The populist uprising against phony “free trade” and Republicans who love it has taken its first scalp.
Rep. Randy Forbes, GOP establishment stalwart and longtime Obamatrade supporter from Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, will soon be unemployed. Voters rejected him in favor of his primary opponent Scott Taylor, who stridently opposed Obamatrade.
Taylor blasted Forbes for voting to give President Obama fast track authority to ram through Congress the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sweeping 12-nation international regulatory pact that would merge our economy with some of the poorest and most repressive on earth.
This move was especially hypocritical for Forbes, chairman of the House Prayer Caucus. Obamatrade would give special economic privileges to countries that persecute Christians, including Vietnam, Malaysia and the Shariah-law regime of Brunei.
After his disastrous vote for fast track, Forbes tried to tap dance around the Constitution-shredding, religious-liberty-trampling Obamatrade agreement.
In a letter to constituents, Forbes recycled the party establishment’s globalist talking points, saying free trade is “crucial to our economy” and to “our future as a country.”
Then Forbes said he would support Obamatrade if it were amended, glossing over the fact that his vote for fast track surrendered Congress’ power to amend the agreement.
While Forbes played cute, former Navy SEAL Scott Taylor issued a clarion call against the misbegotten pact.
In an interview on the John Fredericks radio show, Taylor stated, “I would vote against it,” saying Obamatrade “puts downward pressure on wages and exacerbates America’s income gap.” He praised Donald Trump for bringing trade issues to the forefront.
Taylor has a clear understanding of what’s at stake with TPP.
He scorched the deal for failing to address currency manipulation, outlawing Buy American programs, letting foreign state-owned enterprises bankrupt American businesses and undermining American rule of law by setting up a separate-but-unequal court system for foreign corporations.
The voters responded to Scott Taylor’s bugle call.
What can we learn from the election results in Virginia?
Voters loathe so-called free trade and will punish those who support it. Polls show conservatives hate it in greater numbers than Democrats. Ted Cruz paid a price for his early support for fast track. To his credit, he reversed course, but one can only guess how much damage was already done.
The most important lesson is for those conflicted Republicans who don’t know what to do about Donald Trump. (Paging Paul Ryan.)
Nervous Nellies tell us the man at the top of the GOP ticket threatens down-ballot candidates. “Trump will cost us the Senate!” say panicked Republicans, ignoring the fact that long before Trump emerged as a candidate pundits said Republican control of the Senate was at risk.
Paul Ryan won’t tell Republicans to endorse Trump, instead saying they should “follow their conscience.”
Well, if their conscience tells them they want to win, candidates need to man up and instead of running away from him embrace the man who’s racked up more votes in a Republican primary than anyone in history.
The Republican Party has the opportunity to bring millions of new voters into the fold. Blue-collar Americans of all colors and ethnicities, small-business owners, Democrats and people who have never voted before are on the Trump Train.
It is a movement of people who know that both parties have betrayed them by pursuing globalist so-called “free trade” (it’s not free and it’s not trade) that ships their jobs overseas and imports record numbers of low-paid immigrants to compete with them at home.
Trump’s unapologetically nationalist message resonates with the majority of Americans who (still) identify with the United States of America rather than with an ethnic group or as “citizens of the world.”
And it resonates with more blacks and Hispanics than the liberal leftist identitarians want you to believe.
America needs a party that represents working people, and the GOP could be that if it abandons the interests of the donor class.
Republicans who are uncomfortable with Trump’s brash personality – “he’s not our kind of people,” as the country club set would say – can take exception to the way he says it while endorsing the substance of his platform: We will do what’s right for Americans first and oppose the disastrous trade deals that have destroyed our middle class and made America weaker.
You need look no further than the fate of Randy Forbes to see what happens to those who fail to heed this advice.
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