Paul Krugman: Americans Have Reason to Be Hopeful in 2018

Against all odds, Paul Krugman remains hopeful for 2018. It's not because our president hasn't confirmed our worst fears. To be clear, he writes, "America as we know it is still in mortal danger. Republicans still control all the levers of federal power, and never in the course of our nation’s history have we been ruled by people less trustworthy."

What buoys the spirits of the New York Times columnist are the tens of millions of Americans who have powered the "emergence of a highly energized resistance." These are the same people, Krugman notes, who showed up "the day after Trump took office, with the huge women’s marches that took place on Jan. 21, dwarfing the thin crowds at the inauguration." 

As many seasoned activists feared, they didn't simply pat themselves on the back for marching and retreat. Instead:

The resistance continued with the town hall crowds that confronted Republican legislators as they tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And in case anyone wondered whether the vocal anti-Trump crowds and Trump’s hugely negative polling would translate into political action, a string of special elections — capped by a giant Democratic wave in Virginia and a stunning upset in Alabama — has put such doubts to rest.

The resistance, if it has any hope of surviving, cannot stop now, and Americans have to rid themselves of the notion that Republicans will ever grow a backbone and stand up to Trump. Krugman is careful to note that, "The worse things look for Trump, the more closely Republicans tie themselves to him"—even the likes of John McCain and Susan Collins, "who won widespread praise for standing up against Obamacare repeal during the summer, went along meekly with a monstrously awful tax bill."

These same Republicans are all too happy to look the other way as Trump "uses his office to enrich himself and his cronies, as he foments racial hatred, as he attempts a slow-motion purge of the Justice Department and the F.B.I."

Once we dispense with the idea that the GOP or any other political party will save us, we the people can begin to save ourselves. We've made progress, but the fights ahead won't be easy. As Krugman observes, "Trump lost the popular vote but ended up in the White House anyway."

What's worse, the midterm elections many progressives are working so hard for will be incredibly unfair. "Gerrymandering and the concentration of Democratic-leaning voters in urban districts," he continues, "have created a situation in which Democrats could win a large majority of votes yet still fail to take the House of Representatives."

Ultimately we have no choice. In cheering the resistance on, Krugman reminds his readers that "America is not yet lost."

Read the entire column.

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