Isolationist vs. Non-Interventionist [was: Re: HB 139]

Nathan Blackham kemotaha at
Thu Jan 24 10:38:29 MST 2008

On Jan 24, 2008 10:08 AM, Charles Curley <charlescurley at>

> On Thu, Jan 24, 2008 at 08:25:21AM -0700, Nathan wrote:
> > I don't want to start a flame war, but the one reason I won't vote for
> > Ron Paul is that he is an isolationist.  I don't think that is the way
> > to deal with the rest of the world.
> >
> > That said, I do like a lot of his idea in government like the
> > elimination of most bureaucracies and others that he has, I (notice this
> > is my opinion) think that we need a much more engaged way to deal with
> > other countries.
> I suspect you are conflating "isolationist" with
> "non-interventionist". The isolationist wants to isolate the US from
> the rest of the world. The non-interventionist would trade and
> otherwise engage in the world, but end the forceful intervention into
> the affairs of other countries, e.g. overthrowing democratically
> elected presidents and PMs, as the US and UK did in Iran in 1953. The
> non-intervener would respect the foreign policy of the Framers, which
> Washington stated as "trade with all, alliance with none." You should
> be able to find Washington's farewell address on the net; it is a good
> summary of his positions and warnings for succeeding administrations.
> The modern isolationists are those who pursue a foreign policy that
> isolates us from the rest of the world, such as forcing "democracy"
> down some folks' throats at gunpoint. Such policies tend to produce
> resentment and resentment often turns into unreasoning hatred, not the
> sort of thing any of us really wants.

I agree that we shouldn't force democracy on everybody.  That isn't the part
that I call isolationist.  It is that Ron Paul ( at least from his
presidential bid website) thinks that all the international organizations
are bad :

"So called free trade deals and world governmental organizations like the
International Criminal Court (ICC), NAFTA, GATT, WTO, and CAFTA are a threat
to our independence as a nation."
"We must withdraw from any organizations and trade deals that infringe upon
the freedom and independence of the United States of America."

He also includes the UN as part of those organizations.  I would call this
an isolationist.  I feel that we need to work within some of these
organizations to resolve conflicts peacefully.

I do understand that not everyone views him as an isolationist.  From my
reading on his website, it has led me to this conclusion.  I understand that
he still wants to trade with the rest of the world, he just doesn't want to
do it in a framework that has been built to promote fair trade.


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