s the picture these facts convey.

Tags: Russia  US  Obama  Trump