David Frum Blames America First

Anyone questioning the wisdom of neoconservative foreign policy is likely to be told that he is “blaming America first,” as if American foreign policy were synonymous with the nation.  So it is only fair to point out that neocons, too, “blame America” when it doesn’t follow their policies.  Reviewing a book about the 1920 presidential campaign, David Frum writes that “Americans made very bad choices in those years, terrible choices, choices that would precipitate a global depression and then another and even more horrible war.”  In Frum’s view, America’s adherence to our traditonal protectionist system led to the Great Depression and World War II.  Of course, those making similar pronouncements about contemporary American foreign policy are liable to be branded as “unpatriotic” by Frum.

Frum wishes instead that TR was still alive in 1920, because he would have won the GOP nomination and “Roosevelt was a free trader by instinct.”  Apparently, Frum is unaware that TR declared, “Thank God I am not a free trader.  Pernicious indulgence in the doctrine of free trade seems inevitably to produce fatty degeneration of the moral fibre.”  An apt quote when thinking of the neocons, actually.

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