The Washington Post, which spent the election doing all it could to stop Donald Trump from becoming president, is now reporting something that happened only because Donald Trump became president: the Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead. The Post story quotes Chuck Schumer, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell, and notes that "Trump's rise has decimated support for free trade among Republicans." Ryan and McConnell, of course, had been fervent supporters of the TPP. But it seems that even they can read an election map, and appreciate the significance of Trump's winning Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and likely Michigan, too. No Republican presidential candidate had won Pennsylvania or Michigan since 1988, and Wisconsin since 1984, and Trump would not have won any of them—or the election—if he had been singing the same stale hymns to free trade offered by conventional Republican politicians for decades. The America First GOP of McKinley and Coolidge may be on the way back.
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.