We want to protect our borders from being invaded by illegal immigrants who violate our laws. We want to protect Americans from illegal drugs that are smuggled across our border.
Protectionism is an acknowledged virtue in all areas of life - except one. It is a semantic curiosity that, somehow, the word "protectionism" has been placed in the globalist quiver of arrows to shoot down anyone who tries to protect the good jobs that have enabled millions to rise from poverty into the middle class and live the American dream.
It's time that we denounce the semantic scalpers who have perverted the word "protectionism." It's time to say, yes, we do want to protect American jobs and industries from global competition with slave labor, inhumane working conditions, and countries that use the profits on their sales to us to build a military force to threaten us.
Yes, we do want to protect American industries from competition with foreign countries that engage in unfair trade practices, dishonestly manipulate their currency, steal our intellectual property, and then bring their products into our stores without paying the same border fees that U.S. products must pay when we sell to foreign countries.
Yes, we do want to protect American workers against the efforts of globalists to locate manufacturing jobs in Asia where people work for 30 cents an hour. Even the Wall Street Journal-NBC poll reports that Republican voters, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, believe that free trade is bad for the U.S. economy because it costs jobs.
Yes, we do want to protect Americans from the low-wage, non-English-speaking Mexican truck drivers whom President George W. Bush is allowing on our highways. Yes, we do want to protect Americans from the poisonous pet food, seafood, toothpaste and toys that come from the People's Republic of China.
Yes, we do want to protect Americans from the foreign tribunals that rule against the United States, such as the World Trade Organization that has ruled against the U.S. in 40 out of 47 cases and now is demanding that we repeal the U.S. law against Internet gambling. Yes, we do want to protect U.S. sovereignty and wealth from the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, which seeks to control all the seas and the minerals under them.
It's time we reclaim the words "protect" and "protectionism" and proudly say, yes, we believe in protecting the United States and U.S. workers against unfair competition, unfair trade agreements, and unfair foreign tribunals.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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