Why autocrats root for an isolationist U.S.


There is a reason why the world’s illiberal and authoritarian forces are rooting for a more isolationist U.S. foreign policy, says Josef Joffe (above), editor of Die Zeit in Hamburg and fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Strangely, Western Europe’s New Right is quite fond of Russia. Resentful of Western liberalism, these parties admire Putin’s authoritarianism and economic nationalism, he writes for The Washington Post:

Postwar America designed and defended the world’s liberal order — free trade, open societies and such. It held the line against the Soviets and their sundry allies from the Middle to Asia. The European democracies profited handsomely from the toils of the United States, the world’s custodian. Now, the United States leads the battle against the Islamists, the spearhead of religious totalitarianism.

Charles E. Wilson, the former chief executive of General Motors, once famously said: “What was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa.” Make that: “What is good for the world is good for America.” The United States is the linchpin of the liberal order. Take it out, and the United States, with its far-flung global interests, will decline for sure.


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