Much of American Foreign Policy post WW2 has been built on the idea that engagement is better than enablement, the notion that if we aren’t involved in wars abroad, we’ll inevitably be forced to face those same conflicts here at home. The question for the US has never been whether or not to engage, but rather how much to engage (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.). The problem with “America First” is that isolationism actually reduces our country’s standing both abroad and at home. Even with all our flaws (and we certainly have them), this nation has nevertheless been used as one of the greatest governments and defenders of freedom the world has yet seen. Not just for ourselves, but for our allies and those who are oppressed. Ask the people of Normandy and the nations of Europe how they felt about “American interventionism” in 1944-1945. There are more people living in freedom today than ever in history, due in large part to American involvement. When the argument resurfaces that money spent abroad is better spent at home, what’s often not realized is that money spent abroad actually protects us at home. We can’t do everything and we can’t be involved in everything, but we can do something.
Building a wall may be a proactive security measure,* but building a world of opportunity is a much greater security measure. The reason Reagan was able to tell Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” was precisely because we waved the flag of freedom around the globe, not just on our own shores. Darkness could not quench the light of the flame of liberty, that shining city on a hill.
America is, and always has been, at its best when we not only “look for our own interests, but also for the interest of others.” That’s not just good Scripture; that’s good governance.
*(even though the crime rate for legal citizens is this country is actually higher than for illegals, and the only terrorist attacks outside Pearl Harbor that have ever occurred on our homeland were by US citizens and those here legally, not illegally)