New York Times economics columnist Paul Krugman, fresh from denying the Biden economy is in recession, filed another ill-advised foray into partisan politics in Tuesday’s edition with “The Dystopian Myths of Red America.”
The same pundit who has garnered a left-wing cheering section with his corrosive labeling of Republicans as tyrannical and “an authoritarian regime in waiting” and just plain un-American, is now warning readers of the dangers of the right referring to the American left as Marxist.
After lamenting the Republican Party’s “Big Lie” of a stolen 2020 election, Krugman accused the GOP of being dangerously ignorant of life in “blue America.”
What I don’t think is fully appreciated, however, is that the Big Lie is embedded in an even bigger lie: the claim that the Democratic Party is controlled by radical leftists aiming to destroy America as we know it. And this lie in turn derives a lot of its persuasiveness from a grotesquely distorted view of what life is like in blue America.
Urban elites are constantly accused of not understanding Real America™. And, to be fair, most big-city residents probably don’t have a good sense of what life is like in rural areas and small towns….
But I’d argue that right-wing misperceptions of blue America run far deeper -- and are far more dangerous.
….I’d like to see some surveys along the lines of those showing that most Republicans accept the Big Lie. How many Republicans believe that President Biden and other leading Democrats are left-wing radicals, indeed Marxists?
One can turn that question around. How many Democrats believe President Trump and other leading Republicans were right-wing radicals, indeed fascists? Many if not most would tell that to a pollster. Is that also dangerous?
Relatedly, I’d like to know how many Republicans believe that Black Lives Matter demonstrators looted and burned large parts of America’s major cities.
News flash: They did.
Krugman embarrassed himself in a September 2020 column pretending life was hunky-dory in Manhattan during the BLM protests, conjuring up a Potemkin Village of safe quiet streets on a morning stroll (footage of looting in SoHo and the luxury stretch of Fifth Avenue to the contrary).
Now, the reality is that the modern Democratic Party is a mildly center-left coalition, consisting of what Europeans would call social democrats, and relatively conservative ones at that. To take one measure, I can’t think of any prominent Democrats -- actually, any Democratic members of Congress -- who have expressed admiration for any authoritarian foreign regime.
Well, there’s Bernie Sanders hosannas for Cuba, for one (h/t Tim Graham). Many Democrats have shown support for Cuba’s communist regime over the decades, as has the Times itself.
This apologetic for rioting was beyond pathetic both morally and economically. Yes, he actually said “overwhelmingly peaceful.”
Finally, about B.L.M.: The protests were, in fact, overwhelmingly peaceful. Yes, there was some arson and looting, with total property damage typically estimated at $1 billion to $2 billion. That may sound like a lot, but America is a big country, so it needs to be put in perspective.
….We don’t have to speculate about whether this dystopian fantasy might lead to political violence and attempts to overthrow democracy; it already has. And it’s probably going to get worse.
In Krugland, it’s always “going to get worse” when Republicans have anything to do with it.