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The Republican establishment began losing its party to Donald Trump on May 24, 2000, at 5:41 p.m., on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Urged on by their presidential standard-bearer, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, and by nearly all of the business lobbyists who represented the core of the party’s donor class, three-quarters of House Republicans voted to extend the status of permanent normal trade relations to China. They were more than enough, when added to a minority of Democrats, to secure passage of a bill that would sail through the Senate and be signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

The legislation, a top Republican priority, held the promise of greater economic prosperity for Americans. But few could predict that it would cause a series of economic and political earthquakes that has helped put the GOP in the difficult spot it is in today: with the most anti-trade Republican candidate in modern history, Trump, moving closer to clinching the party’s nomination.

Continue reading:  What Republicans did 15 years ago to help create Donald Trump today

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6 thoughts on “What Republicans [and Dems like Bill Clinton] did 15 years ago to help create Donald Trump today

  1. From the article:

    “I try not to regret things,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a Trump supporter who was one of 83 senators to vote for the China bill. “That’s one I regret.”

    “The Republican electorate has gone along with their leaders, begrudgingly, for 20 or 30 years,” Sessions said. “I supported all these trade agreements . . . but it’s becoming clear that the promises that were made weren’t true.”

    The 2000 vote effectively unleashed a flood of outsourcing to China, which in turn exported trillions of dollars of cheap goods back to the United States. Over the next 10 years, economists have concluded, the expanded trade with China cost the United States at least 2 million jobs. It was the strongest force in an overall manufacturing decline that cost 5 million jobs. Those workers were typically men whose education stopped after high school, a group that has seen its wages fall by 15 percent after adjusting for inflation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This poses a pressing question, which no one wants to ask or, god forbid, answer:

    Are we electing dumb and/or conscienceless folks as our representatives? Or do they lose their intelligence and/or conscience once they are in power?

    Should we require psychological testing for anyone who desires to enter politics…?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s part of the problem, for sure. But, Obama and Hillary – for example – are neither dumb nor do I believe they are devoid of conscience. Rather, they are consummate centrists and pragmatists who are firmly wedded to the socioeconomic status quo. They wouldn’t publicly admit this, but I believe they morally accept the social and human costs of capitalism. Consequently, they try to ameliorate these costs on the fringes of the system. This provides them moral justification for their actions.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “I believe they morally accept the social and human costs of capitalism.”
    Yes, you are correct, of course they do.
    For decades, post WW2 those “costs” impacted primarily non-white US populations.
    Trumps backers are primarily white lower to middle class people who see their “piece of the pie” being eaten.
    They want to eliminate the competition that is eating their pie.
    Similar to the prior German example.
    Capitalism has always been problematic, but more so now since the economy is no longer growing sufficiently to support the ‘unimportant’ people.
    So the working dogs will fighteach other, and their owners will go to the bank, they own.

    Liked by 1 person

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