Pat Buchanan

John McCain seems blind and deaf to the crisis. In Michigan, he informed autoworkers their "jobs are not coming back" and explained his philosophy: "I'm a student of history. Every time the United States has become protectionist ... we've paid a very heavy price."

This is ahistorical nonsense. From 1860 to 1913, the United States was the most protectionist nation on earth and produced the most awesome growth of any nation in history. In 1860, the U.S. economy was half of Britain's; in 1913, more than twice Britain's.

In 1920, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge won a landslide, cut income taxes from Wilson's 69 percent to 25 percent and doubled tariffs. America went on a tear. When Coolidge went home in 1929, the United States was producing 42 percent of the world's manufactured goods.

Who were America's protectionists?

Alexander Hamilton and James Madison moved the Tariff Act of 1789 through Congress. Aided by Henry Clay, John Calhoun, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, President Madison enacted the Tariff of 1816 to protect U.S. infant industries from British dumping.

Abraham Lincoln used Morrill Tariff revenue to fight the Civil War. The 11 GOP presidents who followed, from 1865 to 1929, all protectionists, made America the greatest industrial power in history, with a standard of living never before seen. Mocking protectionism, McCain is repudiating Republican history and all its achievements up to the era of Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.

America rose to power behind a Republican tariff wall. What has free trade wrought? Lost sovereignty. A sinking dollar. A hollowing out of U.S. manufacturing. Stagnant wages. Wives forced into the labor market to maintain the family income. Mass indebtedness to foreign nations, and a deepening dependency on foreign goods and borrowings to pay for them. We have sacrificed our country on the altar of this Moloch, the mythical Global Economy.

It took Rip Van Republican 20 years to wake up to the disaster of open borders and five years to realize the folly of igniting wars in which no vital interest was at risk. How long before the GOP wakes up to the reality that globalism is not conservatism, never was, but is a pillar of Wilsonian liberalism, in whose vineyards our faux conservatives now daily labor.


Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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