Will has abandoned any protection of our industry from unfair foreign competition -- which every conservative Republican president from Lincoln to Reagan supported.
Writing in the Irrelevant Inquirer (aka National Review) Will said:
Donald Trump’s Carrier ploy was a repudiation of traditional conservatism.
So, this is the new conservatism’s recipe for restored greatness: Political coercion shall supplant economic calculation in shaping decisions by companies in what is called, with diminishing accuracy, the private sector. This will be done partly as conservatism’s challenge to liberalism’s supremacy in the victimhood sweepstakes, telling aggrieved groups that they are helpless victims of vast, impersonal forces, against which they can be protected only by government interventions.Victimhood?
There really are victims of unfair trade. This is not a game. The nation does have problems that yakking about tax cuts and reducing regulations cannot solve -- although actually reducing taxes while balancing the budget and rolling back regulations will help. But what we need is to play hard ball, which President Trump is doing.
But like many an egghead in Washington (Will's father was a professor of philosophy), Will divorced himself from the reality of commerce. He hangs out with the think-tank crowd who like his daddy do not work for a tax-paying entity that must compete in the marketplace of ideas.
Certainly his newspaper home (the Washington Post) is not an example of this free market he drools over. It is a lobbying tool of Jeff Bezos to keep the Department of Justice from hauling Amazon into court in an anti-trust action.
So his knowledge of how theories of free markets work is limited to what teh Chamber of Commerce says. He hears only the praise. He does not see the damage.
But citing Friedrich Hayek, Will plodded on, appalled that a president of the United States can stand up for American industry.
What formerly was called conservatism resisted the permeation of society by politics, and particularly by the sort of unconstrained executive power that has been wielded by the 44th president. The man who will be the 45th forthrightly and comprehensively repudiates the traditional conservative agenda and, in reversing it, embraces his predecessor’s executive swagger.What would Reagan do?
Kick ass, that's what.
From the New York Times in 1983:
In an unusually strong protectionist action, President Reagan today ordered a tenfold increase in tariffs for imported heavyweight motorycles.
The impact of Mr. Reagan's action, which followed the unanimous recommendation of his trade advisers, is effectively limited to Japanese manufacturers, which dominate every sector of the American motorcycle market.
The action was exceptional for protecting a single American company, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company of Milwaukee, the sole surviving American maker of motorcycles.
The only comparable trade action by this Administration, the President's decision last May to impose quotas on sugar imports for the first time since 1974, was aimed at an entire industry.
''We're delighted,'' said Vaughn L. Beals, Harley-Davidson's chairman. ''It will give us time that we might otherwise not have had to make manufacturing improvements and bring out new products.''The protective tariff began at 49.4 percent and slowly fell. Harley-Davidson rebounded.
As NAFTA approaches its 23rd anniversary, now would be a good time to review it and see if any of the predictions of prosperity from George Will and his fellow Washingtonians came true.
NAFTA was passed into law by a Democratic Congress and signed by a Democratic president, with the full blessing of the post-Reagan Republicans.
But Will has become so globalist -- so anti-nationalist -- that I fully expect Will to break out singing The Internationale in his next appearance on Fox News.
Stand up all victims of oppression
For the tyrants fear your might
Don't cling so hard to your possessions
For you have nothing if you have no rights
Let racist ignorance be ended
For respect makes the empires fall
Freedom is merely privilege extended
Unless enjoyed by one and all
So come brothers and sisters
For the struggle carries on
Unites the world in song
So comrades come rally
For this is the time and place
The international ideal
Unites the human race
Let no one build walls to divide usLet no one build walls. Where have I heard that recently?
Walls of hatred nor walls of stone
Come greet the dawn and stand beside us
We'll live together or we'll die alone
In our world poisoned by exploitation
Those who have taken now they must give
And end the vanity of nations
We've but one earth on which to live
Have a little fun. Read "Trump the Press," in which I skewer media experts who wrongly predicted Trump would lose the Republican nomination. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.
For an autographed copy, email me at DonSurber@GMail.com