The worse the markets, the better for Donald Trump.
That may sound oxymoronic, but the billionaire presidential candidate knows his political future is on Main Street, not with Wall Street deal makers tied to the Chinese economy.
China is not a “trade partner,” but a fierce, nationalistic rival that wishes America ill. Beijing hasn’t been buying U.S. debt for altruistic reasons. Like its decision to devalue currency, China acts with calculated self-interest.
America’s political class isn’t so clear-headed. Democrats and Republicans parrot the transnational anthem of global citizenry. They say we’re at the “end of history” – and hope for the best.
Trump breaks from the pack. He would impose import tariffs to level the playing field. That’s how an up-and-coming America beat the British “free traders” in the 1800s.
While free trade has lined the pockets of Wall Street brokers and enriched the political class, it’s been devastating for Americans at large. Trump is tapping into the anger of what used to be called the middle class.
Trump’s philosophy echoes the paleoconservativism of Patrick Buchanan, who ran for president in 1992 and 1996. It is authentic conservativism abandoned by neoconservatives, who have run the political table for decades. Call it the Washington Consensus.
Supporting war abroad and open borders at home, neocons split the marginal differences between today’s Democratic and Republican parties. The result is a diminished America.
Buchanan notes how Trump views places like Mexico and China:
“They took our jobs and factories; now we are going to take them back. And if that Ford plant stays in Mexico, then Ford will have to climb a 35 percent tariff wall to get its trucks and cars back into the USA,” Buchanan says.
Libertarians, Democrats and neocons (today’s Republican establishment) peddle the notion that a global economy and the “creative destruction” unleashed by technology work for everyone’s benefit. Let the market work, they cry.
Behind close doors, they celebrate the rise of the Chinese middle class as a new market. If one U.S. middle class family loses its place, well, it must be their failed work ethic or some character flaw. Surely, the Chinese communists-cum-capitalists agree.
As China roils U.S. markets, Buchanan says Beijing’s 3 percent currency devaluation could be easily countered by a U.S. tariff of 3 percent on all goods made in China.
Washington’s failure to even entertain the idea strengthens Trump’s claim that U.S. politicians are “stupid,” or worse.
With America’s welfare state and national debt ballooning under Obama and the neocons, is it any wonder that a blunt-talking, politically incorrect neophyte has captured the attention of Main Street?
The worse things get, the higher Trump’s stock soars.
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