It was untenable and disastrous eighty years ago, spawning and making inevitable a second global war that the West came far closer to losing than anybody knew at the time or since until very recently. Today, eighty years later, the world has gotten orders of magnitude smaller than it was then. Global jihadism alone gives the laughable lie to the idea that we can retreat into "Fortress America," "protected" by two oceans, and pretend the rest of the world will leave us alone.
We are the United States of America. The world is in flames and chaos precisely because Barack Obama has removed us from our necessary role as the benevolent planetary hegemon. To stay on that path instead of reversing course would lead, inevitably, to a Pearl Harbor we would not survive and from which there would be no recovery.
But just as a majority of Americans want to finish dismantling our already gutted military, so that same majority thinks we can stick our heads in the sand, asses in the air, like the metaphorical ostrich, and all our problems will just go away:
The Pew Research Center report released Thursday, "America's Place in the World," finds "the public views America’s role in the world with considerable apprehension and concern."
According to the report:
57% of Americans want the United States to deal with its own problems, while letting other countries get along as best they can; just 37% say America should help other countries deal with their problems.
It's not a question of "helping other countries deal with their problems," but of helping ourselves and defending our vital national interests by remaining engaged in the world in order to prevent problems from arising in the first place. Or "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Like how if we'd stayed in Iraq instead of abandoning it five years ago, ISIS would never have been able to rise from al Qaeda-in-Iraq's ashes.
Sixteenfold is one heckuva bargain, as only three-eights of Americans seem to still understand.
This number is almost as dismaying because it reprises the foolish policies, also from eighty years ago, that tilled the geopolitical soil out of which World War II grew:
49% say U.S. involvement in the global economy is a bad thing because it lowers wages and costs jobs, while 44% see involvement as a good thing because it provides new markets and opportunities for growth.
A five point advantage in favor of another Smoot-Hawley economic suicide attempt, another global trade war, and another global economic collapse and depression. A disastrous fit of reaction to Obamunism. A turn from Marxian socialism to national socialism, at least economically. No good can come from this. You know that insufferable prattle of Barack Obama's about "our values" and such? Well, it actually applies here. Neoisolationism is strategic folly - and, again, an impossibility - and protectionism is self-defeating, anti-capitalist statism that will ruin and impoverish the U.S. economy even more than it already is after seven-plus years of The One's misrule. But that's the dismal, bloody history that half the country wants to repeat.
This, once again, is why "populism" is so virulently dangerous because of its fundamental, over-emotive, anti-intellectual irrationality. Small wonder, then, that Donald Trump favors both of these terrible, awful mistakes.
It's funny; for years I've wondered if the nation would survive the Obama Regime - that it still has to this point is frankly astonishing, though the jury is, of course, still out on that - so I don't know if it would be ironic or entirely appropriate if it turned out to be a white narcissistic leftist despot who delivered the coup de grace.
Since there'll be two on the ballot in November, it's kinda guaranteed.