US Foreign Policy and the Cult of ‘Expertise’
Americans want our rulers to mind their own business abroad – and good luck with that!
Justin Raimondo, December 07, 2009
that Americans want the U.S. government to mind its own business when it comes
to foreign affairs has our Washington elite in a panic. The explanatory
notes accompanying a new
Pew poll [.pdf] describe the "rise in isolationist sentiment"
that started during George W. Bush’s second term and continues in the age of
Obama. The agonized hand-wringing is all
too apparent in the use of the "isolationist" epithet and even
in the way the question was asked: should the U.S. "mind its own business
internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their
own"? Forty-nine percent – the highest proportion "in nearly half
a century of polling" – answered yes. And that’s not all: a gob-smacking
76 percent agreed the U.S. should "concentrate more on our own national
problems and building up our strength and prosperity here at home," as
opposed to "think[ing] in international terms."
The poll took samples from two groups: common, ordinary, everyday people (i.e.,
you and me)
and members of the Council on Foreign Relations,
an elite group of foreign policy-oriented intellectuals, policy wonks, and high
muckamucks. The elite group disagreed sharply with the general public’s view
on virtually every important question: for example, none of the CFR members
thought we should mind our own business – a policy that would go against the
group’s history and orientation, which has always been pronouncedly interventionist.