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The High Price of Isolationism

Updated: Oct 11, 2023


1940s Isolationism Campaign Poster

The Bible says that there is nothing new under the sun, and I've found that it is generally a true statement. Thus, we know that this idea of US Isolationism is not new either. It has been tried before, and just like Communism, it has failed time and again, yet it is being resurrected again in a new form, this time under the guise of fiscal conservatism.

 
 

Do you not believe me? Here is proof for you:

Yes, the US attempted twice to withdraw into itself and let the world fend for itself. Both times it happened, there were disastrous consequences that ended up costing our country far more than it should have.


Both times? Right before WWI and WWII.


So it is time for a little Truth in Advertising. I was an avid isolationist for years, particularly when I was younger and did not fully comprehend how interconnected global politics are. I used to believe that the best thing America could do was to keep their nose out of everything that did not happen within our borders.


Yet, as I read history books, and more importantly books from those periods in history, I began to see an undeniable truth, one that still haunts me; it is not about what happens to "those people," but rather that "those people" will not be there to help us when it is our turn to face the music.


Let us take a moment to revisit history with an alternate scenario. Let us say that the United States never entered WWII. Japan never bombed Pearl Harbor, and the US was allowed to isolate itself. What would have happened?


If you think that we would have been left alone, you are sadly and sorely mistaken.


Germany would have conquered Europe, and Africa. They would have steamrolled the Middle East. They would have had a tough fight in Russia, but without the US involvement to split Japanese forces, China and India would have fallen, and Japanese and German forces would have met in the Caucuses in order to advance on Russian from two fronts.


Now, do you think Hitler would have been satisfied with one hemisphere? Do you honestly think he would have stopped? No, he simply would have started in South America, then attack Canada after he reached Mexico, and then the US. We know that he already attempted to gain Mexico's cooperation, and if he had already captured an entire hemisphere, he likely would have gotten it.


No, Hitler BECAME an existential threat to the entire world because we, and the global community in general, did not stop him when he invaded Poland, Austria, and others. We ended up fighting a much larger war and many more ended up dying than was necessary. How much smaller would it have been if we had simply done the right thing from the initial invasion? This is why Ukraine matters. It is why Israel matters.


If you believe, even for one small cotton pickin' moment that the Axis of Evil (yes, the GWB term) of Russia, China, and Iran intend to stop at Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, you are simply and plainly mistaken.


Full Stop.


They desire a full and complete geopolitical reboot of the world, and since THEY do not care about war, or civilian casualties, or pretty much anything that stands in their way, they will use war to do it, and if we stay on the sidelines, we will find ourselves much like the WWII generation looking back and asking how we could have missed it, or lamenting how much smaller it could have been if we had only engaged it sooner.


We have the luxury of looking back on history and seeing the cost and results of staunch American Isolationism.


Unfortunately, people do not seem interested in learning from history.

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