This morning brought the surprising news that, according to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Donald Trump is running second among GOP presidential hopefuls, at 17%, behind Mitt Romney's 21%.
I am far from a fan of the obnoxious, egomaniacal Trump, but his rise in the polls could be good news: The issue Trump has been pushing most assiduously is the damage our trade policies are causing America, especially our enormous trade deficit with China. If Trump causes other GOP candidates to begin addressing the trade issue, breaking the hold that free trade orthodoxy has on the upper reaches of the GOP, he will have performed a far greater service to our country than anyone could reasonably have predicted. Ordinary Americans overwhelmingly recognize the great damage free trade has caused our economy. It is about time that an enterprising politician decided to catch up with them.
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.