Alas, party politics proved fatal to the movement. “Inertia pulled us toward partisanship,” writes Matt Kibbe, an early Tea Party organizer, “and over time there was growing pressure to support the party, not our principles.” Consequently, not much remained of the Tea Party afflatus after Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign of 2012, and what little vitality it had left was completely drained by Donald Trump’s hostile takeover of the Republican Party four years later. “Under Trump,” Kibbe concedes sadly, “the Tea Party original agenda of freedom and fiscal responsibility has been replaced with a populist nationalism that doesn’t particularly prize spending restraint.”
Manufacturing production is at an all-time high today. We have simply replaced labor with machinery. There are 5 million fewer manufacturing jobs than in 1987, while manufacturing output is up 80% over that same time.
Finally, what about the idea of “fair trade” vs. “free trade”? First, why would it not be fair to allow you to make a trade with someone in Mexico? We think it is fair for you to be able to trade with someone in Ohio or Indiana. Does the fact that the other person lives on the other side of the Rio Grande somehow make it OK for the U.S. government to tell you that you are not free to make that trade?