Editor, Daily Nexus,

While I am with Steven Begakis in his decision to not vote for Obama this November (“Obama’s Plans Far From Right,” Daily Nexus, Oct. 21), I take issue with his comments about protectionism and “free trade.” In fact, it is one of the main issues on which I find myself at odds with “mainstream conservatism,” and one of the reasons I no longer identify as a conservative.

Free trade does not benefit the Americans who lose their jobs, nor does it benefit the American nation as whole, which loses its industrial capabilities. Any viewers of Ken Burns’ “The War” will recall how, during WWII, the United States’ industrial power was the engine that fueled the U.S. war effort. What will we do if we’re in such a situation again?

Nor does free trade benefit the people of the developing nations to which we export our jobs. Their condition is tantamount to slavery. The only beneficiaries of free trade are the corporations, who get to maximize their profits while soundly defeating the few competitors who are foolish or devoted enough to remain in the U.S.

Now, I am no socialist and no liberal. I believe in trade, but in goods, not jobs. I acknowledge that unions have gotten greedy and made it impossible, in some cases, for businesses to stay in the U.S. and remain profitable. But I stand by my opinions on free trade and challenge the politicians and voters to seek what is truly in the best interest of the American people, not the privileged few.