Today’s paragraphs come to us from New York Times op-ed columnist Paul Krugman. They discuss Mr. Krugman’s view, from his latest piece, of why President Trump pardoned former Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio:
Trump’s motives are easy to understand. For one thing, Arpaio, with his racism and authoritarianism, really is his kind of guy. For another, the pardon is a signal to those who might be tempted to make deals with the special investigator as the Russia probe closes in on the White House: Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.
Finally, standing up for white people who keep brown people down pleases Trump’s base, whom he’s going to need more than ever as the scandals creep closer and the big policy wins he promised keep not happening.
But the Trump base of angry white voters is a distinct minority in the country as a whole. Furthermore, those voters have always been there. Fifteen years ago, writing about the radicalization of the G.O.P., I suggested the hard core of angry voters was around 20 percent of the electorate; that still seems like a reasonable guess.
What makes it possible for someone like Trump to attain power and hold it is the acquiescence of people, both voters and politicians, who aren’t white supremacists, who sort-of kind-of believe in the rule of law, but are willing to go along with racists and lawbreakers if it seems to serve their interests.
There have been endless reports about the low-education white voters who went overwhelmingly for Trump last November. But he wouldn’t have made it over the top without millions of votes from well-educated Republicans who — despite the media’s orgy of false equivalence or worse (emails!) — had no excuse for not realizing what kind of man he was. For whatever reason, be it political tribalism or the desire for lower taxes, they voted for him anyway.
Paul Krugman wins Paragraph Of The Day honors, for typifying the way holier-than-thou left wing elitists see their inferiors – defined as people who think they live in a self-created dream world.
He also wins for showing us precisely the look-down-your-nose attitude that won Donald Trump last year’s presidential election….and, if continued, could very well win it again in 2020.