As I've documented previously, American governmental policies differ sharply from the desires of the American people. The American people recognize that their government doesn't serve their interests. That's why 80% of the American people think the country is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves and not the benefit of all people. I think that perception is accurate based on the evidence.
Several interesting questions are polled here. Let's start with our attitude towards Cuba. Should all US citizens be permitted to travel to Cuba? 68% of Americans say yes, 21% say no. What about the embargo, which has been condemned every year at the UN since 1992 by such margins as 173 nations to 3? Americans support trade with Cuba at a rate of 62 to 26%
Americans think the war on drugs is failing by a margin of 76 to 11%. What should we do? Our government focuses most of it's energy on source country control, which studies show is the least cost effective method. Some Americans think that's the single best way to deal with the problem. 13%. 19% suggest treatment and eduction, 27% say legalize some, and 8% say end the war altogether.
What about NAFTA? When NAFTA was passed it was opposed by the public by a margin of 2 to 1 according to the Wall St Journal. In this '08 poll 58% indicate it should be revised or withdrawn compared to 21% that believe it should remain the same.
There's an interesting poll regarding the thoughts of Americans on Iran here. Americans support a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East by a margin of 71 to 21% (incidentally Iranians also favor this by 71 to 18%). The Iranian government supports it. The US blocks it. By a margin of 55 to 38% Americans believe Iran should have the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes just like any other signer of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Our government demands that they stop.
This poll regarding Iran was taken in 2007. At that time 58% of Americans wanted withdrawal of US forces from Iraq within 2 years or less while only 38% said forces should only be reduced as the security situation improves.
How about the roll of the UN? Do Americans look favorably upon the UN becoming more powerful? Yes, by 66 to 32 percent.
The US government stands opposed to the positions that Americans hold by lopsided margins. But then these policies serve the interests of the few powerful interests looking out for themselves and not the public at large.