Interventionists typically use the meme "isolationist" to disparage non-interventionism, as President Bush did in his last State of the Union message; but they are two distinctly different things.
Isolationism is a foreign policy which combines a non-interventionist military and political policy with a policy of economic nationalism (protectionism). In other words, it asserts both of the following:
The term "isolationism" was coined by military interventionists as a pejorative term during World War I to refer to people who opposed the United States' entry into that war. Later, the term "isolationism" was used 1939-41 to refer to opponents of United States' entry into World War Two.... "Isolationism" is often misused to refer to non-interventionism in general, rather than non-intervention conjoined with economic nationalism.
- Political rulers should avoid entangling alliances with other nations and avoid all wars not related to direct territorial self-defense.
- There should be legal barriers to prevent trade and cultural exchange with people in other states.
Non-interventionism is a foreign policy which holds that political rulers should avoid alliances with other nations and avoid all wars not related to direct territorial self-defense.
In the United States, this foreign policy has been advocated at various times in the country's history, notably during the first century of US history. George Washington, the first US President, advised the country to avoid "foreign entanglements." Thomas Jefferson favored "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." John Quincy Adams wrote that the US "goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy."
For more information, see the Wiki piece on "United States non-interventionism":
George Washington's farewell address is often cited as laying the foundation for a tradition of American non-interventionism:
"The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities."
President Thomas Jefferson extended Washington's ideas in his March 4, 1801 inaugural address: "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." Jefferson's phrase "entangling alliances" is, incidentally, sometimes mis-attributed to Washington.
If you're a non-interventionist ... you're in good company.
UPDATE: Pat Buchanan -- "Condi and the isolationists"