Stephen Landsburg, writing before the last presidential election:
If George Bush had chosen the racist David Duke as a running mate, I'd have voted against him, almost without regard to any other issue. Instead, John Kerry chose the xenophobe John Edwards as a running mate. I will therefore vote against John Kerry.
Duke thinks it's imperative to protect white jobs from black competition. Edwards thinks it's imperative to protect American jobs from foreign competition. There's not a dime's worth of moral difference there. While Duke would discriminate on the arbitrary basis of skin color, Edwards would discriminate on the arbitrary basis of birthplace. Either way, bigotry is bigotry, and appeals to base instincts should always be repudiated.
There's not a dime's worth of moral difference indeed. But then why stop at trade policy? (protectionism, at the end of the day, screws the majority of Americans as much as it screws foreigners) I would think that every policy that any government ever comes up with is geared towards benefiting its citizens, with little consideration for the interests of Johnny Foreigner.