Paul Krugman: Trump Isn’t an Aberration—He’s the Logical Conclusion of 40 Years of Conservative Lies
There is certainly a logical progression from 1964 to the present, with racism (the “southern strategy) in 1968, and the “Reagan revolution” with supply side economics and fundamentalist Christianity in 1980. A period of consolidation followed under the Bushes, with the current phase looking more and more like the long-prepared climax, a grab for absolute power.
Anti-Trump Republicans love to claim Donald Trump is an aberration, a fake conservative destroying their ideals of individual liberty, small government and even smaller taxes with a cavalcade of lies. Conservative senators like Lindsey Graham and John McCain grandstanded last week about the GOP’s broken health care policy and the erosion of senatorial norms. But what these speeches conveniently ignore is that Republicans have been lying to their constiutents for years.
As Paul Krugman argues in his Monday column, “the Republican health care debacle was the culmination of a process of intellectual and moral deterioration that began four decades ago, at the very dawn of modern movement conservatism—that is, during the very era anti-Trump conservatives now point to as the golden age of conservative thought.”
It all started back in 1970, Krugman continues, when Irving Kristol, a political commentator and the “godfather of neoconservatism,” endorsed supply-side economics, “the claim,” according to Krugman, “refuted by all available evidence and experience, that tax cuts pay for themselves by boosting economic growth.” Fellow conservatives ate it up, grateful to have a palatable explanation for taking from the poor and giving to the rich.