Both parties have abandoned free trade

Whoever gets elected president will oppose free trade.  In fact, both parties are rivaling each other in condemning trade agreements such as NAFTA (which forms a common market with Canada and Mexico) and the not-yet-ratified TPP (which eases trade with Australia and Asian countries other than China).

Such a turnabout is astonishing, since Republicans have long championed free markets and Democrats have come around to agree with them.  Credit, or blame, for this new stance goes to the popularity of Donald Trump, who has roused the masses against American industries moving factories and jobs overseas and American products being driven out by cheaper imports.

I can see the appeal of a self-contained national economy, but getting there would seem to involve some dangerous tradeoffs.  If we erect trade barriers such as high tariffs and our trading partners retaliate, won’t that be economically disastrous?  American companies will suddenly lose a major part of their markets.  Prices for consumers will skyrocket.  After awhile, maybe new companies would take up the slack, but, in the short term at least, wouldn’t this cause recession and even more unemployment?

This is not my field, so I am open to instruction. [Read more…]

Another candidate for the anti-Christ

Some Christian leaders are saying that “globalism” is the anti-Christ.  Some are further saying that Christians should therefore vote for Donald Trump because he opposes globalism.

For reasons I don’t fully understand, they consider national borders, protectionist economic policies, and national identity to be essential to Christianity (even though the modern nation state did not exist in Biblical times, in the Greco-Roman Empire, in the Middle Ages, or at the time of the Reformation). [Read more…]

Keeping our promises

First Things editor Alexi Sargeant says that “Trump’s policies, such as they are, usually come down to America breaking its promises.”  Read the argument after the jump and say what you think of it.
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Debate post-mortem

Well, what did you think of the first presidential debate?  Who won, and in what sense?  How did the two candidates come across?  Did it change your mind about anything?

Liveblog the debate right here

Use the comments at this post to react to this first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  I will be doing so, assuming my plane gets in on time.

UPDATE:  I made it, with 7 minutes to spare!  I don’t like either candidate, so I can be objective.  Or maybe biased against both of them.  Maybe that amounts to the same thing.  Let’s go. . .

Tonight’s great debate

Tonight at 9:00 ET, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will debate each other.  The event will be televised on all major networks.

Right now, the race is pretty much even.  This will be the first time voters will get to see both of the candidates side by side and assess how they measure up.  For all of the policy talk, voters will be especially interested in the intangibles:  Will HIllary manage to come off as likeable?  Will Donald come across as presidential?  What outrageous things will be said and what will be their effect?  An unusually large television audience is projected for the debate.

I’ve been on the road last week, but my plane should get in on time to let me liveblog the debate.  If I’m not here yet, go on without me,  Watch the debate with your laptop on your lap.  I’ll have a post up (different from this one).  Write your reactions, analysis, and witticisms as comments.  I’ll join in when and if I can. [Read more…]