Here’s the thing about trade wars: the United States collectively figured out many, many decades ago that they’re always a bad idea for everyone involved. This is not merely a partisan viewpoint. Trade wars hurt the entire U.S. economy, including the working class, which offends liberals, and the corporate bottom line, which offends fiscal conservatives. There is no reason to be in favor of a trade war, beyond pure unadulterated nihilism. That brings us to Donald Trump’s base.
We still don’t fully know why Donald Trump has decided to start a trade war with key U.S. economic allies. Maybe it’s merely an attempt at a distraction from his worsening criminal scandals. Maybe he’s too arrogantly ignorant to understand that no one, not even he and his angry tweets, can win a trade war. Maybe he’s personally cashing in on the economic destruction, in ways we haven’t yet fully uncovered. Or maybe Trump is spitefully burning down the economy because he knows it’s what his base wants.
The thing about a trade war is that, while it economically harms everyone involved, it allows the United States to thumb its nose at foreign nations. Do you think it’s a coincidence that Trump has primarily spent his trade war ranting about the nonwhite nations of Mexico and China? This is xenophobic racist nihilism at its stupidest. Trump’s base is cheering him on as he destroys their jobs, their industries, and their local economies, all because it means getting to screw with nonwhite foreigners.
There’s a reason Donald Trump’s base supported him to begin with: they could tell from Day One that he was incompetent idiot selling snake oil. They just didn’t care. They’re so lost in a haze of racist and xenophobic hatred, they’re willing to ruin their own lives in order to spite those they blame for their own problems and failings. This group of nihilists has been holding America back since before Trump came on the political scene. We can only hope they give up and go quiet once he’s ousted from office and imprisoned for his crimes. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report