NYT Writer Warns of “White Nationalist Takeover” in America

If you thought the U.S. edition of The New York Times was bad, you should see what they publish for readers overseas. On the front page of Tuesday’s international version of the paper, columnist Paul Krugman offers a warning to readers too sophisticated to limit themselves to the domestic version: The American government is the victim of a “white nationalist takeover” and only an “outraged populace” can ultimately save democracy.

Krugman admits that some readers will think he’s overstating the problem, even from a liberal perspective.

“Inevitably,” he writes, “one hears some voices urging everyone to cool it – to wait and see, to try to be constructive, to reach out to Trump supporters, to seek ground for compromise. Just say no. Outrage at what’s happening in America isn’t just justified, it’s essential. In fact, it may be our last chance of saving democracy.”

Well then.

Krugman assures us that Trump is not your ordinary, everyday evil Republican, although he reminds us that those ordinary, everyday evil Republicans are essentially just as bad.

“Mr. Trump is clearly a would-be autocrat, and other Republicans are his willing enablers,” he writes. “Does anyone doubt it? And given this reality, it’s completely reasonable to worry that America will go the route of other nations, like Hungary, which remain democracies on paper but have become authoritarian states in practice.”

Don’t you enjoy Krugman’s persuasive evidence that proves Trump is a “would-be autocrat?” By using the word “clearly” and the question “does anyone doubt it,” he conveniently avoids having to make an argument. Of course, he knows that his loyal readers have already convinced themselves that Trump is American Hitler, so why waste the energy?

To be fair, Krugman follows that paragraph up with a description of what we can expect from a dictatorship-in-the-making.

“A crucial part of the story is that the emerging autocracy uses the power of the state to intimidate and co-opt civil society – institutions outside the government proper,” he writes. “The media are bullied and bribed into becoming de facto propaganda organs of the ruling clique. Businesses are pressured to reward the clique’s friends and punish its enemies. Independent public figures are pushed into collaboration or silence. Sound familiar?”

Hmm, Krugman was better off before he delved into the specifics. Because, yeah…we have to admit…it DOES sound a little familiar. A media that functions as a “propaganda organ” for the administration? Businesses that bring economic pressure to bear on laws they don’t like, forcing elected politicians to back away from the will of the people? Independent public figures – celebrities, for instance – pushed into collaboration or silence? Yes, yes, all of this sounds extremely familiar, come to think of it.

It sounds a lot like the nightmare from which we’re slowly but surely starting to awaken. Only time will tell if we can emerge from that nightmare and stay awake as a nation, but Krugman and the rest of his ilk are doing their best to rock us back to sleep.

To steal one of their favorite catchphrases: Resist.

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