Larry Kudlow on Selling One’s Mind for a Job

What would you do to please your boss? Would you work some extra hours without pay? Put up with a little unfair criticism? Take the blame for some of his mistakes?

How about rejecting your whole professional legacy, contradicting the principles of your trade, spouting overt lies or obfuscating sophistries to protect your boss’s honor at the expense of your own?

If you answered yes to the questions in paragraph one, above, then you probably have a pretty normal and not unhealthy attitude about your work: You understand that in life, we often have to accept little annoyances, indignities, and injustices, in the name of achieving our own legitimate aims. After all, in each of the examples mentioned in that paragraph, you are the one being put upon, and therefore you are in the position of choosing when to let the nuisances run off your back and when to say “Enough is enough.”

If you answered yes to the questions in paragraph two, however, then you may Larry Kudlow — or one of any number of other members of the Trump administration, not to mention scores of political pundits, commentators, radio hosts, and so on, who have repeatedly compromised their souls and their lives’ work in order to ingratiate themselves to Trump and his sizable cult.

From Right Scoop comes a report of Kudlow’s pathetic attempt to defend Trump’s new imposition of tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. Kudlow has built a career as the kind of economist Trump likes — the famous TV celebrity kind — which is why Trump hired him as Director of the National Economic Council. To anyone who thought Kudlow’s lifelong defense of free trade and criticism of tariffs was essential to his sense of professional honor or intellectual integrity, think again. Those positions were clearly subordinate to his real concern, namely establishing himself as a famous TV celebrity expert, in the hopes of someday parlaying that fame into a prestigious political appointment, if America should ever elect a president dumb enough to think TV is reality.

Well, he has achieved that ambition at last, and he is making the most of it. Rather than resigning his post over the humiliation of being forced to play spokesman for a policy he has spent his professional life debunking, he is out on Fox Business claiming that Trump’s protectionism is not protectionism, that the trade war Trump has instigated is merely a “trade dispute,” and that Trump “has to use” these tariffs to promote “fair, equal trading conditions.”

Hence my conclusion that the legacy Kudlow has been building over the years is not that of a free trade economist, as it might have appeared. Free trade was merely a convenient product he was selling when that was in demand in the “conservative media,” where he made his living. Now, since he has been promoted at last to his dream job — lackey for a progressive dimwit — free trade is no longer professionally useful to him, so he is selling a different product, namely protectionist tariffs as tools one “has to use” to improve trade conditions.

In short, Kudlow, like many other “conservatives,” has revealed his soul’s true colors in this era of Trump, and those colors are just so many shades of green.

(For more on Kudlow’s attempt to defend Trump’s tariffs on the grounds that these are merely a weapon to get what he wants, not “real” tariffs somehow, I refer you to my previous discussions of this policy, here and here.)

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