During World War I and the 1920s, “isolationism,” that is, opposition to American wars and foreign intervention, was considered a Left phenomenon. In a few short years, however, the ranking of isolationism on the ideological spectrum was to undergo a sudden and dramatic shift.
In the late 1930s, the Roosevelt administration moved rapidly toward war in Europe and the Far East. As it did so, and especially after war broke out in September 1939, the great bulk of the liberals and the Left “flip-flopped” drastically on behalf of war and foreign intervention. Gone was the old opposition to American militarism, and to American and British imperialism.
Not only that; but to the liberals and Left the impending war against Germany and even Japan became a great moral crusade, a “people’s war for democracy” and against “fascism” â€” outrivaling in the absurdity of their rhetoric the very Wilsonian apologia for World War I that these same liberals had repudiated for two decades. FULL ARTICLE