Picture:
Picture:
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Donald Trump has changed the Republican party completely.

It happened over his campaign - the party that used to champion free trade in the Reagan era, is now the party of Trump, an anti-globalist "America First" union.

In his inaugural address, Donald Trump said:

From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.

From this moment on, it's going to be America First.

Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.

I will fight for you with every breath in my body — and I will never, ever let you down.

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.

We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.

We will get our people off of welfare and back to work — rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.

We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.

His address is a far cry from the values espoused by Ronald Reagan, a darling of America's right.

In his 1988 State of the Union, Reagan said:

A creative, competitive America is the answer to a changing world, not trade wars that would close doors, create greater barriers, and destroy millions of jobs.

We should always remember: Protectionism is destructionism. America's jobs, America's growth, America's future depend on trade--trade that is free, open, and fair.

While American citizens' views on free trade have varied over the years...

...Republican views have essentially reversed.

One month prior to Donald Trump announcing his candidacy, Republican voters were in favour of free trade by 51 per cent to 39.

Now it's 61 to 32 per cent against.

Meanwhile, if anything, Democrat perception of free trade has become more positive.

What a difference one candidate can make.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)