Where the idea comes from is not really relevant – it could be neo-conservatism, imperialism, compassion, whatnot. But it is right that it should be debated, especially by Republicans who aren't beholden to the legacy of Woodrow Wilson in matter of foreign relations. Republicans, especially those with conservative leanings who are committed to preserving America's ideal of using force against other countries only when those countries embark upon an aggressive foreign policy toward American citizens or allies, need to take a renewed close look at their country's basic principles, including those pertaining to dealing with foreigners.
It was, after all, George Washington himself who, in his farewell message, warned the country against getting entangled in foreign wars. Yes, that was many years ago but the principle still holds, just as it holds in the criminal law: using force on others is only justified in self-defense. (Principles, if sound, don't change much over the centuries – not in physics, biology, or public policy!)