Trump’s dominance in the GOP primary reflects the peaceful overthrow of the government in a revolution against the “ruling class,” former 2016 presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee declared on Newsmax TV Saturday.
During a hard-hitting and candid interview with hosts J.D. Hayworth, John Bachman, and Miranda Khan, the former Arkansas governor argued that Trump has repeatedly proved the resonance of his message with American voters.
“Here is a guy who has said some very inflammatory, very intemperate things and rather than it hurt him, it has actually propelled him because that’s how people feel,” Huckabee said.
“People are angry. I think we’re seeing nothing less than the overthrow of our government… It’s a peaceful overthrow so far. We’re going to do it by ballots, not bullets, thank God, but this is a revolution. The people are that upset with the ruling class and frankly, they ought to be.”
Huckabee added that he felt “nothing would be better for this country than to have an utter disruption of the ruling class in Washington.”
Millions of voters are supporting Donald Trump in the Republican primaries, and it’s not just because he’s a media magnet. He’s one of the few politicians (Bernie Sanders is another) who are telling the truth about why the American middle class is collapsing: Foreign trade has decimated factory jobs, the bedrock of our economy.
Trump, Sanders and millions of voters across the political spectrum know what official Washington still denies: that so-called “free” trade isn’t the panacea some thought it was. They know that millions of American jobs have been lost to lower-cost producers in China and other poor countries in East Asia, South Asia and Latin America.
Those jobs anchored the middle class, and they anchored communities all through the nation. Between 1998 and 2013, 5.3 million factory jobs were lost. What’s worse, an even greater number — an estimated 7.4 million people — who don’t even work at the factory also lost their jobs because their livelihood in one way or another depended on that plant.
For decades, free-trade agreements, called F.T.A.s, have been one of the most solid planks in the platform of economic elites and establishment politicians. True, the occasional political candidate like Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan argued against one deal or another and even President Obama ran on “renegotiating” the North American Free Trade Agreement, but once elected, presidents of both parties sought and ratified trade deals with a wide variety of countries.
Those days may well be over. What changed?
For one thing, the economic populism of the presidential campaign has forced the recognition that expanded trade is a double-edged sword. The defense of globalization rests on viewing Americans primarily as consumers, not workers, based on the assumption that we care more about low prices than about low wages.
Republican front-runner Donald Trump has said he would rip up all existing free trade agreements if he wins the White House. Trump argues that he would greatly improve U.S. relationships with nations such as Mexico and China while lowering trade deficits. “I’m going to rip up those trade deals and we’re going to make really good ones,” he said during a campaign stop in Portland, Maine.
He lashed out at 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney for saying that a Trump presidency would ruin free trade for the United States.
“Ruin free trade?” Trump said. “If we’re losing $505 billion with China, if we’re losing $58 billion a year with Mexico, in terms of deficit, why do we want that kind of trade anyway,” Trump continued.
Americans opposition to job-killing trade policies fueled the stunning Sanders upset victory in Michigan. And it could be a deciding factor in the general election, especially with Donald Trump being the likely GOP nominee. The Michigan outcome shows the potency of the trade issue and foreshadows the trouble Hillary Clinton could face in Midwestern states in a race against Trump.
On a bipartisan basis, the “Washington Cartel” has misread the depth of voters’ ire about the damage done by 20 years of NAFTA-style trade deals supported by Democratic and GOP presidents alike. Or they have dismissed voters’ anger as ill-informed.
Mitt Romney has been claiming that Donald Trump’s (and by logical implication, Bernie Sanders’) proposed rejection of free trade would start a trade war and tip America into recession. Economists have summarized why this simply isn’t how the economics work, even if a trade war does happen.
But here’s a simpler view: Trade wars are mythical. They simply do not happen.
If you google “the trade war of,” you won’t find any historical examples. There was no Austro-Korean Trade War of 1638, Panamanian-Brazilian Trade War of 1953 or any others. History is devoid of them. Trade wars are an invented concept, a bogeyman invented to push free trade. Yet, free traders claim both that trade wars are a terrible threat we must constantly worry about, and it’s obvious no nation can ever gain anything from having one. Think about that for minute.
Here’s my challenge to free traders (and to my readers): respond and name a trade war. I promise to research and publish any results I get. Please don’t respond with that old canard about the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930 starting a trade war and causing the Great Depression. It doesn’t stand up, as actual economic historians from Milton Friedman on the right to Paul Krugman on the left have documented.
Frank Shannon served in the U.S. Army, was an engineering/operations manager for AT&T for 27 years, was the owner of a small manufacturing business for 23 years, served as Colorado Chair of the Coalition for a Prosperous America and moved to Mesquite in 2013.