But even if Trump had gotten his facts straight, how should he have responded to Tucker Carlson? Let’s start with two sentences. “Tucker, if the last two centuries of American history teach us anything, it’s that allied military strength keeps the peace. Allied military weakness invites war.” In other words, if you don’t want Americans fighting in foreign lands, you maintain your alliances.

It is a strange paradox of American history that our nation, up through World War II, was extremely reluctant to involve itself in European wars, yet kept finding itself in European wars. We’ve been involved — to some degree — in each of the truly continental conflicts that have engulfed Europe since our nation’s founding.

The War of 1812 (especially from the British perspective) was essentially a sideshow to the Napoleonic Wars, and yet Americans died in a bloody stalemate, and our capital burned.