People in the United States feel under threat, both from beyond our borders and within them and as Reuters reports, when asked about both U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, it was a pretty darn close call. A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds a third of Republicans believe President Barack Obama poses an imminent threat to the United States, outranking concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The blame, according to one sociologist, "the TV media here, and American politics, very much trade on fears."
On the bright side for the Administration, ISIS and Al Qaeda still outrank him as more imminent threats... so that's good (considering he is a Nobel Peace Prize winner).
A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll asked more than 3,000 Americans what they see as some of the biggest threats to themselves and the country. Overall it was close - 20% saw Putin as an imminent threat compared to 18% who said the same about Obama.
I think it’s safe to say that a national security expert might not agree with the public’s choices.
More people fear Boko Haram, a scary but ragged Islamic radical group in Nigeria that might have trouble paying for plane tickets to the United States, than Russia, which recently invaded a major European country. And a whopping 34 percent consider Kim Jong-un, the leader of impoverished North Korea, an imminent threat. Kim may have a couple of nukes, but otherwise his nation is a basket case, so poor that it relies on international aid to feed itself. Though considering how fast Sony Pictures pulled “The Interview” from theaters, I guess the public’s not alone in being afraid of the young man with the unique hairstyle.
Perhaps the most disturbing part, however, is how Americans view each other, simply because of the political party they favor. Thirteen percent of us see the Republican and Democratic parties as an imminent threat. That’s the same number who think the Chinese might be.
The Guardian also notes, a third of Republicans believe President Barack Obama poses an imminent threat to the United States, outranking concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
People who were polled were most concerned about threats related to potential terror attacks.
Islamic State militants were rated an imminent threat by 58% of respondents, and al Qaeda by 43%. North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un was viewed as a threat by 34%, and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei by 27%.
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Meanwhile, the world is certainly worried about the United States.
In a Gallup survey of people in 65 countries, about one quarter named the United States as the greatest threat to world peace.
Maybe that should not be so surprising, as only about half of Americans know which country was the only one to ever drop a nuclear bomb.
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