Those who see neocons under their bed, or who exploit the term for ulterior motives, are missing a key point: unwillingness to apologize for American values is not the same thing as being willing to impose them on others through military, or even political, action.

Horowitz also errs by dividing the world of foreign policy analysis into only three schools: isolationist, realist, and neoconservative. As Robert Merry argued in his book Sands of Empire, there is another option: nationalist. (Merry, himself something of a neocon baiter, considers Romney a neoconservative, but that’s a topic for another post). Merry correctly identifies former Vice President Cheney and former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld as nationalists (though he seems to think they were “captured” by the neocons). Ronald Reagan was the quintessential nationalist.

Romney’s expression of disgust with the initial U.S. position on events in Egypt reflects pure nationalism, and nothing more. It is almost precisely the reaction we would expect from Reagan. It is, one hopes, the reaction of most Americans even after decades of indoctrination by an anti-nationalist education system.