Interventionism and the Elites
A recent Rasmussen poll has 51 percent of Americans favoring the pullout of all US troops from Europe – and yet not a single major American politician would even consider endorsing such a move. Why is that? I thought politicians were supposed to be consummate opportunists, whose weather vane-like views shift with the winds of public opinion. If so, then they should be jumping on the anti-NATO, anti-interventionist, “mind-our-own-business” bandwagon – right?
The great gulf between the American public and the elites when it comes to foreign policy is a constant source of irritation for the latter. The mandarins of the foreign policy establishment have long bemoaned the “isolationism” of the American people. It’s the natural inclination of a free people to leave others alone, and the Founders exemplified this sentiment when they decried the impulse to “go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”...
This was the consensus view of the American elite when our country was just out of its cradle, and no one thought to question it: the idea that America would impose its own system on foreigners, and that we had some kind of moral responsibility to save the world from itself, was alien to the American ethos. The example of Napoleonic France served as ample enough warning to any interventionists who would have had us succumb to the temptations of empire: as the French army “liberated” Europe, France itself morphed into a monarchy. When Napoleon crowned himself at Rheims it was an act of transfiguration foreseen by the founders when they warned against the threat of militarism to America’s republican legacy. The danger to the Constitution and the country, they realized, was internal – and it emanated from the imperialist impulse...
This anti-interventionist stance flowed from the Founders’ philosophy of governance, which was to strictly limit the power of the federal government and bind the hands of would-be tyrants with the chains of the Constitution. As these chains rusted over time, however, the imperialist impulse was unleashed...MORE...LINK
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