The Chinese retaliation against President Trump’s tariff policies is aimed fatally at U.S. exports of pork, which will in turn hit the whole chain of grain commodities. This alarming insanity at the top of our government is in fact the purest madness and it is going to infect the blown minds of Midwestern Republican Party leaders.

Iowa ag journalists are complaining loudly to the New York Times that the whole economy of their state is beginning to reel from the effects of the Trump madness. In one county bank executives are predicting the bankruptcies of 10 percent of farms there this year, and 10 percent next year.

I am no expert on international economics, and I certainly do not doubt that the Chinese have bootstrapped their economy into a world colossus by extremely unfair policies designed to strangle any country that tries to compete with their version of state-controlled capitalism. But the Trump madness is insane exactly because he so impetuously trashed the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership which was so carefully crafted by the Obama administration to exclude the Chinese from killing a giant American-Asian market system, based on truly fair tariff policies. Mr. Trump did this evidently for no other good reason than to satisfy his preposterous desire to destroy Mr. Obama’s legacy — even if it means putting the whole U.S. economy into a catastrophic tailspin that could undermine the world economy.

I keep hearing foolish pieties about how Mr. Trump’s support for Evangelical Christianity is proof that he is doing God’s will. I would believe this if I could be satisfied that he meant to do no more than to put some kind of serious brake on the pro-abortion and other cultural radicalism that so utterly trashes the moral reputation and credibility of the extremist left wing of the Democratic Party. But Mr. Trump isn’t really interested in re-establishing some kind of spiritual hegemony of evangelical Protestantism in this country, no matter how much its deluded leaders think he is their man.

He is really interested in putting the whole of American culture and politics in his own hands for no other good purpose than to promote his own self-glorification. This is a categorical violation of the First Commandment and the purest poison to America’s culture, economics and to the reputation of conservative Protestantism which in various cultural expressions I am willing to support. I can’t support madness in the name of God or anything else. And what is going on is in fact pure madness.

If the Republican Party doesn’t wake up and get its mind into a mood of sober righteousness once more it will fatally alienate millions of American young people who find that kind of politics a frozen zone in which their lives and the life of their country will wither and die. Some of those young people’s parents live right here in Ottawa and they, too, are infuriated at their abandonment by Trump Republicanism. If the Republican Party wants to immolate its own future, it is welcome to do so, but that will not save America from anything.

David A. Lee,

Ottawa