Paul Krugman Lies to You to Give You a Mental Image of a Country that isn’t the USA

Paul Krugman wrote this week in an opinion piece named “Hate Is on the Ballot Next Week” in an obvious ploy to convince readers of a dark America that is hiding beneath the surface. He carefully craft a mental image that he goes well out of his way not to accidentally break with inconvenient things like facts. He skirts the line of truth and fiction with careful omissions and half truths.

It’s an opinion piece, but it’s not his opinion, it’s the opinion he’s trying to give to you.

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From the fake news:

All of these hate crimes seem clearly linked to the climate of paranoia and racism deliberately fostered by Donald Trump and his allies in Congress and the media.

Killing black people is an old American tradition, but it is experiencing a revival in the Trump era.

What is the image Krugman is trying to paint into your mind? A picture of a helplessly violent public full of racists dragging black people through the streets. Presumably these racists must be white people

And he does nothing to shatter this false picture with facts. Because the fact is- yes murder rates have increased, but they don’t support a racist narrative.  From FBI’s website:

Year Total Black Murder Victims Population Per 100,000 % Change
2014 6095 318,620,000 1.91
2015 7039 321,040,000 2.19 14.6%
2016 7881 323,410,000 2.43 10.9%
2017 7851 325,720,000 2.41 -0.82%

It’s true that black murder rates have been increasing, but not by much, and the increase each year has actually been shrinking under Trump. To top it off, black people are overwhelmingly victims of murder by other black people. 88% of black murders are committed by other black people. Less than 9% of black murders were caused by white people in 2017. A much higher rate of 16% of white murders were committed by black people.

The picture painted by statistics is very different. Despite making up only 12% of the US population, black people were committing very close to half of the murders (where the offender was known).

That means there are 16.08 murders committed by black people for every 100,000 black people there are in the country, vs  2.18 murders committed by white people for every 100,000 white people in this country.

The American tradition of killing black people that Mr. Krugman is referring to is not a racist white people problem.

The man arrested at the Tree of Life synagogue has been critical of Trump, who he apparently believes isn’t anti-Semitic enough.

You’ll notice Paul Krugman does nothing to clarify here. It’s incredibly intellectually dishonest to just leave the sentence here because it implies that Trump’s Antisemitism is not in question, only the degree.

But has Trump really been shown to be anti-Semitic?

Despite many Presidents who agreed to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, President Trump was the first one to actually act on America’s promise, officially announcing the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Surely something an anti-Semite would not approve of.

Is this the face of an anti-Semite?

Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, converted to Orthodox Judaism in 2009. Trump was the first president to be the parent and grand-parent of observant Jews. Jared Jushner, Ivanka’s Orthodox Jewish husband, is one of Trump’s top advisors. From

The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer and general counsel are both observant Jews, and Trump has the support of perhaps the single most important political donor in the American Jewish world—Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

So why would Mr. Krugman leave such a suggestion on the table, unless his goal was to mislead his readers into believe that Donald Trump truly is anti-Semitic?

Returning to our NYTimes editorial:

But his rage seems to have been fueled by a conspiracy theory being systematically spread by Trump supporters — the claim that Jewish financiers are bringing brown people into America to displace whites.

The shooter, who was anti-Trump, believed this Jewish conspiracy. But that doesn’t really support the allegation that Trump supporters are the ones spreading this conspiracy theory. On the contrary, it supports the allegation that an anti-Trump supporter was spreading this conspiracy theory.

What Paul is clearly trying to do is conflate two ideas:

  1. There is a legitimate concern among republicans and Trump supporters that unregulated immigration is not good for the country, regardless of race. Historically, having a regulated immigration policy has not only been standard policy for both Democrats and Republicans alike, it stands as one of the most common policies for most governments world wide today.
  2. The conspiracy theory of a crazy nut who murders people that there is a Jewish conspiracy to replace the people here, and it’s racially motivated.

These are two different ideas. Paul Krugman wants you to think that people who think #1 also think #2.  A very disingenuous suggestion indeed.

This conspiracy theory is, it turns out, a staple of neo-Nazis in Europe. It’s what our own neo-Nazis — whom Trump calls “very fine people” — were talking about in Charlottesville last year, when they chanted, “Jews will not replace us.”

Mr. Krugman does a very fine job of misquoting President Trump here, in his continued hack of a job trying to attach multiple false narratives together to lead you, the reader, to believe that it is Trump and Trump supporters spreading hate. One could argue that misquoting somebody in order to mislead the public is an exercise in hate, but I digress.

Paul Krugman is referring to Trump’s statements on the “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville in 2017, in which white supremacists, antifa agitators, and many others gathered to protest either the removal of a statute, or to protest other protesters protesting the removal of a statute.

If Mr. Krugman was being intellectually honest with you, he’d let you in on a secret. President Trump didn’t call neo-Nazis “very fine people.” Far from it. Here’s the transcript from his public statement: (Emphasis added)

Trump: I think there is blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there is blame object both on both sides. I have no doubt about it. You don’t have doubt about it either. If you reported it accurately, you would say that the neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville. Excuse me. They didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis. You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group — excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down — excuse me. Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him. Good. Are we going to take down his statue. He was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue? It is fine. You are changing history and culture.

You had people and i’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists. They should be condemned totally. You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. The press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats. You had a lot of bad people in the other group too.

Paul’s intellectual dishonesty knows no bounds in this dumpster fire of an editorial. Anybody reviewing a spot check of his content should be able to see, he’s peddling propaganda and nothing more. How he sleeps at night is beyond me.