Does Bush regard these statesmen as blinkered isolationists?
Protectionism is the structuring of trade policy to protect the national sovereignty, ensure economic self-reliance and "prosper America first." It was the policy of the Republican Party from Abraham Lincoln to Calvin Coolidge. America began that era in 1860 with one half of Britain's production and ended it producing more than all of Europe put together. Is this a record to be ashamed of?
Compare protectionism's success to Bush's record.
Since 2001, he has presided over the seven largest trade deficits in history, the loss of 3.5 million manufacturing jobs and the collapse of the dollar, and added but one-fifth of the private sector jobs Bill Clinton created. Gold has gone from $260 an ounce to $1,000, oil from $28 a barrel to $100.
"Nativism" is another smear term, dating to the early 1850s and the Know-Nothing Party, which sought to halt immigration after millions of Irish flooded in after the famine of 1845. It carries a connotation of xenophobia, or the fear and hatred of foreigners.
Thus does Bush tar critics who deplore his dereliction of duty in failing to defend this nation's borders against a Third World invasion that may turn this republic into a Tower of Babel.
From 1924 to 1965, there was indeed little immigration. Does that make Coolidge, Hoover, FDR, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Kennedy knuckle-dragging nativists? When JFK took office, we were as united and strong a country as we have ever been. How did we suffer from not having 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens here?
In smearing as nativists, protectionists and isolationists those who wish to stop the invasion, halt the export of factories and jobs to Asia, and stop the unnecessary wars, Bush is attacking the last true conservatives in his party.
Which is understandable. For after the judges and tax cuts, what is there about Bush that is conservative? His foreign policy is Wilsonian. His trade policy is pure FDR. His spending is LBJ all the way. His amnesty for illegals is Teddy Kennedy's policy.
Two-thirds of the nation says we are on the wrong course. Two-thirds rejects NAFTA and amnesty. Two-thirds wants out of Iraq. Two-thirds rejects Bush. Bush says that people are being misled by those wicked old isolationists, protectionists and nativists. At least he and Poppy will have something to agree on in retirement.