Tom Cotton Supports Trade War Because Sacrifices Are ‘Minimal’ Compared to a Real War

Tom Cotton Supports Trade War Because Sacrifices Are ‘Minimal’ Compared to a Real War

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) tried to shut down any discussion of the sacrifices Americans might make in President Trump’s trade war with China by calling them “minimal” compared to the sacrifices made by the military.

Cotton was ostensibly being interviewed on CBS This Morning on Monday about his new book, Sacred Duty, a portrait of the military unit that guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. But first, the show’s hosts asked him about the effect the tariffs China is slapping on agricultural imports in retaliation for Trump’s tariffs on that nation’s exports will have on his home state of Arkansas.

The tariffs are expeted to especially hit farmers in Arkansas hard. Norah O’Donnell asked Cotton if Trump “is hurting the people he promised to help.”

“These tariffs are going to end up hurting the Chinese and Americans, I’ll grant you that,” Cotton admitted. He added that he thinks the Chinese will be hurt more because they have allegedly been “cheating” Americans for a couple of decades. He did not explain how the Chinese have been cheating, particularly to gain an advantage in the market for products like the sorghum and corn that Arkansas sends to China.

“There will be some sacrifice on the part of Americans, I grant you that,” Cotton continued. “But I also would say that that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices our soldiers make overseas, that our fallen heroes that are laid to rest in Arlington make that I write about in Sacred Duty.”

That is one awkward attempt at moving an interview back to its original purpose of promoting your book.

Gayle King then challenged Cotton about making that comparison. He responded by claiming that farmers he talks to “back home” see the sacrifice American soldiers make around the world and are apparently inspired to make some of their own sacrifices in the short term to “ensure our long-term prosperity and security.”

It remains to be seen if those farmers will still be willing to make such sacrifices if their reduced income drives them into bankruptcy. Assuming Cotton is even being truthful here, which is not a safe bet.

Watch the video up top, via CBS.


Gary Legum

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.