Sean Hannity recently made this remark: "Ron Paul is an isolationist. I get it."
Except that he doesn't get it. Or maybe he really does get it but would rather slander one of the few honest Congressmen around. I'm attributing his remark to stupidity; maybe it really is malice. Nor am I writing this just to defend Ron Paul. When Hannity made that (inexcusably stupid) remark, he wasn't just defaming Ron Paul; he was defaming me and everyone who thinks like me and Ron.
"Isolationist", as defined by Hannity and the other neocons, means anyone who doesn't think the United States should have a military presence in 145 countries, anyone who thinks the United States shouldn't invade any foreign country without a formal declaration of war issued by Congress and naming the country to be invaded/conquered, or anyone who thinks the foreign policy of the United States ought to be focused sharply on 'minding our own business'.
The opposite of "isolationist" for people like Hannity is "patriot", defined as someone who thinks it's perfectly OK for the President, without so much as notifying Congress, to ship the First Marine Division into the hell-hole du jour in order to show those gooks just who's the sheriff 'round these here parts. If a couple thousand or a couple million civilians get in the way, that's their tough luck. They should have been smart enough to have been born Americans, shor 'nuff.
I define 'patriot' somewhat differently, in case you haven't guessed, and you probably suspect Hannity and I differ on the definition of 'isolationist', too. To me, an isolationist is ready to pull up the drawbridge and seal off the kingdom, having first gotten everyone inside to hand over their passports. Their intent would be to isolate themselves from the cold, cruel world outside. An isolationist would never dream of popping off to Paris or stealing away to Stockholm. Noooooooo!! That would be... sleeping with the enemy! Horrors! Can't have our citizens doing that!
Perhaps Sean Hannity is a stay-at-home. Not me, and not Ron Paul, either. Keep your passport. Go to Barcelona whenever the spirit moves you. Bring me back a souvenir. The word Ron and I use for our foreign policy (singular, because we share the same one) is 'non-interventionism'. We think it's a great idea to travel and trade, to meet new people who may speak a different language and who see the world through different eyes, to talk with them and learn their views on topics for which we have formed our own opinions. What Ron and I don't advocate is forming those peoples' views for them by force of arms, nor do we advocate taxing American citizens to provide foreign aid to countries which are often ruled by dictators. Ron and I know (too well) how close to the truth Lord Peter Bauer was when he said
Foreign aid is an excellent method for transferring money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
But as long as we're trading verbal insults, I suppose it's only fair that I get the chance to label Sean Hannity and all those who think like him: they're 'imperialists'. They're the nutballs who believe their own fantasies about 'American exceptionalism'. They think America is exceptional because God wanted it that way. Oddly, they have no explanation for why God would make us exceptional and then let our economy turn to shit. In truth, if America is exceptional it is almost entirely because of the inventiveness, the will to win, and the moral strength of all those who came here from other supposedly un-exceptional nations to make a better life for themselves, their families, and their fellows. And they did this all without any help from the government. What didn't make America exceptional was the foreign policy that led us to war with Mexico in 1846, to overthrow the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893*, war with Spain in 1898, war with half of Europe in 1918, or any of the dozens of 'conflicts' since 1945. It's not our military that makes us great, it's the people and the freedom of people to do great things.
People like Sean Hannity would like to see all that come to an end. If anyone deserves the term 'isolationist', it's idiots like Sean Hannity.
(*) - I'll bet you didn't know it was the U.S. Marine Corps which overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy — at the request of the Dole Fruit Packing Company whose owners were upset that the Hawaiians would no longer let foreign workers vote in local elections. Golly, if Sean Hannity gets his way and we stop letting Mexican workers vote in our elections, maybe the Marines will overthrow this government? No, doesn't work that way, does it?