Isolationism

This article from talking points memo reports how at the CPAC, Rick Santorum said Rand Paul’s policies are “isolationst,” which he says is objectionable, and ultimately believes his policies would make us less safe and more vulnerable. But frankly, Santorum doesn’t even know what isolationism is. You want to know what isolationism is? Intervening in foreign countries internal affairs all around the world; undeclared wars in foreign countries; huge subsidies and tariffs discouraging trade abroad. Rand Paul’s policy is anti-interventionist. He is much more of an “internationalist” that Rick Santorum could ever be. As Murray Rothbard said, “internationalists” are “men who opposed the aggrandizement of the nation-state and favored peace, free trade, free migration and peaceful cultural exchanges among peoples of all nations. Foreign intervention is “international” only in the sense that war is international: coercion, whether the threat of force or the outright movement of troops, will always cross frontiers between one nation and another.” We can’t possibly say that we are opening up channels for more trade and exchange by acting as the policeman of the world; in fact we are doing the opposite.

We’re the only country that feels it necessary to intervene all around the world and meddle in the affairs of foreign countries. Does that make every other country isolationist? He seems to think that not participating in military excursions all around the world would make us less safe. But let me ask a question, how many times has Canada been attacked by terrorists? None. How often do people denounce Canada and make threats against it? Never. Maybe the reason for this is that they don’t create animosity for themselves all around the world by bombing any country they don’t like.

Santorum thinks that to not get involved in these affairs would conflict with our interests. But, again, as Murray Rothbard quoted John Flynn in For A New Liberty, “We have managed to acquire bases all over the world. … There is no part of the world where trouble can break out where… we cannot claim that our interests are menaced. Thus menaced, there must remain when the war is over a continuing argument in the hands of the imperialists for a vast naval establishment and a huge army ready to attack anywhere or to resist an attack from all the enemies we shall be obliged to have.” So, in reality, it is almost impossible for any conflict around the world to not affect our interests, in some way or another. The thought that not wanting to intervene in every dispute or conflict around the world and try to promote a policy of peace is “isolationist” is a deliberate attempt to smear the policy. Favoring peace does not mean favoring isolation; favoring peace means favoring the Jeffersonian policy of commerce and honest friendship with all nations. Santorum, in wanting to pursue his policy of policing the world, necessarily mirrors his foreign policy with his conservative domestic policy; he doesn’t understand the concept of minding one’s own business.

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