Some of the president’s greatest defenders have sung his praises and explained his every move as that of a man who is non-ideological. With that came the scoldings for conservatives that the era of ideology is over and that conservatism is no longer the soup du jour on the right.
But not only are we not beyond ideology, we have a mongrel ideology that has spurred the president to use particularly hyper-political speech to attack free traders while enacting protectionist tariffs. Sad!
The president’s defenders have reacted to the backlash from some Republicans and conservatives by insisting that Trump is too smart to allow the tariffs to cause damage to the economy, that he is simply far, far ahead of all of us, on the seventh level of chess, and the arguments against tariffs are simply hyperbole. What a crock.
Particularly damaging is the lie that free trader equals globalist. It is a tactic of the Democrat Party and their union heads to refer to any global competition as dangerous for the American worker.
Union leaders have blamed China and Japan for years for outcomes that have benefited American consumers, because the top brass fatcats who make six or seven figures as union executives soak up dues from the workers who are working themselves out of jobs. Yet under Obama, the unions were globalizing.
Under Obama, the vision was more unionization. The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, for example, called for the countries involved to encourage and foster unionization and collective bargaining on a global scale. Imagine all the workers of the world uniting. Hey wait, that’s actually their mantra. That’s true globalization, and Trump is being foolish, trying to mimic the rhetoric of the unions, which in the end is nothing but global communism.
The globalist ideal is complete totalitarianism, where if you aren’t a master, you’re a slave. Whereas the conservative American is about individualism and competition and the greatness within each one of us.
I live in Michigan. When the auto manufacturers suffered massive layoffs and shutdowns at the beginning of this century, the Democrats and their union apparatchiks proclaimed that it was Bush’s fault. It couldn’t possibly be that the inflated wages and benefits for the average manufacturing worker at the time added up to around $60 per hour. It couldn’t possibly be because American manufacturing at the behest of powerful and greedy union heads caused average Americans to be completely unable to afford new vehicles from their own country. Right?
When it comes down to it, what would the economic nationalists have us do? Stop all foreign imports of cars and tell the American consumers, “Like it or lump it”? A lot of them would say yes, because it benefits them, if only for a short time.
The ideology Trump is displaying is based on complete falsehoods. It is based on a vision that all workers everywhere ought to be unionized. That is an achievement that unions dream of. That way, in their happy little utopian concept, everyone would have great wages, all the corporations would be strapped and unable to make company executives rich, and everyone would be able to afford the prices of the goods that inflated wages produced. When that doesn’t materialize, price controls and government subsidies would insert the federal government into every consumer transaction in what should be recognized as economic fascism.
The conservative free trader argues against this kind of government control.
Another problem with the mentality surrounding Trump’s concerns about his base, and that everyone who is against tariffs is a “globalist,” is that it drives a wedge between the conservative and the union worker. On average, the conservative and the union worker live similarly, with similar values and convictions and love of their country. It is a coalition I have found to be prevalent within the tea party movement. If Trump is acting on tariffs to “take care of his base,” his base is split on this, and the rhetoric will drive a deeper wedge.
But particularly maddening is the acceptance of union rhetoric by the Republican president who is supposedly non-ideological, but appears to be playing into the hands of a more sinister globalization effort.
Jen Kuznicki is a contributor to Conservative Review, a blue-collar wife and mom, a political writer, humorist, and conservative activist, a seamstress by trade, and compelled to write. Follow her on Twitter @JenKuznicki.