A longtime rap against the post-Vietnam left is that they’re so focused on their domestic political enemies that they can’t bring themselves to acknowledge the reality of America’s actual enemies overseas. In the current case they are demonstrating that inclination again—but the big news is the extent to which they are being joined by the new nationalist right.
Both groups have domestic political scores to settle. The far left hates American capitalism, so following Marx they declare it to be “imperialist”—and everything that happens in foreign policy needs to be distorted to fit that narrative. This is particularly true when any American intervention overseas would be led by a Republican president, in which case knee-jerk anti-Americanism coincides with immediate partisan interests.
Our new nationalist right has a score to settle with the “neoconservatives,” whom they make out to be “globalists” pursuing an anti-authoritarian freedom agenda. This is an offshoot of the nationalists’ internecine battle against the pro-freedom “liberals” for the soul of the right.
Both of these domestic political goals are misguided and consist of different styles of opposition to liberty, and the differences between them keep getting smaller by the day. They also blind us to the reality of what is happening to the world and how it affects American interests.