Wake up, Paul Ryan! Of course Trump doesn’t believe in free trade. Can you imagine? In fact he doesn’t believe in freedom at all. Except for himself, to be president-for-life like Mr. Xi.
Ever since grade-school-Trump was reportedly caught throwing rocks into the crib of a toddler next door in Queens, he has been, shall we see, less than fully committed to freedom in any sense normal people can recognize. Paul Ryan, meanwhile, has not troubled himself to condemn Trump’s many other assaults on American freedom and rule of law, but is suddenly horrified that the president shows no respect for free trade. Really? Will Paul Ryan sit Trump down and read aloud to him from David Ricardo’s writings on “comparative advantage”? Will Paul Ryan persuade our president that global trade is a win-win proposition in which voluntary mutually beneficial transactions shine the light of freedom into every corner of America (and the rest of the world)?
No, he won’t, because Donald J. Trump understands better than Paul Ryan that what America great in the first place was not the fantasy spontaneous-order world of Hayek and Mises. Nope, it was the zero-sum world of baksheesh and Ndrangheta and omerta and Maskirovka and grease. The whole point of the art of the deal is to fool and screw somebody else, not to find mutually beneficial transactions. (The complex truth is other than either of these simple options; another post another day).
And if Trump appointed a “religious freedom” ambassador, that was for the “evangelical” suckers. If he speaks of “God,” it is a God of wrath and vengeance, not the God who promises and brings good news of Christian freedom. If he ever butters up members of the press in private, it’s only so as to catch them off guard when he calls them “enemies of the people” in public and tweets violent anti-CNN images to rile up his loyalists.
Paul, admit it: your president and ours doesn’t give a fig for “freedom.” You at least make a big show out of promoting “freedom,” even if it is, IMO, a dystopian kind of freedom disconnected from the actual experiences of millions of hard-working and economically and otherwise not-completely-secure Americans–Americans who might want to look into FDR’s Second Bill of Rights to discover a version of freedom that might make a positive difference. If you want to know what the president really thinks of freedom, just look at his envious praise of Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin and Rodrigo Duterte and Erdogan and–you get the idea, Paul.