Just as troubling, though, is what was known about Paul all along — and that is a foreign policy, if it can be called that, drained of morality. His total indifference to what happens overseas is chilling and reminiscent of the old isolationism, best articulated in Des Moines — a world capital this election season — by Charles Lindbergh back in 1941. In that speech, Lindbergh identified three groups that wanted to take America to war against Germany: the Brits, the Jews and the Roosevelt administration. They all had their reasons, he acknowledged, but, “We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction.” I can almost hear these very words coming out of the mouth of Paul.
America is weary of war, especially weary of those, in retrospect, that had no real purpose — the one in Iraq, above all. The country is weary as well of politicians, most of them conservatives, who will not even debate the worth of such wars. (Not a single question about whether the Iraq war was worth nearly 4,500 American lives in the last GOP debate — and the debate was held the very day the last of the troops left that country.)
Yet America remains a mighty nation, capable of doing good in the world. That’s far different than expanding an empire or making the world safe for McDonald’s. The intervention in Libya, a NATO operation but an American enterprise, succeeded. So did the ones in Bosnia and Kosovo. The Libyan bombings will not bring democracy to that country, but they knocked out Moammar Gaddafi, and that ain’t a bad day’s work.