Krugman: The real crisis is an upsurge in hatred

“The speed of America’s moral descent under Donald Trump is breathtaking. In a matter of months we’ve gone from a nation that stood for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to a nation that tears children from their parents and puts them in cages,” writes Paul Krugman in The New York Times.

“What’s almost equally remarkable about this plunge into barbarism is that it’s not a response to any actual problem. The mass influx of murderers and rapists that Trump talks about, the wave of crime committed by immigrants here (and, in his mind, refugees in Germany), are things that simply aren’t happening. They’re just sick fantasies being used to justify real atrocities.

“And you know what this reminds me of? The history of anti-Semitism, a tale of prejudice fueled by myths and hoaxes that ended in genocide.

“First, let’s talk about modern U.S. immigration and how it compares to those sick fantasies.

“There is a highly technical debate among economists about whether low-education immigrants exert a depressing effect on the wages of low-education native-born workers (most researchers find that they don’t, but there is some disagreement). This debate, however, is playing no role in Trump policies.

“What these policies reflect, instead, is a vision of ‘American carnage,’ of big cities overrun by violent immigrants. And this vision bears no relationship to reality.

“For one thing, despite a small uptick since 2014, violent crime in America is actually at historical lows, with the homicide rate back to where it was in the early 1960s. (German crime is also at a historical low, by the way.) Trump’s carnage is a figment of his imagination.

“True, if we look across America there is a correlation between violent crime and the prevalence of undocumented immigrants — a negative correlation. That is, places with a lot of immigrants, legal and undocumented, tend to have exceptionally low crime rates. The poster child for this tale of un-carnage is the biggest city of them all: New York, where more than a third of the population is foreign-born, probably including around half a million undocumented immigrants — and crime has fallen to levels not seen since the 1950s.

“And this really shouldn’t be surprising, because criminal conviction data show that immigrants, both legal and undocumented, are significantly less likely to commit crimes than the native-born.

“So the Trump administration has been terrorizing families and children, abandoning all norms of human decency, in response to a crisis that doesn’t even exist.

“Where does this fear and hatred of immigrants come from? A lot of it seems to be fear of the unknown: The most anti-immigrant states seem to be places, like West Virginia, where hardly any immigrants live.

“But virulent hatred for immigrants isn’t just a matter of rural rubes. Trump himself is, of course, a wealthy New Yorker, and a lot of the funding for anti-immigrant groups comes from foundations controlled by right-wing billionaires. Why do wealthy, successful people end up hating immigrants? I sometimes find myself thinking about the TV commentator Lou Dobbs, whom I used to know and like in the early 2000s, but who has become a rabid anti-immigrationist (and Trump confidant), and who is currently warning against a pro-immigrant plot by ‘the Illuminati of K Street.’

“I don’t know what drives such people — but we’ve seen this movie before, in the history of anti-Semitism.

“The thing about anti-Semitism is that it was never about anything Jews actually did. It was always about lurid myths, often based on deliberate fabrications, that were systematically spread to engender hatred.

“In any case, the important thing to understand is that the atrocities our nation is now committing at the border don’t represent an overreaction or poorly implemented response to some actual problem that needs solving. There is no immigration crisis; there is no crisis of immigrant crime.

“No, the real crisis is an upsurge in hatred — unreasoning hatred that bears no relationship to anything the victims have done. And anyone making excuses for that hatred — who tries, for example, to turn it into a ‘both sides’ story — is, in effect, an apologist for crimes against humanity.”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

24 thoughts on “Krugman: The real crisis is an upsurge in hatred”

  1. The anonymous creeps on Todd’s blog can’t shut their pie holes. Too cowardly to sign their name, though.

    1. Annie,
      The creeps on Todd’s blog are going bonkers! One of the trolls now thinks you are my wife! Ha! Wait until I tell her. You would like her, though. These out-of-touch fools can’t image there is a person like you, because you are not “one of them.” Meanwhile, Barry Pruett needs a vacation break to Carmel or some place nice with his wife. Maybe an afternoon at Nepenthe near Big Sir. He seems awfully stressed. He and Todd are lashing out at Krugman, calling him ugly names like school children. Barry thinks an immigration bill is going to pass next week, but CNN says Trump has killed all chances of that ( Goodness, Barry, even Nevada County is “purple” politically. Your foe Greg Diaz got elected by 70 PERCENT of the electorate. I have no idea how Barry wound up in California instead of a conservative state like Alabama, Wyoming or North Dakota. I suppose because it is a great place to live, especially when you grow up in Harvey, Ill., which has frigid winters. Here in the Golden State we have nice year round weather, great universities, a thriving art and culture scene, the innovation of Silicon Valley, Lake Tahoe, even Disneyland. Of course, all of this is inundated with those dreaded progressive people. Sadly California will never bow to Barry’s political wishes. Ever. I think it really frustrates him, as well as Todd, who seems more isolated every day behind his computer, reminiscing about the past. The “anonymous” commentators on his blog are going more batty by the day too, with all their ugly personal attacks. I wouldn’t sign my name to that ugliness either. TGIF!

      1. Hmmm, I wasn’t aware I changed my name and we got married! Lucky you, lucky me!!! I’ll have to let my husband know about this LOL! Seriously I’m sure I would like your beautiful wife. I’m sure they can’t imagine there is a person like me because I’m blessed not to be “one of them” so I consider that a compliment. There a many intelligent, proud Americans who aren’t “one of them” either. Right on Mr. Paul Krugman for the excellent article.

  2. Trump is a monster. His lack of any empathy or understanding with the pain those fleeing Central America, and the scorching he is doing to America’s political discord reminds me of the old 60s movies with godzilla walking into downtown Tokyo, except Trump is doing that to America and it is real.

  3. “lack of any empathy or understanding” These are common symptoms of mental disorder which seems to be obvious to everyone but the trump faithful who either don’t understand who trump is or don’t care because he sings their song.

    1. “Kernberg described malignant narcissism as a syndrome characterized by a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), antisocial features, paranoid traits, and egosyntonic aggression. Other symptoms may include an absence of conscience, a psychological need for power, and a sense of importance (grandiosity).”

      And let’s not forget that he’s at best a sociopath, at worse a psychopath…all great for the ol USA.

      1. Bruce,
        You’ve experienced this a lot longer than most of us, but it explains why we have an uphill battle to “make nice” with the rest of the state. The good news is that we’re making progress with initiatives like the State Cultural Districts. This helps to unite, rather than divide us. Heck I even noticed that a Confederate flag was unwelcome at the Cherry Blossom Festival. Baby steps …

      2. Too late for baby steps. We are far along towards a fascist state. Ignore what’s in front of you if you wish. The Germans did.

      3. Ukraine did, Poland Did, Romania did, Italy did, Greece did, Israel did it, even Sweden did, all recently. If you can’t see it you need to open your eyes wider. Your belief that “It can’t happen here” is quaint, especially in the face of whats going on right in front of your eyes all over the world. This is a cycle that needs to be watched. It appears every few decades and destroys the humanity of the planet. It really doesn’t take much for humanity to descend into barbarity…it’s happened consistently throughout history. What makes one think we are evolved above that now? Be complacent if you wish, but it’s at your detriment. Especially observing the psychopath running this country. I’m Jewish from a family that came from Europe during the Nazi regime. I know what I’m seeing.

  4. I rarely look at Juvinall’s dumpster fire of a blog, so when I did today I see my name. LOL!
    “Steve Willer, a local extremist liberal is complaining Trump has no empathy. Willer supported Hodge for Supe so he must be hurting. I empathize with his pain. Willer is a true emoting fool.”
    Hey Todd, like I’ve told you over and over on The Union, blow it out your backside old man. You don’t impress me at all.

    1. Steve, I enjoy your posts. I appreciate seeing intelligent posts and responses like yours and others in the Union – even if it does give those guys a flatulence attack (glad I don’t hang around them).

      1. Annie, arguing back and forth with Todd is a form of recreation, but it doesn’t bring out the best in anybody, it also channels my inner Chicago youth. These old guys around here are just that, a bunch of cranky old guys, but for now they still seem to hold some sway with The Union, so they can’t be dismissed entirely.

        Me “Todd Juvinall Hey, why doesn’t your POTUS guy take down the Statue of Liberty, or at least have the National Park Service cover it up. Under Trump this country is the opposite of everything it stands for.”
        Todd: “Steven R Willer Not at all. The statue is about freedom and the plaque came many years later. Your histpry stinks. And America is in charge of who comes here and Trump is in charge of that. All you crazy liberals want open borders for the ISIS killers to waltz across. I am sure they are your pals.”
        Me: “Todd Juvinall Be honest for once, Lady Liberty now belongs to America’s past and should be part of the Smithsonian exhibits, with a beginning and end date, under Trump she is dead. It is no different than the old mining equipment around town, a hunk of metal from a different time. And might as well turn the Republican run Congress into a wax museum while we are at it.”
        Todd: “Steven R Willer You liberals are condoning a invasion of our country. You are traitors to America.”

        And on and on it goes. LOL!

      2. Steve, yes it can be a form of recreation but he’s just too easy and boring which is why I don’t waste my time on his blog at all. I understand your comment regarding inner Midwest city as I grew up in one too. Great job in the Union!

  5. Bruce is right. When you are in it, you can’t always tell when the coup is complete. Comparisons to the insidious rise of the Third Reich could not be more instructive.

    1. Todd’s blog has turned into a mudpit this afternoon, prompting someone to ask why he doesn’t enforce his own rules on his blog (that is, sign your real name). Todd can’t answer the question. Go figure!

      1. And they still don’t know the definition of what a “sock puppet” is. After all this time. Here, let’s help them:

        “A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. The term, a reference to the manipulation of a simple hand puppet made from a sock, originally referred to a false identity assumed by a member of an Internet community who spoke to, or about, themselves while pretending to be another person.”…Wikipedia.

      2. Apparently they think there are three people here, including myself who are your sock puppets.

  6. Bruce, my husband just showed me a post from one of those tragically dreary trolls, the smarmy, pusillanimous one who shrank while others served. He thinks we are stupid. It’s good to be in your company at last.
    I don’t usually read that tripe, but I know Jeff keeps an eye on it for us, odious task that it is.
    Thanks Jeff.

    I am writing this to share that a dear cousin of mine, who fought bravely and honorably in the war in Viet Nam, is nearing his final days, all too young, besieged by the constellation of devastating effects, caused by emotional trauma and Agent Orange.
    In light of this good man’s sacrifice and that of his loving family, I will refrain from having another thought about a pitifully lesser being, devote myself to praying for my cousin and his one and only wife of many years, and wish everyone else a good day.

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