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.