Wednesday, May 01, 2013

"isolationist streak"

the NYT wanders again into one of my pet peeves.

not being in favor of invading any country that a pollster thinks to ask about is not "isolationism." i don't understand why the political philosophy that advocates disengagement from the rest of the world is now a short-hand for anyone who is not on board with killing foreigners in some new ill-considered adventure.

almost no one is an isolationist in the u.s. anymore. i never hear anyone talking about ending all trade agreements with foreign nations, withdrawing the u.s. from all international bodies, and eliminating every u.s. military base on foreign soil. i occasionally see people advocate for some of that stuff (like maybe they want out of NAFTA or the UN) but i never see anyone who is for all of those things. when it was a viable political force in this country, isolationism wasn't just about not invading other countries. if that is all it has come to mean then we are all isolationists because i can probably eventually name a country that you are not in favor of invading.