By Kelse Moen
Nothing quite kills a word’s meaning like tossing it into the fray of popular political dialogue. The word “liberal” was co-opted by FDR and his collectivist acolytes, who had virtually nothing in common with the nineteenth century laissez-faire liberals. “Fascist,” which once corresponded to a particularly virulent breed of statism, is now an all-purpose smear for anyone disagreeable, even a libertarian like Justin Raimondo. Another, which was quite prevalent this primary season, is the epithet “isolationist.” It was hurled particularly at Ron Paul, due to his opposition to military intervention overseas. But, as Fareed Zakaria revealed in a recent article in Newsweek, the real isolationists are Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who continually preach the false gospel of economic protectionism, even while they bloviate about the need for better international relations. Says Zakaria:
For the rest of the world—particularly poorer countries—nice speeches about multilateralism are well and good. But what they really want is for the United States to continue its historic role in opening up the world economy. For a struggling farmer in Kenya, access to world markets is far more important than foreign aid or U.N. programs. If the candidates think they will charm the world while adopting protectionist policies, they are in for a surprise.