American isolationism

My policy has been, and will continue to be, while I have the honor to remain in the administration of the government, to be upon friendly terms with, but independent of, all the nations of the earth. To share in the broils of none. To fulfill our own engagements. To supply the wants, and be carriers for them all: Being thoroughly convinced that it is our policy and interest to do so.

Conduct with other nations

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations to have as little political connection as possible … Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalships, interest, humor, or caprice? … It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.

True world leadership

[America] goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.

Government adventurism

Apologists for activist government never tire of telling us that the benevolent state is our protector and that without it we’d be at the mercy of monsters. It is about time that we understood that the U.S. government does more to endanger the American people than any imagined monsters around the world … by pursuing its Grand Foreign Policy of meddling anywhere and everywhere.

Borrowing from those we protect

We are thus in the position of having to borrow from Europe to defend Europe, of having to borrow from China and Japan to defend Chinese and Japanese access to Gulf oil, and of having to borrow from Arab emirs, sultans and monarchs to make Iraq safe for democracy. We borrow from the nations we defend so that we may continue to defend them. To question this is an unpardonable heresy called ‘isolationism.’

Dereliction of Congress

Congress is extraordinarily reluctant to inject itself into foreign policy. It has dumped entirely its constitutional duty for money onto a central bank, and for trade, onto the executive branch. It seems to never know what the CIA and other intelligence agencies are doing. Like the Romans, they no longer talk of the republic or liberty. And like the Romans, the American people, or most of them anyway, don’t seem to care … Like the Romans, we no longer have a citizen army but professional legions, and whether they wear jackboots or not, some federal officers seem to regard Americans with about the same compassion as the Praetorian Guard had for the plebes. As in Rome, the air is full of suspicion, intrigues and conspiracies, real or imagined, and the air reeks of greed and opportunism. As those on the Tiber, the rulers on the Potomac have grown suspicious of the people, don’t trust them and, in some cases fear them. And, as in Rome, they grovel in luxury while taking 40 cents on the dollar out of the sweat of working people to pay for corn and circuses to keep the mob satisfied.

The insidious wiles of foreign influence

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence … the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.