Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Paul Krugman: Trump is nuts

Krugman's tweet"An American first: a president who was obviously mentally ill the moment he took office. Thanks, Comey."

After Trump's July 6 speech last year, James Fallows made a similar diagnosis:

The half-hour of Trump’s performance was objectively as alarming, in mental-balance terms, as anything we have seen from a major party candidate in modern history. I can’t find an online video of the whole 30 minutes that has acceptable audio quality. But imagine the mosquito clip extended at full length and you have the idea.

I defy anyone to watch these 30 minutes and feel comfortable with the idea of Donald Trump making the countless judgment calls required of a president. This man is not well. But he is the man the GOP is about to nominate for the presidency.

Trump may not be clinically insane, but Fallows is both more general and more specific when he says "This man is not well." Trump has been the boss since his father died. Except for his critics in the media, there was no one close to him to tell him he was full of shit. Intellectually he's led a sheltered life. The Truth is whatever the boss says it is.

The day after the election, Jonathan Chait told us what we were in for:

...The Trump years will be a horror...The Republicans will pass massive regressive tax cuts; they will take access to medical care from the poor and sick; they will deregulate the financial industry and fossil-fuel emitters.

And that is just the beginning, the best-case scenario. Trump is an impulsive, egotistical bully, intolerant of criticism and dissent and drawn to the ruthless application of power. Many liberals have been warning that American democracy is far weaker than we believed, and this was before any of us imagined a monster like Trump commanding the Executive branch. 

Trump will shake the Republic to its foundations. And the Republicans will shake it with him. If there is a central point I tried to drive home, it is that Trumpism grows out of a decades-long trend toward authoritarianism as the dominant tendency of Republican politics. I don’t know what American government will look like after four years of Trump — or if it will only last four years, or even if it will only last eight...

The "horror" is just beginning. The last time I was really scared about what the federal government was doing was during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. I've learned since that only President Kennedy stood between his military advisers and an all-out attack on Cuba that risked war with the Soviet Union.

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