Today, there are three recklessly led nuclear powers — China lawlessly rampant in neighboring seas, Russia trying to violently revise European borders and North Korea. A fourth, Iran, is impending. And now, the post-World War II U.S. consensus about this nation’s world role is under attack in the party that Eisenhower rescued from Taft’s dangerous hesitancy and naiveté.
The cure for 1930s isolationism was Pearl Harbor. Will the cure for today’s isolationism be as sudden and surprising? The cold-eyed men in Moscow and Beijing must be as delighted as they are astounded by the spectacle of U.S. populists cultivating war weariness in a nation that is shedding no blood and is spending a pittance of its wealth.