Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Why Support For Better Cuba Relations Means Little

Much is being made of the new Atlantic Council poll indicating that a majority of Americans support normalizing relations with Cuba. This isn't particularly new, and raises similar questions that have been raised in the past. The big one is if popular sentiment goes along these lines, then why does the policy as a whole not budge?

I think the core of the answer is pretty simple. The vast majority of Americans don't care at all about Cuba. Those who support normalization don't care very much about it. On a list of priorities they would place it really, really, low. Therefore if it never happens, they remain unconcerned, and will never alter their voting behavior as a result.

The tiny minority of Americans of oppose normalization care about it very deeply. On a list of priorities it would be high; for some, number one. Therefore they will fight very hard, expend considerable political capital, and spend a lot of money to make sure the embargo and other similar policies remain firmly in place.

Therefore the second group wins. It simply does not matter what a majority of Americans support if they do not really care about it.


Peter pearl 4:09 AM  


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