Senator Paul is the voice of isolationism in the United States Senate. This is not a new concept. It has been a constant voice to the west of the Atlantic for centuries. But sometimes there are times when the isolationist tendencies grow in leaps and bounds. This tends to be the case after costly wars and especially after wars that drag on for many years. It seems like a healthy attitude – one that places America first, and avoiding the bloodshed that war brings along with it. But in truth, the isolationist tendencies can sometimes be an important aspect to allowing evil to take root and become enormously more dangerous.
Isolationism versus Global Involvement
The first part of World War II saw Germany invading Poland, Denmark, Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and other small countries. Germany was dominant for the first 1.5 – 2 years in nearly all of Europe except for England. It was clear that Germany had become a dominant power. The United States stayed away with a strong isolationist tendency. The Soviet Union collaborated with the Germans by supplying them many vital goods. England and France both appeased the Germans instead of confronting them early on. One of the main reasons that the British and French did not confront the German war machine is that the United States did not want to join in in the battle.
The reason, according to Victor Davis Hanson, is that the British and France lost their deterrence. They were simply scared to confront the German Army because World War I was so costly and no Westerner wanted a repeat. So they showed deference to the German leadership. Only Churchill acted differently. He spent most of his time working on FDR to join in on stopping the German monsters. It took years, but ultimately, it paid off. Had the United States joined in in the first 2 years, then the German war machine would have been stopped way before the beaches of Normandy. So, appeasement and isolationism sounds like a reasonable strategy. But it cost the British and United States hundreds of thousands of casualties. Isolationism is dangerous – lethally dangerous. Let’s treat the small threats as serious. If we stop the threats when they are still small, we’ll save many lives that will have to confront the threats when they are 5 and ten times greater.