R. Star wrote:
Yet during the Xindi arc and the alternate future of Twilight the Vulcans seemed more than happy to let the Xindi genocide the humans. I wouldn't call that a "paternalistic influence."
There is absolutely no contradiction between seeking to establish a neo-imperialist hegemony over other cultures by turning them into client states, and being willing to stand by and allow third parties to destroy those client states if you think doing so is more beneficial to you than saving your client state would be.
The Confederacy of Vulcan during the ENT and pre-ENT era is very much in the neo-imperialist mode. They won't annex your world, but they'll wield so much influence over your government that you'd swear the planet was being run out of the Vulcan Embassy.