Trump’s recent episode of oral FARTing is getting a lot of attention. That attention is certainly warranted. More than warranted.
As the president’s anguished rhetoric has notched into an escalating and implausible use of tariffs in the name of national security, unanimous critical reaction—both from commentators and economists–has grown increasingly urgent. There are two primary strains: ”Trump doesn’t understand trade” and “Trump sees everything as a zero sum game.” These two views overlap, of course, and they support each other. They offer a natural, nearly irresistible narrative and prompt an easy and necessary critique of self-destructive double-dealing that is, despite its boilerplate urgency, still placidly reassuring.