Yes, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on his recent visit wasn’t telling small farmers in Wisconsin anything they didn’t know. Small dairy farms and small farmers in general are under extreme pressure to survive, and many will not survive. But he didn’t have to be so blunt about it. Imagine an oncologist telling a patient, “You’ve got cancer, you’ll probably die soon. Get over it.” Callous and unnecessary.

The president of the United States has damaged the agriculture industry so cavalierly as when he tweeted “…trade wars are good, and easy to win.” He was callous and indifferent to the harm caused by his actions. Perdue was just following the president’s lead, unfortunately.

How easy was this trade war to win? Well, it didn’t go as easily as the president imagined, revealing his appalling lack of understanding of economics and world politics. China canceled billions of dollars of new purchases of grains from U.S. farmers and shopped elsewhere.

While The Gazette seems to think the agriculture secretary was just speaking truth to Wisconsin farmers, at least The Gazette did admit in its Friday editorial ("Ag secretary's reality check wasn't callous") that Trump made major mistakes in trade policies since becoming president.

Please take off your blinders and look around.

KARL WESTLUND

Milton

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