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Should America be the world's police?

How much should we intervene in other countries’ affairs, if ever? 

How much power should the U.S. give to international institutions like the United Nations?

These are recurring questions that the American public revisits every few years. There is fierce debate on all sides of the political spectrum about how much influence and involvement the U.S. should have on the world stage.

With the United States consistently oscillating between isolationist and interventionist periods depending on the political climate, views about foreign policy tend to shift with the times. Even so, party divisions exist on this issue, as does common ground. Here are a few examples of data and stories to support that:

  • Both Republicans and Democrats rate preventing cyberattacks and terrorism amoung the top five most important foreign policy issues, according to 2022 Morning Consult data.
  • 57% of Republicans, 82% of Democrats, and 72% of Independents say the US should be more willing to make decisions with allies even if that results in the US agreeing to a policy that is not its first choice. This is from 2021 data from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. 
  • In the 2020 election, 57% of both Trump and Biden voters ranked foreign policy as very important to their voting decision according to Pew Research (Center biasdata.
  • 71% of Republicans and 76% of Democrats view the United States's involvement in the world economy as a good thing as stated in Pew Research’s 2019 data.
  • 75% of Republicans, 78% of Independents, and 90% of Democrats believe we shouls maintain or increase our commitment to The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), accroding to 2022 data from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Russia and Ukraine:

  • 85% of Democrats and 73% of Republicans say “working closely with U.S. allies across the world to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the right strategy for the United States,” Pew Research found. There is also bipartisan support for keeping strict economic sanctions on Russia (85% Republicans, 88% Democrats) and keeping the U.S. military in NATO countries near Ukraine (75% Republicans, 81% Democrats). There is bipartisan agreement that we should not take military action against Russia if it risks nuclear conflict (64% Republicans, 65% Democrats). 

  • Across the politiical spectrum there was majority support for increasing economic sanctions against Russia, accepting Ukrainian Refugees, and sending arms, military supplies, and additional economic assistance to Ukraine, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs found.

  • They also found majority of Americans, including Republicans and Democrats, were opposed to sending U.S. troops to fight in Ukraine. 

China and Taiwan:

  • Republicans (83%) and Democrats (68%) both view China unfavorably according to Pew Research data. 
  • A majority Democrats, Republicans, and Independents agree that if China were to invade Taiwan the U.S. should inmpose economic and diplomatic sanctions on China, accept Taiwanese refugees, send arms and military supplies to the Taiwanese government and use the U.S. Navy to prevent China from imposing a blockade around Taiwan. Majority of Americans would be opposed to sending U.S. troops to fight in Taiwan, according to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

See more examples of common ground on issues where you might not expect to find it:


Clare Ashcraft is the Bridging & Bias Assistant at AllSides. She has a Center bias.

This piece was reviewed by Managing Editor Henry A. Brechter (Center bias), News Research Assistant Ethan Horowitz(Lean Right Bias) and Daily News Editor Joseph D. Ratliff (Lean Left bias)