Monday, June 03, 2013
Not World Police, Just the Kids Who Can Fix the Problem
I have one problem with the isolationists of all parties: bullies.
As the Greatest Country On Earth, just picture yourself as one of the biggest kids on the block, and some other big kid has started pushing around one of the other kids. Your first response is usually to talk directly to the bully, right? And if the thug continues to menace the other kid, you (a) go to the other kids in the neighborhood to see if they want to stand up as a group, tell the bully to quit, and nobody gets hurt, and, when the rest of the kids say, "send him a letter and we'll sign it, but that's all," you (b) as an isolationist, let the thug pick off every little kid on the block until you have a hellhole instead of a nice neighborhood (and the thug burns down your house, too), or (c) as a responsible, capable, bigger kid, make it clear - both verbally and physically – that picking on little kids is not something you will tolerate. You're not the world's cop, but you *are* strong enough to help out your neighbors and friends in hard times, and, therefore, have a social and a moral obligation (as well as a modicum of self-preservation) to do what you can to keep your neighborhood safe for yourself and for everybody else.
I'm not expecting perfection. I'm pretty sure that's still an impossibility, whether we talk of individuals or nations. What I'm saying is, we do our best to keep things nice, and, if we have hard times ourselves, there's a better chance that we'll have others standing with us, keeping the block safe from most threats.
It's sort of an extension of the "Broken Windows" thing. Letting it remain broken encourages more breakage. If you can fix it, you should, or, eventually, nobody will fix anything, and civilization devolves once more into the dark ages.
This is, I think, the one great weakness of the Libertarian Party (other than some of its past leaders being totally bug-nuts). Too many of them think that the US involving itself in foreign matters makes us "the World's Police Force," but we're just the kids who CAN fix the problem, and therefore, should, before it gets worse.