x

Politics

Nyet Again! Americans See Cold War Back

Late night comedians had a field day late in 2012 when GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Russia is the United States’ biggest threat. Even President Obama in the final debate turned to him and quipped: “the eighties called – they want their foreign policy back.”

But after Russian leader Vladimir Putin invaded and seized Crimea, Romney’s remark doesn’t seem all that funny anymore.

In fact, a recent Gallup Poll revealed that half of Americans think the U.S. and Russia are headed back to Cold War.

In fact, the real sentiment is even higher than that, as a closer look at the numbers will indicate. Seven percent had “no opinion” to that topic, which means that more Americans – by a margin of 50 to 43 percent – think that a return to Cold War is likely.

That belief gets even stronger when looking at poll respondents’ age groups.

Keeping in mind that the Cold War essentially ended in 1991, and that it much of perception of a Soviet threat did not begin to dissipate until about ten years earlier than that, the minimum age of someone who really lived through a bona fide Cold War threat is 50. And 50-somethings weren’t even born – or were far too young to remember – the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, let alone the Red Scare of the 1950s.

Those who are 65 and older are the ones who grew up with bomb shelters, nuclear drills, and with thought of Armageddon everpresent in their minds. And they are the ones that, by a wide margin, 65 to 26 percent, think we are heading back to Cold War. The only age group that doesn’t envision another Cold War more likely than not is the one that didn’t live through the first one or was too young to remember it: the 18-to-29 year-olds.

Even more telling is how little this seems to have to do with politics. Predictably (because they are the “colder” Cold Warriors), more Republicans think another Cold War is looming than Democrats or Independents do. But the numbers are not that far off: Responding yes by party affiliation: Republicans (67%), Independents (47%) and Democrats (44%). Granted the Republican-to Democrat gap seems wide, but the more significant number might be that even among Democrats, almost half of them think Cold War is on the way.
All of this is particularly significant considering that no major Democratic or Republican leader has hinted as such – most insisting that we are in fact not heading down that road.

Of course, much of this may be an overreaction to the current Ukraine situation. In a few weeks, if there is a pleasantly surprising outcome, the looming Cold War threat in Americans’ minds might dissipate. Maybe even sooner than that. “America is a 10-day country,” former presidential candidate Michael Dukakis used to say, meaning that after 10-days, Americans seem to forget what it was that had been troubling them.

Whether the latest Cold War concerns are knee-jerk reactions or bona fide prognostications remain to be seen.

RELATED

NEW YORK  — More than 72 hours after Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny 's death in an Arctic penal colony, former President Donald Trump mentioned him by name for the first time in a post on his social media site that focused not on Navalny, but his own legal woes.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

By Defining Sex, Some States Are Denying Transgender People Legal Recognition

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Mack Allen, an 18-year-old high school senior from Kansas, braces for sideways glances, questioning looks and snide comments whenever he has to hand over his driver's license, which still identifies him as female.

CHICAGO – The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) presents the Trial of Pericles on Wednesday, April 17, 7 PM, at the Harris Theater, 205 East Randolph Street in Chicago.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden implored the top four leaders of Congress Tuesday to act quickly to avoid a looming government shutdown early next month and to pass emergency aid for Ukraine and Israel, as a legislative logjam in the GOP-led House showed no signs of abating.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A moon lander that ended up on its side managed to beam back more pictures, with only hours remaining before it dies.

WASHINGTON (AP) — As he prepared to take office three years ago, Joe Biden's incoming administration considered a host of possible options to fulfill a campaign pledge to end the federal death penalty.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.