Steve Chapman on the Candidates' Trade Nonsense


A national political campaign can be a good vehicle for educating the citizenry about vital issues—whether fiscal balance requires tax increases, say, or the pros and cons of health care reform. By Election Day, Americans who have been paying attention will know more about such matters than they did when the race began says Steve Chapman.

They will know less, though, about international trade and its value to American consumers, producers and economic health. In this, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama call to mind what the 19th-century House Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed said of his foes: "They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge."