GOP voters have bought into an 'apocalyptic, grotesquely distorted' view of 'Blue America': Paul Krugman

GOP voters have bought into an 'apocalyptic, grotesquely distorted' view of 'Blue America': Paul Krugman
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Over the years, far-right pundits at Fox News and Fox Business have spent a great deal of time railing against “coastal elites” who don’t understand “the real America” and rural voters. The ironic part is that Fox News and Fox Business are full of New York City residents who spend most of their time in Manhattan, not rural areas of Oklahoma or Kansas. But they typically describe Blue America in apocalyptic terms even though they live and work in the heart of Blue America.

Liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman discusses that type of “apocalyptic” view of Blue America in his June 25 column, stressing that much of Red America has little or no interaction with a part of the United States it has been conditioned to fear.

“At this point, most political observers simply accept it as a fact of life that an overwhelming majority of Republicans accept the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen — a claim with nothing to support it, not even plausible anecdotes,” Krugman explains. “What I don’t think is fully appreciated, however, is that the Big Lie is embedded in an even bigger lie: the claim that the Democratic Party is controlled by radical leftists aiming to destroy America as we know it. And this lie in turn derives a lot of its persuasiveness from a grotesquely distorted view of what life is like in Blue America.”

READ MORE: Trump supporters are taking the 'Big Lie' into their own hands with a rise in vigilantism and Big Tech is failing to respond

Krugman notes that “urban elites” are “constantly accused of not understanding real America,” acknowledging that “most big-city residents probably don’t have a good sense of what life is like in rural areas and small towns.”

“I’d argue that right-wing misperceptions of Blue America run far deeper — and are far more dangerous,” Krugman writes. “Let’s start with the politics…. How many Republicans believe that President Biden and other leading Democrats are left-wing radicals, indeed Marxists? Relatedly, I’d like to know how many Republicans believe that Black Lives Matter demonstrators looted and burned large parts of America’s major cities.”

Krugman continues, “Now, the reality is that the modern Democratic Party is a mildly center-left coalition, consisting of what Europeans would call social democrats, and relatively conservative ones at that. To take one measure, I can’t think of any prominent Democrats — actually, any Democratic members of Congress — who have expressed admiration for any authoritarian foreign regime. This is in contrast to widespread conservative admiration for Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, who recently denounced other Europeans for ‘mixing with non-Europeans’ and declared that he doesn’t want Hungary to become a ‘mixed-race’ country.”

Republicans who live in the Red America bubble, according to Krugman, fail to realize (or simply ignore) that most of the political violence and domestic terrorism in the U.S. has been coming from the far right, not the left.

READ MORE: Conservative explains the powerful weapon MAGA Republicans have a in their 'authoritarian' playbook: 'Lies'

“On the domestic violence front,” Krugman observes, “a study by the Anti-Defamation League found that 75 percent of extremist-related domestic killings from 2012 to 2021 were perpetrated by the right and only 4 percent by the left. Finally, about (Black Lives Matter): The protests were, in fact, overwhelmingly peaceful. Yes, there was some arson and looting, with total property damage typically estimated at $1 billion to $2 billion.”

Krugman continues, “That may sound like a lot, but America is a big country, so it needs to be put in perspective…. The fact is that a large segment of the U.S. electorate has bought into an apocalyptic vision of America that bears no relationship to the reality of how the other half thinks, behaves or lives. We don’t have to speculate about whether this dystopian fantasy might lead to political violence and attempts to overthrow democracy; it already has. And it’s probably going to get worse.”

READ MORE: The problem isn't Democrats losing white voters — it's Republicans winning them over with lies

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