Commenter Aaron points to fascinating Wall Street Journal article by Ross Douthat called “What Year Is It?,” which posits that the various foreign-policy factions in this country can be broken down into five groups on the basis of “what year they think it is.” There are the 1919ists, the 1938ists, the 1942ists, the 1948ists, and the 1972ists. (Aaron says he’s “about 20% ‘72er and 60% ‘48er, with a 15% dollop of ‘38ish worry and a 5% dash of ‘19er isolationism.”)
I’ll refrain from blockquoting a lengthy excerpt, and will instead simply encourage you to read the whole thing. It’s definitely worth it.
I will, however, quote the punch line:
A few voices have spoken up of late for the most disquieting possibility of all. This possibility lacks heroes and villains (Bush/Wilson, Ahmadinejad/Hitler) and obvious lessons (impeach Bush, stay the course in Iraq). But as our crisis deepens, it’s worth considering 1914ism, and with it the possibility that all of us, whatever year we think it is, are poised on the edge of an abyss that nobody saw coming.