Saturday, February 26, 2011

All-American Isolationism

Jack Hunter says that "at least at the moment, a majority of Americans don’t appear to be as insane as their rulers," citing surveys showing "most Americans (67%) say the United States should leave the situation in the Arab countries alone" and "that 73% of Americans support eliminating all foreign aid" — Is Isolationism on the Rise?

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

An interesting post. I would contend that isolationism isn't on the rise -- and that it has never been an American trait. America and Americans have never been isolationist -- our government and our people have had productive relationships with other nations in the economic and humanitarian spheres. Non-interventionism is the traditional American policy -- not involving ourselves militarily or politically in how other countries order their societies. But that is different from isolationism.

8:36 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

You're right, of course; "isolationism" is nothing but an epithet to be dismiss non-interventionism, which, you are also right to say, "is the traditional American policy."

When it comes to foreign aid, even so-called isolationists like Pat Buchanan argue that American boots should be the first on the ground when earthquakes and other disaasters occur overseas. Propping up dictators like Mubarek for decades on end is another matter.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Indeed. There is a huge difference between isolationism and an active but non-interventionist foreign policy. Aside from a very few countries where I think for historical reasons we do have both heightened interests and responsibilities (England, Liberia, Philippines), a non-interventionist foreign policy fits both America's traditions and self-interest the best. Isolationism, not so much.

1:35 PM  

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