I had to chuckle when I read Scott P. Richert’s “This Is Your Hometown” (The Rockford Files, March). Did it never occur to him that manufacturers in his own hometown might be hurt by a higher steel tariff? The trouble is that some conservatives have ceased being conservatives and have become ideologues on the issue of protectionism. This is just as bad as those “free traders” (Cordell Hull comes to mind immediately) who thought that lowering tariff barriers would lead to international peace and brotherhood. Some protectionists have gone to the point of seeing native steel as some sort of abstraction that must be defended at all costs. I trust far more those Pennsylvania steel barons of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who pushed for higher tariffs and Southern cotton planters of the same time who pushed for “a tariff for revenue only,” as Grover Cleveland liked to say, than I trust ideologues who ignore what is best for their communities.
—Dr. Tracy S. Uebelhor
Mr. Richert Replies:
If Dr. Uebelhor found my piece amusing, he should prepare to laugh out loud, because I am in complete agreement with everything he says—with the exception, of course, of his...