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Friday, July 08, 2016

Paul Krugman: All the Nominee’s Enablers

The reason "Trumpism could triumph":

All the Nominee’s Enablers, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: A couple of weeks ago Paul Ryan ... sort of laid out both a health care plan and a tax plan. ...Mr. Ryan’s latest proposals had the same general shape as every other proposal he’s released: huge tax cuts for the wealthy combined with savage but smaller cuts in aid to the poor, and the claim that all of this would somehow reduce the budget deficit thanks to unspecified additional measures. ...
Fix the Debt, a nonpartisan deficit-scold group ... issued a statement — but not, as you might have expected, condemning Mr. Ryan for proposing to make the deficit bigger. No, the statement praised him. “We are concerned that the policies in the plan may not add up,” the organization admitted, but it went on to declare that “we welcome this blueprint.”
And there, in miniature, is the story of how America ended up with someone like Donald Trump... It’s all about the enablers, and the enablers of the enablers.
At one level, all Mr. Trump has done is to channel the racism that has always been a part of our political life... But there’s a reason these tendencies are sufficiently concentrated in the G.O.P. that Trumpism could triumph...
To put it bluntly, the modern Republican Party is in essence a machine designed to deliver high after-tax incomes to the 1 percent. ... But not many voters are interested in that goal. So the party has prospered politically by harnessing its fortunes to racial hostility, which it has not-so-discreetly encouraged for decades. ...
I’m not saying that all leading Republicans are racists... It is that in pursuit of their economic — actually, class-interest — goals they were willing to act as enablers, to make their party a safe space for prejudice. And the result is a party base that is strikingly racist...
But there’s one more crucial element here: We wouldn’t have gotten to this point if so many people outside the G.O.P. — in particular, journalists and self-proclaimed centrists — hadn’t refused to acknowledge what was happening. ... Instead, the respectable, “balanced” thing was to pretend that the parties were symmetric, to turn a blind eye to the cynicism of the modern Republican project. ...
The point is that this kind of false balance does real harm. The Republican establishment directly enabled the forces that led to Trump; but many influential people outside the G.O.P. in effect enabled the enablers. And so here we are.

    Posted by on Friday, July 8, 2016 at 08:58 AM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  Comments (85)


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