'The Opposite of Populism': Paul Krugman Argues that Trump's Supreme Court Pick Is One of His Biggest Betrayals of Workers Yet

President Donald Trump was hailed by some during the 2016 campaign and after as a "populist" candidate — but anyone actually paying attention could see that as a ruse.


Now that he's been in office for about a year and a half, it's clearer than ever that he's mostly governing as any other Republican would, and he's betraying those supporters who believed he really would be a voice for the people.

Paul Krugman pointed out in a New York Times column Monday that Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, is yet another massive betrayal of American workers.

"Kavanaugh is, to put it bluntly, an anti-worker radical, opposed to every effort to protect working families from fraud and mistreatment," Krugman writes. "The most spectacular example is his opinion that Sea World owed no liability for a killer whale attack that killed one of its workers, because she should have known the risks."

He also notes that Kavanaugh believes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is meant to keep large banks and other financial entities from defrauding customers, is unconstitutional. And — like any other figure from the ideological trenches of the old-school Republican Party — he's fervently anti-union.

"This is all, by the way, the opposite of populism," Krugman said.

Krugman argued that the party has been successful so far in using the specters of unfair trade practices and immigration to scare the base into supporting GOP candidates — but it's really the power of big business that is keeping the workers down.

What remains is the question of how much longer Republican voters can be convinced to support a president and a party who are largely hostile to their basic economic interests. 

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.