The "isolationist" smear

But Iraq is not Germany, 1945. Syria is not Japan. Libya is not South Korea. Asking the theocratic thugs in Saudi Arabia or the strongman in Egypt and Pakistan to “stand aside” for democracy would almost certainly manifest in anarchy, widespread violence, and more radicalism. If we trust Pew Research Center’s study of the Muslim world, and everything recent history has shown us, it’s clear that many (not all, but most) Islamic-majority nations would be unlikely to embrace anything resembling Western democracy. Meanwhile, the process of democracy allows factional, religious, and ethnic quarrels, always percolating, to reignite. The Arab Spring spurred more terrorism than liberalism for a reason…

Now, Rubin offers other ways—some more persuasive than others—in which she believes Cruz is embracing chauvinism for votes, including his malleable position on immigration and opposition to National Security Agency metadata-gathering. Though I’ll never understand how the latter has anything to do with isolationism, she claims that Rand Paul’s “isolationist” views, “rejected soundly” by the American people, are now being embraced by Cruz. (Thought: If Paul’s ideas about metadata collection have been rejected soundly, does that also mean that Lindsey Graham’s positions on the Middle East war have suffered a similar fate?)

Now, I’m no political scientist, but I wonder why a cynical, Ivy League-educated candidate who cares about nothing more than winning the presidency would embrace ideas that have been soundly rejected by so many? Could it be, perhaps, that there’s still a debate to be had on some of these issues?

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