Questioning Foreign Intervention Is Not Isolationist; It’s The American Thing To Do
The term “isolationism” has been used as a pejorative to lump together conservative-leaning Americans who do not support the interventionist policy of the current administration. Their point of view is dismissed as selfish and uninterested in the world’s crises.
Were there pure isolationists—with zero desire to engage, even commercially, outside American borders—throughout the 250-year history of the United States? Sure. But more likely, there were right-of-center Americans throughout the last two centuries who have reflected on the cautions of George Washington, John Quincy Adams, Robert Taft, George Kennan, Dwight Eisenhower, and yes, Donald Trump, and urged military restraint in their respective moments.
George Washington warned against foreign entanglements drawing the United States into other countries’ wars. Adams stated that searching for “monsters to destroy” could corrupt our banners of liberty through imperialism. Taft and Kennan believed fighting communism through war would be counterproductive. Eisenhower made famous the phrase “military-industrial complex” to indicate a permanent war state. Ronald Reagan, another yet Republican president, chose to talk to Gorbachev rather than launch nuclear WWIII.
Read the full piece in Divided We Fall.