You May Be Responsible For Trump's Victory

Trump won. Well, I guess I'm going to get the trade policy I've been fighting for for more than a decade!

(About the rest of his agenda, no comment.)

His supporters are presumably celebrating right now, so I want to address this to his opponents:

Quite frankly, this outcome is in large part your fault.

Why? Because you (not all of you, but most of you) are the people who consistently, for decades, dismissed, pooh-poohed, and sabotaged every decent, rational attempt to fix America's disastrous trade policy.

Trade wasn't the sole reason Trump won, of course, but it was a big part of it. As I've written before, the essence of his strategy was recasting the Republican Party as an economic-nationalist movement. Trade is the issue that made him more than an anti-immigration crank. Trade, specifically her non-credible flip on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is the issue that exposed Hillary Clinton as a phony.

Detailed examination of voting patterns tends to support the idea it was trade, not immigration, that put him over the top. (Google the article title to get around the paywall if you don't have a subscription.)

But you? You were Democrats, so it was your natural political duty to care about the fates of people in our society who were suffering from economic problems. And you didn't.

Instead, your loyalty was to an abstract ideal of cosmopolitanism that led you into an unthinking embrace of globalism.

This is an ideal which even your rich friends in Shanghai and Berlin don't believe in, most successful foreign countries being economic nationalists in one way or another.

You were warned. Remember Ross Perot in 1992? The other crazy billionaire, back when this whole globalism business was just starting to get out of hand? Well, you rejected him, so now you get Trump.

You had your chance, now you get your comeuppance.

Of course, some of you didn't fall for globalism and free trade because you were taken in by a shiny but spurious moral ideal. You actually thought the economics worked.

Well, it doesn't. If Pres. Trump does his job of backing America out of free trade correctly (I'm hopeful, but not certain), in eight years no sensible person will even be arguing about this. Some amount of moderate, rational protectionism has historically been part of the story of every successful economy.

Lots of people, not just me, warned you that free trade doesn't work. Look them up, read their books, figure this out. Here's a partial list:

Alexander Hamilton
Friedrich List
Henry Carey
Abraham Lincoln
Teddy Roosevelt
Chalmers Johnson
Ralph Gomory
William Baumol
Eamonn Fingleton
Ha-Joon Chang
Pat Choate
Paul-Craig Roberts
Alice Amsden
Greg Autry
Peter Navarro
Herman Daly
Ravi Batra
Graham Dunkeley
Alfred Eckes
Sherrod Brown
Leo Gerard
Naomi Klein
William Greider
Alan Tonelson
Kevin Kearns
Michael Lind
Edward Luttwak
Richard McCormack
Ralph Nader
Clyde Prestowitz
Erik Reinert
Dan DiMicco
Robert E. Scott
Michael Sekora
George Lodge
Patrick Mulloy
Ernest Hollings
Jim Hightower
Bill McKibben
Dean Baker
Jeff Faux
Thomas Mullikin
Phyllis Schlafly

As, of course, yours truly.