Originally posted on Young Americans for Liberty’s website.
Hi everyone. For today’s video, I’m going to address the difference between isolationism and non-interventionism. We’re seeing the word isolationist tossed around in the media a lot lately. Time Magazine and Huffington Post like to call Ron Paul an isolationist. Tim Pawlently and John McCain are apparently upset about the rise of “isolationism” in the Republican Party.
The word isolationist is usually used as a smear tactic. If you’re going to criticize constitutional foreign policy, at least get your terms right. And if you’re a journalist and you write about Ron Paul and mistakenly call him an isolationist, expect your inbox to be full with a bunch of messages from Ron Paul supporters explaining the difference to you. So take note journalists: There is a big difference between isolationism and non-interventionism.
An isolationist is someone who wants their country to be isolated. They want nothing to do with any other country. They tend to oppose immigration, trade, talks with other nations and they tend to be anti-war for the most part. Libertarians are not isolationists since we tend to support free trade and see immigration as a good thing. The only thing we have in common really is our anti-war stance.
Now for the term non-interventionism. This basically means minding our own business overseas. We shouldn’t be involved in the internal affairs of other countries. Government policies always have unintended consequences and foreign policy is no exception. (Some who support a non-interventionist foreign policy would justify war only in cases of self defense). Right now we are bombing Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. Six countries. And I don’t wait for the federal government to tell me when something is a war or not. So right now we are in six wars. We have 900 military bases around the world.
It is not being an isolationist to ask, why are we in six foreign sovereign nations meddling in their internal affairs? Is this really the best use of taxpayer dollars? No matter how many times we explain the difference, I understand that the media will probably to continue to smear Ron Paul by calling him an isolationist. But here’s hoping that I can help inform others of the correct use. And I know this video is very overly simplified but I wanted to keep it short and sweet. Thank you guys for watching.