Stop calling new US president an 'isolationist'. He's a 'militarist' - and that's much scarier
Under President Donald Trump, US foreign policy is returning, many commentators say, to the isolationism that preceded World War II.
This line of interpretation (and often attack) emerged during the election: While Hillary Clinton warned that her opponent would "tear up our alliances", an array of experts supplied such fears with a historical pedigree. As Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass put it, Mr Trump stood for a "new isolationism", a revival of the 1930s dream of "turning away from global engagement".
The problem is, Trump isn't an isolationist. He is a militarist, something far worse. And calling Trump an isolationist isn't an effective critique. The term "isolationism" was coined in the 1930s to caricature Americans who wanted to stay strictly neutral in the looming war. They scarcely sought to "disconnect from the world", as 'Vox's' Zack Beauchamp recently wrote. In fact, most favoured peaceful forms of overseas involvement, such as trade, and insisted on defending the Americas from foreign intervention - no small feat. What united them was their opposition to entering World War II after the devastation of World War I.