Trump and Lincoln are soulmates on today’s most contentious economic issue. Trump portrays imports as a pox while his trade wars are ravaging American farmers and many manufacturers. Promising high tariffs helped Lincoln capture the presidency in 1860 and he cheered in February 1861 when congressional Republicans boosted tariffs as high as 216%. The New York Times denounced that bill as a “disastrous measure” that “alienates extensive sections of the country we seek to retain” and will “deal a deadly blow … at the measures now in progress to heal our political differences.” That tariff law helped drive Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee out of the Union, thereby making the Civil War far more destructive. Protectionism remains as idiotic now as it was 150 years ago but politicians continue to demagogue the issue.