Paul Krugman: Donald Trump and his supporters are, essentially, dangerous flat-earthers

Only one remaining candidate "is engaged in wildly irresponsible fantas[ies]" with budget math

Published May 6, 2016 12:03PM (EDT)

 (AP/Lai Seng Sin)
(AP/Lai Seng Sin)

In his Friday New York Times column, Paul Krugman preemptively argued against those who would equate Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump by claiming they are both basically on the center-right.

"[O]ne candidate is engaged in wildly irresponsible fantasy while the other is being quite careful with her numbers," he wrote about their respective tax plans. "But beware of news analyses that, in the name of 'balance,' downplay this contrast."

Krugman continued, saying the urge to create the appearance of objectivity by addressing both sides as if they had valid points is what led him, "[m]any years ago, when George W. Bush was obviously lying about his budget arithmetic but nobody would report it, [to suggest] that if a candidate declared that the earth was flat, headlines would read, 'Shape of the Planet: Both Sides Have a Point.'"

The media needs to avoid what he calls the process of "centrification," which is what led to the mainstreaming of the Tea Party, thereby creating the conditions required to make Trump a viable candidate in the first place:

I can almost guarantee that we’ll see attempts to sanitize the positions and motives of Trump supporters, to downplay the racism that is at the heart of the movement and pretend that what voters really care about are the priorities of D.C. insiders — a process I think of as 'centrification.' That is, after all, what happened after the rise of the Tea Party. I’ve seen claims that Tea Partiers were motivated by Wall Street bailouts, or even that the movement was largely about fiscal responsibility, driven by voters upset about budget deficits...

Read the rest at the New York Times...

By Scott Eric Kaufman

MORE FROM Scott Eric Kaufman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton Paul Krugman The Economy