When I was a teenager and young man I might have favored isolationism for the United States. The Vietnam War was raging. I served in the army but escaped serving in the war zone.
And now maybe there is a new move toward isolationism or sorts. I think the Republican front-runner for president favors some kind of isolationism where the U.S. steps back from its current role as leader and protector of the free world and nation builder and kind of lets our friends carry more of the load and do more to protect themselves. At the same time, though, I think he calls for America to stand up for itself where it finds its interests to be. Gee, I almost sound like or I am almost talking myself into supporting that.
I’m in danger of rambling here…I’m just trying to say while I certainly think our foreign policy of the past couple or more decades has led us into a quagmire or quagmires, I’m wondering if we ought to let go of the role of big boy on the block. There is some amount of security in being numero uno. Just that fact is enough to keep some enemies at bay — terrorists maybe not so much, but maybe a little.
I was just thinking of this because I was reading or doing my best to read a foreign language newspaper — El País. I’m kind of a perpetual Spanish student (stuck in the role of advanced beginner). But a columnist was saying, or at least I think he was saying, that the U.S. leaving its current role would leave a void. I mean the rest of the world, well those who might be on our side, look up to the U.S, as role model, a protector, and all around good guy, even if they say the opposite sometimes. But really the world depends upon us.
And I have said repeatedly in this space, this blog, that really we either keep being the top dog or someone else will take over and we are not going to have a good time of it. It would likely be suicide for us.
But the presumptive Republican candidate for president suggests dangerous things, such as letting South Korea and Japan protect themselves with their own nuclear arsenals, and like, getting out of NATO because it’s outdated. Well maybe NATO is outdated. But supporting a proliferation of nukes?
Oh, and speaking of nukes, I see that President Obama is to visit Hiroshima, in part to observe the sad fact of it being one of only two cities to have A bombs dropped on them and by the U.S., the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons. The big stink from his detractors is that he will apologize, even though he says he will not. He’s just on a diplomatic trip through Asia.
Whether we should have done it or not is a question. But we were certainly justified. Japan attacked us first, and pretending to make peace with us even while their planes dropped the bombs on Pearl Harbor (due in part to slow communication in those days and general bureaucratic foul-up I guess, or a slow Japanese typist). It is said that preventing the necessity for an invasion of the Japanese Islands saved thousands of American lives, and ironically, Japanese lives as well.
And back to the presumptive front-runner. He just says anything and if something sticks, well there you have it. He is an ignoramus when it comes to general knowledge of the world and he has extremely bad manners and he may be a bit nutty. But he is so good at business (I really don’t know about all that).
Some say as long as he surrounds himself with good advisors things will be fine.
Why do we have to settle for people who need so much help? Why are they the candidates? Why don’t we install someone who is more the caliber of these helpers?
Remember George W. Bush? He couldn’t even utter a correct sentence and was utterly ignorant of the world. And yet he was elected president.
It is some aura we are after — and what aura did Bush have?
The current presumptive is a bully and anti-intellectual. Some people apparently want that.
Even when I don’t want to talk about the presumptive and don’t mention his name, I’m still talking or writing, I should say, about him.
And then there is Hillary. She’s kind of interventionist. Okay, Hillary, but you must have your eyes wide open as to what you are getting us into, some of our leaders in the past have not…