Some may know this as the first income tax law. It reduced Tariffs dramatically and created a personal income tax which impacted very few individuals, due to large exemptions. Nevertheless, it does highlight that until 1914, the majority of federal receipts were derived from tariffs and excise taxes. Budgets were also balanced. Prior to 1914 America was primarily isolationist.
Wilson ran in 1916 on keeping us out of the war in Europe. But, Wilson was a progressive internationalist. The Republicans defeated our entry into the League of Nations as it would require us to engage in international conflicts. Smoot and Hawley, both Republicans, were not free traders. Revisionists, sometimes blame them for the Great Depression. Are those revisionists the same group that are called Internationalists?
Were the founders, isolationists, nationalists, or internationalists? Perhaps a mix. The Constitution gives us a hint.
The Congress shall have Power To …raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years…
ARTICLE I, SECTION 8, CLAUSE 12
That seems a long way from the practice since the DOD was created in 1947. It seems a long way from our roots. It seems in terms of foreign policy, we have drifted from the original intent. Nationalism, Isolationism, and internationalism are not monolithic or mutually exclusive terms. They have overlap.
Perhaps the left wants to create a better world by sharing wealth with the globe and call it internationalism. Nationalists or neo conservatives may use internationalist policies for the promotion of economic interests. They would therefore be symbiotic elements. Isolationists on the other hand want to focus on American interests at home and may be called nationalists.
So, when it comes to Nationalism sometimes there is an overlap with Isolationism. Areas would be opposition to World Wars, opposition to membership in international bodies, opposition to loss of sovereignty, opposition to wealth transfer, and so on.
Nationalists and Isolationists are sometimes called doves. Whereas, Internationalists have been called Hawks. In this light Republicans that run on defense are internationalists and Democrats that want to pursue peace are nationalists or isolationists, or doves. Hawks being strong, doves being weak. Reagan Hawk, Carter Dove and Humphrey a dove.
Then comes Trump, he blurs all the lines. Nationalist in terms of borders and trade, Isolationist in terms of military and UN. A dove, not a hawk. But then he shreds treaties. What is that? He shreds those internationalists treaties he thinks were weak. He wants better treaties.
Question is, can we trust a guy to negotiate treaties that cannot explain America’s isolationist roots and calls himself a Nationalist? But then some of us think Nationalism is something different because we do not know history. So, are we trustworthy?
Trump is opposed because he is different, he breaks the unholy alliance between right and left that he calls the Swamp. The right that pursue corporate nationalism and the left promotes wealth distribution. He wants corporate profits in America, not abroad. He wants rising wages at home, not abroad. Wherever you stand, he is you, and you hate him.