There Is No “New Isolationism”

April 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

James Poulos imagines that there is a “New Isolationism” on the left and that Clinton will be promoting it in her campaign:

Love it or hate it, the New Isolationism that Team Clinton is prepared to promote carries a broad, inherent appeal.

Needless to say, referring to anything related to Clinton’s foreign policy as isolationism, new or otherwise, is completely wrong and wildly misleading. There is no such thing as “New Isolationism,” and using this term just creates needless misunderstanding and confusion. To the extent that Poulos has identified something real when he says that Americans “want experts we can trust to keep our anxious, harried minds away from the endless stress case of global management,” it would be far more useful to describe this as the rational ignorance of voters for whom foreign policy is normally a low priority when deciding how to vote. This relative lack of interest in the “gory details” of foreign policy is not a phenomenon unique to voters on the left, but it is widely shared by almost all Americans. The fact that Clinton’s banal, forgettable announcement video earlier this week made no mention of international affairs doesn’t tell us very much about anything concerning policy, domestic or foreign, and so shouldn’t be taken as anything more than the empty political ritual that it was.

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