Why are “protectionism, isolationism and nativism” presumed to be pejorative? The Republican Party was the party of protection. Our manufacturing grew behind tariffs to make us a continental superpower. These same industries were available to become the arsenal of Democracy. Growing nations have protectionist trade policies. Grown nations seek Free Trade. And Free Trade is supported in the grown nation only until the rest of the competition is equally grown.
When Britain was the industrial superpower it stood for Free Trade. Since her factories produced superior goods more efficiently than any other, it was in her interest to have Free Trade.
Post WWII America stood alone as the industrial superpower. Of course the American post-War order would be for Free Trade!
The post-War order ended when Germany was reunified, and the USSR collapsed. Free Trade now benefits the nations with the cheapest labor, leaving American workers in a race to the bottom!
Protectionism is NOT a bad word. It is neither good or bad. At times it is advantageous and at other times it is not. The Misesians have elevated Free Trade to a moral necessity. That is absurd.
Isolationism is what George Washington recommended as the best course for America. And nothing has changed. Behind two oceans, alone in the world in being totally self-sufficient in every category: agriculture, manufacturing, finance, defense, market size and now, once again in energy, we have no natural enemies in the world. Since WW2 we have been told we must forever be in a state of war readiness if not actual war. Before WW2, America was normally at peace. “Security” was not an issue. Yes, I am aware that ICBM’s and Submarine Launched Cruise Missiles have removed some of the defensive value of our two oceanic moats. But our deterrence from within our own borders would suffice to dissuade any nation from daring to strike.
Nations are not like people. They are amoral, self-interested and NO ALLIANCE survives a loss of common interests. We do not “owe” old allies eternal gratitude. Especially since they were the ones saved by our nation. Old enemies become new allies, like Japan and Germany. Why must we be married to them? We have no fundamental interests at odds with Russia’s. Nor they with us. We have zero interest in the borders of Ukraine. I think it would be quite easy to make an agreement with Putin that we stay out of the Black Sea and Eastern Baltic Sea and they stay out of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. It may well be that having Britain and Israel As well as Australia and NZ as allies serves our interests in forward defense. Or not, but the concept of our owing eternal alliance with any nation over our own self-interests is ludicrous.
Nativism is merely a snide way of saying the obvious. Think of what it means to call “nativism” a bad thing. In terms of Social Contract a nation (a particular people, with a particular culture, language, history, worldview, literature etc.) creates a government in order to protect its citizens rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A Nation has a government for its benefit, a government doesn’t have a nation for the purpose of greater power. If not FOR THE PEOPLE for whom is the government? To say that a government that exists strictly for the benefit of its creators is a bad thing…. well that is ludicrous as well!