Congressman James McGovern (D-Mass) is opposed to the Afghan War as he made clear in an interview last night on “Hardball.” But, in making his case, he offered an argument that is not only wrong-headed, it is pernicious. He said that we should not be concentrating on nation-building in Afghanistan because we need to be concentrating on nation-building here at home.
McGovern may think that our policies in Afghanistan are ill-suited to accomplish the goal of making Americans safer. That is a perfectly respectable, albeit wrong, argument to make. But, the neo-isolationism of McGovern’s remarks put me in mind not of the great Democratic Party leaders of the past century, who pursued a liberal internationalism for which the citizens of Western Europe were profoundly grateful. They put me in mind of Charles Lindbergh.