President Trump’s promise to protect the American economy through the implementation of protectionist principles with regard to trade is nothing less than an extension of his desire to protect America’s sovereignty…

“Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.” —Donald Trump (Inaugural Address)

ProtectionismThe world is full of ironies… and the world of politics especially. It was, for instance, ironic that those who rioted at President Trump’s inauguration, blinded by pride, prejudice and propaganda, had not apparently realized that they were rioting against the only president in God-knows-how-many-years who was actually agreeing with them on the evils of globalization and was planning to do something about it.

The people who were smashing the windows of the local Starbucks and McDonalds in D.C. as a protest against “capitalism” are the same people, in creed if not necessarily in person, as those who riot at G20 Summits around the world demanding an end to the evils of globalization. Why, one wonders, did they not riot at President Obama’s inauguration, a president who wholeheartedly supported and endorsed globalization, reserving their wrath instead for his anti-globalist successor? The answer is, of course, the ignorance and arrogance of an urbanized youth culture which has bought into all the cultural and ideological byproducts of globalism, such as hedonism and its Frankenstein child, the Pride movement. Claiming to oppose globalism for its injustice to the poor, these misguided youths nonetheless practice the godless humanism and lifestyle choices that globalism nurtures, including consumerism in the marketplace and Pride in the public square. It is indeed ironic that the laissez-faire economics that the rioters oppose is responsible for the laissez-faire morals that they espouse. They are children of the very monster they claim to oppose. They are good “global citizens” of the globalized world order, even if they think they are rebels.

Let’s leave the misbehaving children in the corporate nursery in which they were raised and return to the real world and it’s all-too-real problems. Let’s return, in fact, to President Trump’s inauguration and, more specifically to his inaugural address. This is what he says about tackling the economic imperialism of the globalists:

For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military; we’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own; and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.

We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon. One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world…. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land…. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.

These words are music to the ears for those of us who have long opposed the imposition of globalist imperialism, even those of us who have had difficulty endorsing candidate Trump for other reasons. At last, a major politician has had the courage and audacity to look the globalist tyrant in the eye. At last, a politician has had the courage to state what anyone with eyes can see, but to which politicians, such as Mr. Obama, the Clintons and the Bushes have chosen to turn a blind eye. At last, a politician has had the chutzpah to state the obvious, that global free trade is, in reality, the freedom of the most powerful corporations and financial institutions to move their wealth to wherever the costs of land, labour and capital are cheapest, at huge human cost to those workers left behind in the economic wasteland that such globalism leaves in its destructive wake. At last!

President Trump’s promise to protect the American economy through the implementation of protectionist principles with regard to trade is nothing less than an extension of his desire to protect America’s sovereignty. Protecting one’s borders does not simply mean tighter immigration controls along the Rio Grande; it means protecting the national economy from those corporate and financial vampires who have been sucking its lifeblood by draining its wealth and resources into China and the Pacific Rim. He is right to condemn the wanton and systematic sacrifice of America’s economic infrastructure on the altar of the freedoms demanded by members of an internationalist elite who seek to minimize the power of nations so that they can maximize their own wealth and influence in the absence of any restrictions on trade.

For those of us who have always advocated protectionism as the extension of the principle of subsidiarity into the arena of international trade, it comes as a relief that the word has returned to the lexicon so that we can use it in polite company. For years, amid the manic mantra of “free trade,” “protectionism” was a word that made one a pariah if one uttered it favourably in public discourse, much as words like “virtue” or “sin” make one a pariah in the public square today. As one who has always been happy to use the right word, even when it is considered an impolite word, I’ll state unequivocally that protectionism will help us towards a virtuous economy—i.e., one oriented towards the genuine freedom that comes with justice, and will help us resist the multifarious sins associated with the imposition of the globalist juggernaut.

Books by Joseph Pearce may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore

The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility.

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