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May 18, 2008


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Nick Commons-Miller

"trade protectionism"

I can agree with that. And why wouldn't other countries be upset? Trade protectionism aims to protect American interests (or at least, what the people who support it think American interests are) over those of the other countries. It surely is meant to prefer entities within American over those in other countries, which requires thinking that these American entities deserve it more than foreign entities. This is indeed what most supporters cite as a justification. I don't think Americans are more important or more worthy of consideration than other people though. (they are people just the same, just from a different country)

It is also so short-sighted. In the short-term, it benefits American interests. As other economies get stronger, however, prices of labor in those economies and goods from them go up, and manufacturing and jobs come back to the US. In this case, people have also harbored better trade relations (and then really, better relations in general) between the US and these other countries, as well as spread American influence (and in a way that is completely willing on the part of the influenced).

One criticism I have heard of current free trade policy though is that it is not really free trade, and that quite often it is just free trade for large corporations. I don't think that kind of free trade is as beneficial, though it still isn't terrible.

I do disagree though with the way the word liberal is used, which is as a label used solely to divide people, and is counterproductive to both running a society and to having a good discussion or debate with people of different viewpoints. In other words, you will be less likely to get through to them, vice versa, and there will be less intellectual progress because there will be more miscommunication and less honest criticism.

"traditionally conservative and free market ideas and not liberal protectionism"

This terminology is tricky. The problem is that conservative and liberal mean a variety of things. In this case, it is Democrats (generally considered liberal) espousing a conservative (in the sense of being closed, and in the sense of being traditional) idea. It is not a liberal idea just because Democrats sponsor it. Also, the free market is classical Liberalism, which is now considered conservative.

Really, posing two opposing poles of "liberal" and "conservative" doesn't make sense here. You are meaning to talk about a number of different political ideologies that have existed within various social contexts. For example, what we call classical Liberalism has a set of beliefs, and that is the ideology. It exists within a certain social context. For example, it is now considered an old-time viewpoint, but at one time it was a radical one.

"Democratic presidential candidates have lost sight of the potential free trade has in accomplishing one of their main campaign aims."

Possibly, though it may just be pandering.

Nick Commons-Miller

"there will be less intellectual progress because there will be more miscommunication and less honest criticism."

This is because there will be less willingness to understand each other and therefore more conflict as you view the person as your enemy instead of having a reasonable discussion with them.

Though in certain places your use of "Democratic" or "Democrat" is valid (as in, specifying who is doing what), "Democrats send the wrong message abroad." for example just serves to divide. Also, not all Democrats may support the policies you are speaking against, and it just alienates an audience and helps to divide when you cite "Democrats." In addition, it simply is not about people having a certain political affiliation. It is about two different viewpoints, and you trying to convince the people with the other viewpoint of yours.

Though I suppose you could be aiming solely to discredit Democrats, but that accomplishes little in terms of intellectual progress. It is just reinforcing the American political division.

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