The United Nations
On no topic do policy practitioners misread the U.S. public more than on the subject of the United Nations. The dominant view, especially among congressional interviewees, was that most Americans have a negative attitude toward the UN, would oppose strengthening it, oppose paying UN dues, and resist using U.S. military force as part of a UN military operation. Polls, however, paint quite a different picture of a majority that strongly supports the UN and U.S. participation in it, would favor strengthening the UN, supports paying UN dues, and strongly prefers using military force through the UN over acting alone. The majority does have a number of reservations about UN performance, but these appear to be no greater than their reservations about other major public institutions and do not lead to a desire to disengage from the UN.
Our elite interviewees were asked, "How do you think most Americans feel about the UN?" Approximately half said that most Americans have a negative attitude. A strong majority of members of Congress (four-fifths)