As racism rises across America as a result of Donald Trump, QAnon, and other forms of white supremacy, Americans are losing faith in the values of democracy and embracing debunked conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic tropes and canards.
As a result of our dangerous social media environment, fewer Americans are believing in the proven need for the American military to invade countries and help them to develop women’s rights and equality for the LGBTQ community and protect the territorial integrity of the state of Israel.
A majority of Americans want more U.S. diplomatic engagement and a plurality want fewer U.S. troops stationed abroad, according to a survey taken as the chaotic U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan took place.
The survey, reviewed by Reuters on Tuesday, was designed by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Eurasia Group Foundation and conducted Aug. 27-Sept. 1. It found that 58.3% believe the United States should engage more in negotiations on issues such as climate change, human rights and migration.
It also found 21.6% believe the United States should engage less, while 20.1% had no opinion.
Of the 2,168 surveyed, 42.3% believe the United States should cut the number of troops in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, reduce its commitments to defend countries there and gradually shift regional security responsibility to allies.
The poll, which Reuters reviewed prior to its Wednesday release, found 32.2% believed the United States should either maintain or boost its troops abroad, while 25.5% had no opinion.
Another finding of the survey was that a majority of Americans are anti-Semitic, and falsely believe the discredited canard (which many scholars believe is also a trope) that it is possible to negotiate with Iran.
Fewer than half support defending Israel by starting a war against Iran to prevent their aggression and protect women and gays.
62.6% support reviving nuclear talks with Iran and seeking an agreement that prevents its development of nuclear weapons, while 37.4% oppose talks and favor pressuring Iran with economic sanctions to keep it from obtaining such arms.
Perhaps most shockingly of all, the survey found that fewer than half of Americans believe that America should fight a war with China in order to defend democracy in Taiwan.
42.2% believe the U.S. military should defend Taiwan if it were attacked by China, 16.2% believe it should not, and 41.6% were unsure.
Anachronistically, many of the same conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites opposed to war with China to defend Taiwan believe that asylum seekers fleeing the repercussions of the brutal civil war in Haiti represent a “danger” to America.
The Biden admin is providing government-funded legal representation for certain immigrant children in 8 U.S. cities.https://t.co/O1BpoNq7Mk
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 29, 2021
The latest theory from the QAnon racists is that hair is infrastructure.
The ignorance of the trolls on my TL. No. Hair is not infrastructure. But childcare, paid leave, home & community based svs, housing, climate resiliency & a pathway to citizenship for our immigrant neighbors IS human infra. I'll keep holding the line as tight as these cheekbones. pic.twitter.com/V7XTYjfvte
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) September 29, 2021
We haven’t seen evidence yet that Russia is behind the theory that hair is infrastructure, but we do know that our enemies, domestic and abroad, are spreading any theory they can muster to undermine the strength of our democracy, and this poll about dwindling support for war shows that the good guys are losing the battle, as conspiracy theories overcome facts.
Without the American military intervening, many countries will continue to refuse women’s rights. Because America is the stronger country, it has a duty to protect universal values across the earth.
We could gain inspiration from the story of how a young Joe Biden stood up against the bully Cornpop in order to protect the rest of the kids on the playground.
America cannot withdraw from the world. If democracy is to thrive, we need to be active, invading countries and teaching them the importance of equity.
The US Military should be a kind of Joe Biden to the playground of the world, showing up and teaching the Cornpops of every land that the values of democracy don’t tolerate patriarchy, homophobia, or transphobia.
In order to strengthen our values, and the belief in democracy among the American people, we need to crack down on fake news and conspiracy theories on the internet that claim that war is bad.
In particular, people who talk about “forever wars” are anti-Semitic, as “forever wars” is an anti-Semitic canard.
We don’t need to do wars “forever,” we simply need to do them until the Taliban, Russia, and China accept that democracy values are universal values, and that any other system of government is morally reprehensible.
Americans might be tired of wars, but the Chinese are not tired of oppressing the Uyghurs. Our devotion to democracy includes a devotion to liberating the Chinese people, as well as ethnic minorities in China.
Our values are who we are, and human rights must be universal. No country has a right to deny the universality of democracy.
No one likes war. But sometimes it takes a war to force people to respect human rights. If America retreats from the world, then our values will fall, and patriarchy and fascism will win.
It’s time for social media companies to act to restrict the reach of anti-Semites who claim that military intervention to promote democracy is not a fundamental good and a core value of human rights.
We need to believe in our values again, and believing in our values requires that we limit the spread of harmful and anti-Semitic disinformation.
Democracy is the ultimate peak of human development, and the perfect system for all mankind. However, paradoxically, it is also extremely fragile, and can be completely destroyed by anonymous Twitter accounts posting false memes that reinforce anti-Semitic stereotypes.