Who Loves America?

Republicans’ flag-waving has nothing to do with patriotism.

Comments: 261

  1. We're Patriotic and P.C.,
    Exactly how I want to be,
    While Trump and his cronies
    All phony baloneys
    With Putin are playing footsie.

    But hatred of Dark skins persist,
    On White domination insist,
    Reagan myths persevere
    Slanders bigots revere,
    Like Trump, activist and racist.

  2. Terrific, Larry. But there's so much to inspire you right now, right?

  3. I am very glad that I was born in the USA. One great grandfather emigrated from Prussia, in 1863, a horseman in the Kaiser army I have his leave papers, he brought a sister in law and her children, his brothers were her in 1861, he forgot to go back.They were Jews and happy to get out of Europe then.

    On the other side, they came from pre revolutionary Scotch Irish, I have enjoyed all the freedoms and advantages that they came here for. I do put a flag out on the 4th, and Memorial day, i did enlist in the military, I do pay my taxes, reluctantly at times but that is the price of freedom.

    Some of the most patriotic people I have known and do know, are immigrants, they are the most enthusiastic citizens I know. On the other hand, those flag wavers speeding down our residential street, with their sound systems assaulting our ears, flags flying from their cars, are some of the most rude people around. Trying to show us what patriots they are, for what purpose, I can only guess.

    We love our country fro what it allows us to do. To lie a life that keeps us happy and well off. There are those who are not as privileged as us, but they would be worse off in most other countries. The defining characteristic of the USA is freedom to be an individual, to live life on your own terms, as long as it does not interfere with others right to do so too.

    there is nothing here we cannot fix, we have been doing it for 240 years, hurray for the red white and blue.

  4. Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

    My father (who led soldiers on Okinawa) and his generation came home from WWII, finished school and went to work, very rarely talking about the war. They felt no need to wear lapel pins.

    And have you noticed that the loudest "patriots" are chickenhawks?

  5. Agree with you totally. As my daddy use to say "biggest talk; smallest action"

  6. The "scoundrel " quotation was intended by its original author to apply to someone taking refuge in patriotism to make an indefensible argument.

    Pride in country means much more than that though. It is a natural condition of citizenship and in fact America and any country worthy the name would never have developed as it did without it. This was the basics of "civics" which I hope is still taught. Without it and relying on a vague multiculturalism, which is what Paul Krugman seems to support, means our countries won't last very long.

    Finally, to extrapolate from the example of one WW II veteran is unwarranted.

  7. Play fair, now, Paul. If Putin had hacked an email server that no longer exists, he did it years ago, and he did it without any invitation from Trump or anyone else’s permission because that’s what countries do – they spy on one another. In just the same manner, China peeks into the notes of NYT and WSJ reporters and steals the industrial secrets of the West right and left. Heaven only knows what WE do.

    Trump didn’t petition Putin to “engage in espionage” on his behalf. All he did was mention that if Putin HAD hacked that server years ago and still has the 30,000 emails that Mrs. Clinton’s lawyers deleted, it would be interesting to know what was in them, because if any contained information that bore on national security, then those lawyers obstructed justice. And that would be historically interesting, because obstructing justice constituted the first article of impeachment against Richard Nixon charged by the House in 1974 – an article on which Mrs. Clinton may have worked in her service to the Watergate Committee. It may take 42 years, but what goes around … always … comes around.

    It was a good convention, and I expect Mrs. Clinton will get her bounce from it, drawing even again with Trump in RCP average polls. But until she can explain how she’s going to get Bernie Sanders’s and Elizabeth Warren’s agenda through Congress – and we heard nothing of this in Philly – then all she really promises is four more years of frozen politics. What’s “patriotic” about THAT?

  8. Still bitter over the impeachment of "I am not a crook!" Nixon, Richard?

    Today's Republican Party is even more paranoid schizophrenic.

  9. Seriously ? Frozen politics ? And the Democrats stalled legislation ?

    As an outsider, I don't resent you your vote, I have mine where I like it ; but I do question your reasoning as specious.

    The first question about anybody who possesses those hacked "irrelevant and personal" emails would be their authenticity. You would need the trace and the counter-party version of it to prove it, that is if the counter-parties were not hacked and amenable to releasing it. Obstruction of justice needs the presumption of a crime. And the only definitive crime here is the violation of privacy and other cyber-laws ; not the deletion of irrelevant emails.

    What goes around does come around. But it applies more to evil than good. Because the good guys do good and let go. The good guys don't hide. The bad guys do. Just ask Yanukovich.

    You have a history of quality comments on NYT ? I hope to God _*that*_ list hasn't been hacked because your comments here are illogical.

    And she doesn't need to explain anything to anyone who will not vote for her. She just has to come across as more credible than less - and more rational than less.

    Anything that doesn't change things for the worse, is a good thing. Even not doing any harm is a good thing. Because "unchanged" is better than "worse".

    There is certainly a LOT patriotic about preservation and not destruction. There's a bust on Rushmore for that.

  10. Richard Luettgen is exhibit A in why nothing anyone says -- not Hillary or her minions, nor Trump and his; and certainly not anyone who writes for the NYT -- matters one whit.

    He is clearly a reasonably intelligent and educated man. And yet his antipathy toward traditional Democratic approaches to government is so deep-seated, so visceral, that he has used his intellect to sophistically persuade himself that Donald Trump, a man who in a sane world would be summarily dismissed from consideration, represents the lesser of two evils.

    From my perspective it is breathtaking, indeed mind-boggling that anyone not burdened by virtually global ignorance, misinformation, malice or stupidity could come to that conclusion.

    And yet, here we are. If a Luettgen can't be persuaded that, at least for this go-round, the Republican candidate is so blatantly unfit on so many grounds --ethical, intellectual, temperamental-- that pointing to one specific or another is irrelevant, imagine trying to persuade a prototypical Duck Dynasty fan.

    My best, clear-eyed analysis leads me to believe that Clinton will ultimately prevail, garnering somewhere around 52-55% of the vote. The punditocracy will immediately declare this a "landslide", a "mandate", a "stunning rejection" of Trump. I, saddled with congenital glass-half-empty-ism, will view the fact that I live in a country wherein the likes of Trump had the support of close to half the populace as profoundly disturbing; a tragedy.

  11. I think Obama got it right. Republicans used to be the party that defended the status quo, while Democrats were the party of change.

    Democrats wanted to raise taxes, grow the government, and move America in a socialist direction. Republicans tended to prefer traditional American values of small government. Republicans idealized traditional ideas of home and family, while Democrats wanted feminism and gay marriage. Republicans liked traditional industrial economic growth, while Democrats wanted to save the environment.

    This year the party roles have flipped. The sort of cheerful patriotism we saw in Philadelphia is an affirmation of the status quo. It says that the country is basically on the right track. Cleveland was more about radical change, and clearly a rejection of globalization. Philadelphia endorsed open borders, and fudged the issue of trade.

    Hillary Clinton is the status quo candidate, while Donald Trump is the radical change candidate.

  12. 'Hillary Clinton is the status quo candidate, while Donald Trump is the radical change candidate.'

    If I may correct: 'Donald Trump is the 'RACIST change candidate'.

  13. "Hillary Clinton is the status quo candidate, while Donald Trump is the radical change candidate."

    With a change of names, this statement could have been made in Italy in 1922.

  14. I love America - and my over 90 year old 'Republican' American grandfather loves America - and he 'hates' - absolutely 'hates' Trump -
    because he knows that Trump is nothing but an 'Insane Racist Birther'.

    And I - as a BernieBro - who had to feel no love from the NYT - also love Europe - and don't like it - if Americans paint the same picture 'terrible' picture of Europe - as Trump painted of America.

    And all of the above explains the total and absolute confusion of contemporary Americans.

  15. Sorry, 'Europe' doesn't exist. It's a bureaucratic - and an American - fiction. Prague and, say, Valencia are not similar in the way that Bar Harbor, Maine and Milledgeville, Georgia are. To say that one 'loves Europe' - or doesn't - is to say nothing at all. If 'Europe' is shorthand for 'the European Union', then it is indeed in a dire state. No one - on either side of the pro or anti-EU side - can contest that. To say that these are dangerous times for the European Union is simply to state the obvious. It doesn't make one an American rube.

  16. Sorry - some of the sociopolitical and religious differences which exist between my Cousins in South Carolina and the Cousins in Laguna Beach CA - don't exist between the 'European' Cousins in Germany or Greece.

    And I understand - that fact might be completely subjective - But still: Each year we go back for Thanksgiving to the homeland - we all have noticed in the last years - that the fights between the 'Republicans' of our family and the 'Democrats' have become so poisonous - that the conflicts between the Greek-Americans and the German- Americans are better than the American fiction of 'unity'.
    And that is not saying that Europeans are more 'united' than Americans.
    It's only saying: If you look at this Presidential election and the two conventions - there seems to be even more room for compromise between every Northern and Southern European State!

  17. Interesting, but not one of Professor Krugman's best. I don't buy "tribalism", but maybe I didn't understand his intention there. All of the important keywords I searched for just weren't there.

    Today's so-called Republican Party is about lust for power and love of money over any principles, including patriotism. A Republican conservative like John Wayne would be banished for saying something like "I hope he does a good job" in reference to ANY Democratic leader.

    It would have helped to define "tribalism", but it's more important to define "Republican", because whatever it means now, there is NO connection between a party led by Con Man Donald and the original Republican Party led by Honest Abe. Over 150 years after his death, and we still tell stories about Lincoln's wise sayings, but Trump will leave behind nothing but a trail of sad jokes, with himself as the punchline.

    The GOP of Ike and Teddy was sort of transitional in that it was friendly towards business, but today's GOP has nothing "Grand" about it. Today's brand hijack needs a truth-in-advertising rebranding. I like neo-GOP on the grounds of neo-anything ain't, but HOP for Hateful Oldies Party might have a better ring.

    This election is a hatefest and it might be decided on Twitter rather than the NY Times, with Tweets like:

    #NextTrumpBook Surfing the Rising Tide of American Insanity

    #NextTrumpSong Coming 'Round the Mountain at 90 Miles an Hour When Trump Slammed America into Reverse

  18. Although Krugman is one of my favorite columnists, I wish he would leave the easy task of debunking Trump's outrageous statements and get back to the hard work of economic analysis for which he is so well qualified. For instance, H Clinton's acceptance speech, emphasizing Sanders/Warren themes, made promises for making the economy work for more than the top 1% and mentions raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, more support for education and child care. After 30 years of intensive legal and regulatory shifts favoring the 1%, including support from her husband's presidency (e.g., Glass-Steagal repeal, etc.) and from her votes as Senator, is she not only credible, but will these things be enough. Although I agreed with many of Sanders positions, I do have a problem with his demonization of large corporations. While they have to be reined in, they remain a major resource. I see the challenge as how to push the pigs currently hogging the trough to share it without slaughtering them. They may squeal but they won't die of hunger anytime soon. Krugman's insight into macro economics would be very helpful here. I suggest he leave the easy shots at Trump to his colleagues Blow, Brooks, Collins & others, and that he get back to work crunching statistics to help us better understand the real challenges ahead.

  19. As far as I'm concerned, Dr. Krugman can write about whatever he pleases and I will read it with great interest.

    He may be a brilliant Nobel-winning economist, but he's also a remarkably incisive cultural observer. Pretty much every one of his economic predictions have come true over the past 20 years or so, but so have his perceptive cultural predictions.

    Saying that Dr. Krugman should leave cultural commentary to others and stick to economics is a bit like saying Hillary Clinton should stay at home and bake cookies for her grandchild.

    And by the way, I think you missed the point of his column. Sure, there are a few easy shots at Trump, but the crux is about the hypocritical, flag-waving "patriotism" of the GOP. The more this is called out, the more it will motivate sane people to cast their vote against hypocrisy and ignorance in November. So I say "thank you, Dr. Krugman, and please keep it up".

  20. We need some sort of powerful analogy that will capture our relation to large corporations in all its complexity. They are sort of like the broom that was enchanted by the sorcerer's apprentice -- absolutely powerful and determined to do the task for which it was created, making money, and absolutely oblivious to when its task became destructive rather than helpful. The brooms must remain under the control of someone who can judge when enough water has been fetched and more would be harmful. The brooms, to preserve their freedom, may create an image of caring about how much water is really needed, but the spell that brings them about is so far incapable of creating this care.

    Corporations are the brooms in the tale of the sorcerer's apprentice. Where the tale falls short is that there is no sorcerer to rescue the apprentice and the studio from what he has created. The apprentice is going to have to develop a better spell before the brooms submerge everything.

  21. But we know how to do this. We did it before, in the Great Prosperity of 1946 - 1973. Here are some of the policies we can follow:

    1. Return to much more progressive tax rates to encourage the Rich to leave more of their profits in their companies & their companies to pay their workers more, & to discourage the Rich from wild speculation.

    2. Strengthen unions by requiring workers to pay for the union benefits they receive & by enforcing rules on coercion by companies against organization. Follow Germany & require union representation on the boards of large companies.

    3. Strongly regulate speculation, e.g. require the buyer of a futures contract to take delivery, require banks to get a court order to sell its end of a mortgage contract, outlaw naked credit default swaps.

    6. Stop worrying about the debt & invest in America--fix our crumbling infrastructure, build a better power grid, increase support for education at all levels, fund research, etc. If we grow the economy, the debt will fade into insignificance as in 1946 - 1973. On the other hand we can balance the budget. All 6 times we balanced the budget for more than 3 years, we got a major depression.

    7. Make the federal gov the employer of last resort with a decent job or paid training for such a job for everyone able to work. There are plenty of things that need to be done. See 5. (this was done under FDR in the 30's).


  22. I can easily tell Paul Krugman who doesn't love America--NY Times commenters who constantly criticize everything America does or doesn't do. The blogger community is steadfast in clinging to their talking points that America is an evil racist horror show. Nothing ever changes--Democrats are noble warriors fighting the good fight and Republicans are bottom feeders who are hopelessly beyond redemption. It wasn't always like this. Believe it or not Democrats and Republicans were able to put aside their differences and work together from time to time. Those days are gone forever.

  23. These days are gone until the Republicans regain sanity. One of our parties remains its normal icky self. The other one has been bonkers for some time now, expelling those of its members who dared to work with the enemy or accept some limitations on firearms.

    Democrats could have refused to accept dubya as a legitimate president. Perhaps their loyalty to the institution of the presidency was mistaken or naive. Perhaps they were saps, suckers, losers. Republicans made it their first task to make Obama a one-term president, not to do their part to get the economy out of the hole that came about on their watch. Democrats are still a normal political party, and much more authentic than when they were half confederate and half liberal. Republicans are a collection of various sorts of fanatics who have little in common except an aversion to reality.

  24. I have to wonder whether you read the article. "I can easily tell Paul Krugman who doesn't love America--NY Times commenters who constantly criticize everything America does or doesn't do." Krugman doesn't criticize America once in his column. The first thing he says is that he loves to come home because he sees such an incredible mix of races and ethnicities living together. That is as close as a liberal will ever get to claiming American exceptionalism. Then he argues that America is exceptional when it lives up to the ideals upon which the nation was founded. He only criticizes Americans for falling short of those ideals, most notably when they stop being Americans and think only of those who look and act like them.

  25. Unfortunately the demographics have changed, and the Republicans have had to cobble together unlikely coalitions to have any chance of remaining a national party. The result is a total loss of credibility as a party that may take years to recover from, and a total inability to compromise.
    What was necessary (and this was known several years ago) was for the party to become more inclusive, but this was tossed out, and the disaster you see now is the direct result.
    Bring on a reasonable candidate. Maybe you can get someone like Bloomberg. I have always voted Democratic, but I would at least think about someone as reasonable as him. But the primary candidates this year were off the scale, sorry.

  26. Hillary made her bones tonight outdoing her husband, her daughter and even Barak. As fine a president one could ask for was relegated to the after life and a new Hillary/Bernie coalition was born. If Republicans thought that a cheap hustler with a big, nasty mouth was all this nation could come up with to lead this great country in these ferocious and precarious times, she gave them another think coming. After listening to her tonight, I can rest easier knowing the U.S. will be in good hands.

  27. Hillary did fine and made her case ... but she didn't outdo Barack.

  28. Brilliant!!!

  29. There is no more patriotic act than to point out the ways in which our great nation falls short and to work to rectify those injustices.

    We progressives love America enough to point out the myriad ways in which she is failing so many of us and to try for positive change, while the Republicans stand that premise on it's head and claim that it "those people" who are failing America.

  30. Very well said David Taylor in Charlotte NC.

  31. Thank you Dr. Krugman,

    For explaining the differences between Tribalism & Patriotism.

  32. I criticized a recent column for overreacting to the Trump-Putin link. But I gotta say it is getting scary, especially in the context of the "odd specificity" of Trump's positions on Putin that you note. If a Democrat had said anything remotely similar about a foreign, non-friendly power, he/she would immediately be branded as disloyal and possibly treasonous.

  33. Certainly even those republicans who truly believed in the idea of bootstraps and pulling on them and the the whole survival of the fittest capitalism thing have got to be saying to themselves, "Is this really what we have become?"

    Trump can only appeal to bullies and/or racists or perhaps those people who cover their ears and hummmm when he is on TV and simply imagine he is saying something else.

    Can there really be that much hate and aggression out there that he is tapping into?

    I agree that it must mostly be a tribal thing which essentially amounts to the last category of covering ones ears and humming, "he does not really mean it, he does not really mean it, he is a businessman, he is a businessman, his kids seem OK, his kids seem OK, he is one of us, he is a republican" etc.

    Repeated over and over one might be able to tune out or tone down the truth and reality with a false narrative - for a short while - but the reality of Trump can't be easy for them to tone down or tune out for long - even for true tribalists.

    The pure absurdity of him being a nominee is pretty much in your face every time he appears on TV and says something.

    But the GOP has been gradually building up tolerance for this type of behavior for decades with outrageous statements from its leaders.

    They have built this monster from a large array of used talking points.

    Now it has taken on a life of its own - even scarier than the sum of its parts.

    GOP : Trump :: Dr Frankenstein : Monster

  34. It's worth looking at exactly what Putin said about Trump. According to the Guardian, the word he used has several possible translations. It can be translated at flamboyant or colorful or gaudy or striking or dazzling. The original reporting last December translated it as brilliant, which has a couple of different meanings in English.

    I'm not Russian, so I don't know exactly what the cultural subtext is here. In some cultures, describing a Presidential candidate as flamboyant might be a subtle way of saying that he was not suited for an office which comes with a lot of responsibility. Do you think that Putin admires flamboyant people? He doesn't seem to be a flamboyant person himself. It would be deeply ironic if Putin's alleged praise of Trump was actually a subtle insult.

    He certainly never called Trump a genius.


  35. Sounds like Putin was stroking the ego of a useful idiot, not admiring an equal.

  36. "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross". Sinclair Lewis
    And it seems to be led by a Mussolini wannabe, Donald Trump.
    It didn't work for the "America First" movement in the 30's and, hopefully, won't work in the 21st Century.
    The conventions are over, the flag waving finished and the American people will make the decision, Americans of all colors, all religions and all genders.
    Hopefully, the GOP/TP/KOCH AFFILIATE will lose both the presidency and control of, at least, one house of Congress with their message of divisiveness and anger finally put to rest.

  37. 40% of potential voters detest HRC and support DT. another 40% detest DT and will vote for HRC. the remaining 20% can't stand either candidate ... and they will decide the election. by voting, all 100% love their country.

  38. The question is-What vision of the country do you believe-Hillary's or Donny's? Which vision shows a love of the people which is truly what the country is? Whose vision is forward looking and whose is repressive? I'm with her!

  39. Dr. Krugman, Republicans have played the flag card since Richard Nixon.
    Do you forget the steaming anti-Vietnam War protests that raged like a wildfire across the land in the simmering summer of 1968?

    Young people took to the streets to argue against American involvement in far-off rice paddies. The cry went up "Vietnam! Love it or leave it!" The Right responded with "America! Love it or leave it!"

    The newly-installed Nixon administration was happy to stand back and watch the cultural divide seethe, froth and fester along so-called patriotic lines. Nixon ordered his highly-placed staffers to wear the American flag lapel on their suit coats.

    Back then, if you were not satisfied with the status quo, you were a rebel, a traitor, you were "red." The Right clings to the same insane fantasy today; they only cloak it (so they think) with subtlety and innuendo. Space won't let us count the ways, but I'll try.

    President Obama wasn't "fibbing" when he asked whither Republicans and the "conservativism" went. He was asking, in reverse, "why wasn't their alleged love of country on display instead of their rancor and hate?" He called out, without naming names, the party's long-standing hypocrisy in shouldering the flag, Iwa Jima-like, without putting the muscle and drawing the sweat from the labor required to bring the effort into springing life, the exhausting effort of creating the reality from the promise.

    Captain Humayun Khan's brother patriot was Milton Olive.


  40. I love America.

    I love the freedom that America was created to protect. I love the freedom to enjoy my right to life, my right to liberty, my right to property, and my right to pursue happiness.

    Hillary Clinton does not respect nor protect nor represent those freedoms. This is evidenced by everything she has done, everything she has said. She does not "love America". She wants to impose her vision of reality - one in which everyone is sacrificed to her whims, and whose wealth is redistributed to her preferred lobbyists and crony capitalists - on everyone.

    What's worse is that the GOP, once the party of freedom (as against the Democrats, the party of Slavery and Jim Crow), has delivered us Donald Trump.

    America has turned to the path of "serfdom", as Hayek explained. All with Dr Krugman's blessing.

  41. This is a very odd comment, Karlos TJ. The paragraph about Hillary Clinton makes sweeping negative claims about her without referencing any kind of facts to back them up. "...everything she has done, everything she has said." Sweeping.
    "She wants to impose her vision of reality, one in which everything is sacrificed to her whims..."
    all of this offends me because it makes no sense. What lies behind these criticisms of her, I wonder? How can one argue against them? Or for them, for that matter?
    I could list everything I have ever seen of Hillary in my 77 years, and all that was revealed about her at the convention, as evidence of Clinton's patriotism, caring, competence, and all those good things, but I am tired. It is 6:30 a.m. and I have not yet been to bed. So, I guess all I can say for now is that I disagree with what you have said.

  42. Just curious if you have any real actions or statements you can point to which support your point that Hillary "does not respect nor protect nor represent those freedoms". What "whims" of hers do you speak of? Are there specific policy positions you are concerned about? Just because you say it is so on the internet does not make it true. You have to provide more to your argument than personal opinion and hyperbole if you want anyone outside of the echo chamber to take your points seriously.

  43. Well, by our inequality in public education (the way we fund our schools), the inequality in our tax code (the very wealthy pay a much lower rate in capital gains tax), the efforts of Republicans to cut taxes, then make up the difference by slashing social programs, etc. we have become a nation of serfs...THANK YOU REPUBLICANS!!!

  44. Paul,

    An excellent, insightful, and creative analysis.

    I like it when you write about something that is outside the normal drum beat for more deficit spending.

  45. Ah, yes, the brave patriots Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.
    Prep school baseball whiz, lifelong golfer Trump miraculously won exemption from the draft for a bone spur.
    Future junkie Rush Limbaugh won a medical exemption from the draft for an anal cyst.
    O'Reilly took the wealthy and connected path of student deferments.
    Four of the Democratic baby boomers who sought the nomination, Al Gore, John Kerry, Bob Kerrey and Jim Webb, volunteered, and served in Viet Nam.
    Not a single republican baby boomer, who has sought the Presidency was drafted, volunteered or set foot in Viet Nam.
    Not Dan Quayle, George Bush, Willard Romney, Newton Leroy Gingrich, Oops Perry, Donald Trump or Ben Carson.
    Patriotism, the republican version. Talking tough and sending other people's children off to slaughter or to be slaughtered.

  46. Most insightful comment I've read in years.

  47. Cheer up Craig--at least you don't have to fret about whether or not Hillary Clinton dodged the draft to avoid going to Viet Nam. Too bad the same can't be said about Bill Clinton who somehow got out of serving in Viet Nam. In case you hadn't noticed Al Gore, John Kerry, Bob Kerrey and Jim Webb were all soundly defeated in their bids for the presidency. (Ditto John McCain) Why?? Viet Nam was the first time America ever lost a war and American voters do not reward failure. John Kerry returned home an embittered veteran who threw his medals over the White House fence and put soldiers who were still in the field like yourself in danger by testifying against the war before a Congressional committee. Al Gore had a reasonably cushy job as a journalist so he didn't have to wade through rice paddies with a rifle in his hand. Jim Webb's brief presidential campaign went nowhere and he was the first Democrat to capitulate to Hillary Clinton.

    Pssssttt--it was President Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, who shipped you off to Viet Nam thanks to a letter you got which started "GREETINGS'.

  48. NB-- all Craig Geary ever does is repeat the same comment over and over again. He always blames Donald Trump's bone spurs and Rush Limbaugh's anal cyst the real reason he was sent to Vietnam to fight in their place.

  49. It's interesting to read this analysis along with today's article by David Brooks, who is flummoxed by this reversal in message ... that Democrats present themselves as the sunny patriots, while Republicans (traditionally recognized as Patriots) have come out looking kind of like Darth Vader's Storm troopers.

    Of course they earned it. Those blind white masks.

    Over the decades, the GOP has profited from demonizing President Obama, Muslims, sexually active women, LGBT citizens, urban kids in the 'hood, and dem Mexicans. So. Their "patriotism" is grounded in macho/ white/ militaristic/ fundamentalist-Christian ferocity. Donald Trump is a hollow cone spewing these messages ... reminds me of the little papier-mâché volcanoes we used to ignite for kids with vinegar and baking soda. An empty foaming show.

    Now, I was a good Protestant girl long ago. And I believe (fictionally) that if Jesus Christ were walking in this neighborhood, he'd probably be a Bernie supporter. So I would have to go out and try to convince him that Hillary has worked for good policies, and tolerance, as well as she could, for many long years. In detail. Knowing something about Congress and the wide world.

    Then, of course, Jesus would have to consult his mother (GOD) and She would tell him ... choose for yourself, son. Good luck. I didn't make the world easy. You know I have this really mean sense of humor.

    I'm proud of the Democratic Party and proud of Hillary.

  50. Cool

  51. This is not a fair piece Professor.

    Whatever the general mood in Cleveland, I have seen many Republicans denounce Mr. Trump and warn the party and his supporters of the reputational damage to their careers. David Frum will barely mention his name.

    Your readers need no introduction to Republican ethos. For a country already on the road to change and improvement, the only undesirable change now is the stopping of that improvement. So the status quo today is in fact change. And whatever improves the condition of the country and its people and its values, is patriotic. Even the authentic Republicans have it. They just disagree with aspects they're not sure of.

    But to tar the entire right with that broad brush is both unfair and untrue.

    If you will not talk issues, then don't equivocate : Mr. Trump has no clue. Because if he had a clue, he would have said more about them and made more sense.

    Mrs. Clinton needs to work hard between now and then to ensure we don't wake up confused in December. At some point she will need to be more authoritative about her trespass with the emails and her Wall Street associations. Because to many undecided voters they will stick in the gullet as too big to swallow.

    This is far from over. If the Democrats lose any of the 3 elections this November, it will be because they are distrusted, not because they made more sense than less.

    You're wasting your columns Professor. Lead us into light ! :-)

  52. Please get over her e-mails and association with Wall Street. You act as if all her state department communications were through her personal account and she laid bare all our secrets. That is just not true. Associate with Wall Street? First, she was a senator from New York and she was their senator. Every politician has an association with Wall Street. That doesn't mean it is nefarious. I am always amassed that when ever Ms. Clinton is mentioned it is always from the perspective that she is hiding something-usually criminal. If only we could find the truth and prove she is corrupt. Please give it a break.

  53. Getting in a twist over emails is a distraction from the matter at hand...Dumpster is a menace to our freedom & patriotism. He "represents" the Rebublican Party and their platform which actively seeks to roll back our rights and deny us our patriotism in favor of fascism.

  54. It's the "Emperor has no clothes!" revelation. Thank you for putting it so eloquently. It is now, more than ever, imperative that Clinton wins the Presidency and Trump is forever tossed into the garbage dump of failed candidates.

  55. While Trump suborns treason and then panders to the atavistic desires of those descended from the slaveowning castes of the South, he reveals himself to be an irrational man, perhaps someone in the initial throes of senile dementia. Such a person would have the ability to entangle the United States in conflicts both internal and international and appears to be spoiling for the chance to do so, as if he were a horror movie demonic entity running for president and not some mercurial con man... We lived through the nightmare of Ronald Reagan, by now an anointed saint of the GOP, whose dim mind faded completely by the end of his 8 year misrule. Why would anyone of either political party want to entrust the fortunes of our nation to a madman?

  56. His mind was dimmed long before he was president.

  57. entrust the nation to a madman ... done it before ... LBJ, Nixon, gaga Reagan ... and the nation is still here.

  58. Narcissism and compulsive lying and cheating others to whom you owe money are not symptoms of dementia. They are, however, the definition of Trump.

  59. For some of us who live abroad, and regardless of how much we like and admire the people among whom we live, this passage is particularly resonant:

    "I don’t know about you, but whenever I return from a trip abroad, my heart swells to see the sheer variety of my fellow citizens, so different in their appearance, their cultural heritage, their personal lives, yet all of them — all of us — Americans."

  60. For somebody who lives abroad I feel exactly the same - but not so much when I return to John Wayne Airport in Orange County CA -(not that big of a 'variety) - but always at JFK and LAX - but the most 'different in their appearance, their cultural heritage, their personal lives, yet all of them — all of us — people of this world - at Heathrow. (London UK)

  61. Trump
    Just Say Nyet

  62. When is that bumper sticker coming out? I'll take a few.

  63. Bill O'Reilly's comments were puzzling to me, it's like he has some infallible sense of buffoonery that leads him unerringly in the direction of self-satisfied & unintentionally offensive behavior & commentary. Prof K may have nailed it.

    Still. Patriotism and religious zealotry have much in common. I know & share the feelings, but I am troubled by the parallels.

    Instead of justifying war by professing a love of country, we would do better to make all banking fully transparent, and make it impossible for anyone to profit from wars and organized criminal activity.

    There is a limited amount of land, and it is much more crowded in China than it is in the US.

    China is ahead of the population & resource exhaustion curve than the US & Europe. People in the less developed countries, whether coming as refugees from war or economics, are all still refugees.

    The question is, can we share what we have with an endless supply of poorer people around the world? Is it 1.5 billion people that live in hunger? Do we ignore the pervasive suffering around the world, while congratulating ourselves on our humanity at home?

    Having said that, US history is I think quite special, both in its brevity and character. But the constant refrain of how the US is, "the greatest country on earth", shows an unfortunate sense of hubris, and I imagine is insulting to, and perceived as childish by other countries.

    Ending every political speech with the obligatory, 'May God Bless America', says it all.

  64. I'm guessing other countries will forgive Hillary and her posse for claiming American greatness. Pragmatically, they surely don't want to deal with His Ego at the reins, so they'll be okay with whatever slams the door in his Cheeto face.

  65. How did the press miss Trump's other chilling remark in the same speech where he called on Russia to find 300 Hillary emails? Predicting that next he would be accused of hacking her, he said, "I wish I had that power. Believe me I wish I had that power."

    Remember the last time we had a narcissist in the White House? Trump is Nixon with no qualifications.

  66. Was Nixon a narcissist? I'm not sure. I think he was more a paranoid.

  67. I don't think Nixon was a narcissist. I think he was a insecure small man that realized from the start he was out of his league so the tactics he employed with his henchmen.

  68. Agree, Paul.
    I am surprised that the media has not picked up on that line, "I wish I had that power. Believe me I wish I had that power." That is one of the most ominous things Trump has said.

  69. Wonderfully said Dr. Krugman!

  70. I'm yes

  71. Of course we all know that much of the right's hatred of political correctness stems from Fox News. But now we can see why they pushed that agenda: Roger Ailes had made their office look much like the womanizing work places of Mad Men. Clearly, he longed for it to be OK again.

    Just incredible what power the press has in this nation. Through the Tea Party and Trump, Ailes may yet push this country back 50 years. For that impact on the world: Man of the Year for Ailes. Oops, "Person of the Year" (LOL).

  72. Paul, there was nothing in Hillary's coronation speech that she would tackle desperately needed changes to domestic issues. It was banal and would indicate the status quo is safe.

  73. Then you weren't listening.

  74. I can't say with certainty what Hillary will do as President. And I'm not quite sure she grasp how she's going to do it. It won't be by working with Republicans as she seemed to suggest. But she could not have been more clear in saying that she has heard us and will pursue Bernie's progressive agenda. Are you sure you heard the speech?

  75. Mr. Cohen. I wonder if we are on the same planet. Please pull up the speech on YouTube and watch again.

  76. Praising Putin as a "strong leader" is just bizarre. His actions in Ukraine brought about devastating sanctions at the very time the price of oil and gas, Russia's only export other than military hardware, was collapsing.

    The value of the Russian ruble has dropped in half, the foreign investment that was pouring into Russia to modernize decrepit Soviet era industries has shriveled up along with foreign lending, shiny new towers in Moscow are emptying as foreign banks and companies withdraw operations, financial reserves are being drained to prop up the government budget, and Russian soldiers disappear over the border and return in boxes, their deaths officially unacknowledged.

    The Russian Olympic Team has been banned from Rio because of state sponsored doping after Putin spent $50 billion on the Sochi Games to boost Russian prestige.

    Median Russian household income is about the same as Mexico and the weak ruble makes foreign goods unaffordable.

    But I suppose to Trump, who says US workers are paid too much and whose real estate empire is dependent on Russian oligarchs with an exit strategy, Putin and his state controlled media look powerful indeed.

  77. Strangely, the hysteria over Putin and anti-Russian comments seem to indicate it is liberals & Democrats who are still living in the Cold War mentality -- not conservatives & Republicans.

  78. The residents of The Crimea, thanks to Stalin, are largely ethnic Russians and were not happy living under the chaos of the Ukranian Government after the Orange Revolution, when the only thing that changed was that the former Communist bureaucrats were now the multi-millionaire owners of the businesses that they had formerly run. Several "elections" later things were not improving and the people in Crimea thought that things might be better under Russian control. Thus they actually voted to return to being part of Russia. Needless to say they have ben bitterly disappointed!

  79. The fall will record a giant march of lemmings with little new thinking. Escaping Trump's fear net means running swiftly from encroaching disaster, as many in his party already have. Republicans abandoned and left behind: Obamacare, social security reform, the return of giant banks, debt, addiction to be consumed in the carnage. Hillary offers safe haven, but it is hard to be progressive with a menace like Trump slurping refills of hate in oversized cups laden with the sugar of bitterness, revenge, and destruction, packaged as “smart,” served by pundits who feed satellite servings to the enraptured who chant “he doesn't hate,” but “tells it like it is,” as if the Presidency is a story hour, and Trump is the Scheherazade of tweets and flash videos.

    No, he doesn't hate—unless it is aimed at you! Hate has little empathy, esp. if you are its source. The crowds in lynching photographs are never appalled. They are smiling. Laughing, justified. Looking forward, proud to show the world.

    The nation has launched a massive stampede over a cliff by choice. Even blind mules know their limitations; America ignores the braying. The onslaught began the day America no longer knew how to use the remote control and apartment monthly rents were a year's salary less than a decade before. It began when killing became a branded cult in the name of God no believer ever witnessed as other names died in silence and lies, their truth turned into more reason to hate.

    No slave will go hungry.

  80. And the tribe exists solely to serve the chiefs. And the chiefs want one and only one thing - to pay no taxes. And that is all there is to know about that. Always was, and always will be. The rest is just kabuki to rouse the masses to vote just as the chiefs intend.

  81. Well, you can always set up a charitable foundation. You know, like the Clintons did.

    "Clinton Cash" by Peter Schweizer will educate you on the Clinton Foundation.

  82. They also want to eliminate environmental regulations so they can pollute with impunity and frack and drill everywhere. They want to eliminate other regulations so they can cheat customers and trade recklessly. They want to limit lawsuits so only they can use the legal system. They want to suppress unions so they can treat their employees like slaves. It's not just the taxes.

  83. Out in Indian Country, when the Great Plains were truly great and running with buffalo, the last person to eat was the chief. The elderly were not the last to eat if the leader had food to share. He was responsible for the group as a whole.

    When I found this out, back in the early 1990s back when I knew Native People and listened to their stories, I was uplifted to think it possible that a human "tribe," (even us) could pull together. All it would take is for our chiefs to get down off their high horses. Good luck with that.

  84. One of the myths on the right is that slavery is well in the past, that racism is history except those awful (white) liberals keep stirring the pot. In that myth, we stir the pot in order to keep blacks convinced that they are downtrodden (to "keep them down on the plantation" in popular right-wing speak) so that they will not have the will to "pull themselves up by the boot straps like WE did," but will stay on government handouts. Since we (hated liberals) have convinced blacks that they need gov't programs, they will vote for us so that we keep the $ flowing.

    The whole line of thought is, of course, racist for it suggests that blacks are 1) not hard working; 2) all getting handouts; 3) unable to see any of this for themselves. The right wing will never get that it is racist.

    Trump fosters unabashedly fosters racist views, but seems unaware that he is racist. His pointing out at a rally a black participant and then proclaiming his 'love' for that person was embarrassing as was his video clip eating a taco and proclaiming that he loves Hispanics ("some of my best friends...").

    As to foreign policy, this week he said he wanted to "re-negotiate" the Geneva Convention so that waterboarding (i.e., torture) would be allowed. What most scares me is that so very many of my fellow Americans cannot get what a dangerous disaster this man would be not only for the country, but also for the world!!!

  85. A spin off this trope is the use of the term "working class" to only mean the white part (really the Southern or Southern in sympathies part) of the working class, as if Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and mixed race are not working. And unfortunately most MSM media also adopt this trope, and even liberals like Thomas Frank and Bernie Sanders fall into this trap of thinking and speaking.

    This is also one reason in I refer to Trump's party as the Neo-Confederate Party and that their real flag is the "Stars and Bars," not the Stars and Stripes. The Democrats are now the party Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, U.S. Grant, Thaddeus Stevens, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower, a party of of ideals of "One Nation, with Liberty and Justice for all."

  86. Slavery ended 150 years ago. How is that NOT "the past"?

  87. It sounds like you are unaware of Black Conservatives. Or, perhaps, you would make excuses for their points of view, to diminish their capacity to come to their own conclusions.

  88. "it’s all about drawing a line between us (white Christians) and them (everyone else)"

    Well, I'm not one of that "tribe". (I am Jewish.) And yet I support the Republican view. It's not about the "sheer variety of my fellow citizens", but rather the fact that we are Americans first - each trying to live our lives as best we can.

    But the Democratic view appears to be based on a pervasive thumb on the scales of Justice to offset perceived grievance. In this contorted view, claims of injustice represent power which the Democrats are only too happy to cash in by taking from those who have earned their living on the basis of the free market. Of course, there is a hierarchy to this victimology where women are somewhat aggrieved, Hispanics a bit more and blacks are the apex victim as compensation for years of slavery and discriminatory statutes. See link.


    The only problem with this liberal fallacy is that slavery ended 150 years ago and even Jim Crow ended over 50 years ago. Moreover, when this was taking place, my grandparents were fighting the pogroms in Eastern Europe. Should I go stand in the Democrats "social justice" queue ?

    My wife and I teach our two Hispanic daughters that they are fully capable of realizing any dream that they might work towards. That is the American dream far more than any racial grievance industry liberals want to promote.

  89. Princeton 2015 @ Princeton, NJ:

    In response to the charge that he is a closet liberal, Dave Rubin of @RubinReport tweeted: "Nope. Still liberal, just not a virtue signaling, pandering hack participating in the Oppression Olympics."

    So I understand where you're coming from.

    That said, Michelle Obama was not indulging in any of the Oppression Games. Trump has said that America needs to be great again; Obama was pointing out yet another way in which it was already great.

    Regarding "Jim Crow ended over 50 years ago", I challenge that with "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander. My own brief take on it is here:

  90. "a pervasive thumb on the scales of Justice"

    Perhaps in a myopic republican world-view this is thought to be a truth, Those outside the tribe see Brock Turner, Ethan Couch, and countless others who have weighted the scales of justice to their benefit because they are white and privileged. When you've finished teaching your daughters all you know they will still have a lot to learn.

  91. I find it totally amazing that any Jew can support rascism / intolerance of any kind to anyone.
    Very very depressing and hope we are not next on who to blame and be afraid of.

  92. Friendly amendment: Not "serve the interests of the tribe," but whip up tribalism to serve the interests of those who benefit from tax cuts for the wealthy, gun and weapon sales, off-shoring of profits, militarization of police forces, and so on.

  93. Dr. K., it's simple, the GOP'ers are victims of the monster you have so often addressed here, the I.O.K.I.Y.A.R. (It's O.K. if You're a Republican) dinosaur - if any Dem had even come close to uttering what Drumpf did about Russia this week, much less hired a campaign manager that worked for a decade to get Putin's stooges elected to head eastern European countries, the movement conservatives would have gone into contortions !

    A GOP'er that compliments the ex-KGB guy heading Russia for being strong ?

    Really ?

  94. btw - The Dems probably owe the whole successful convention format to the efforts of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's planning; credit should be given where credit is due.

  95. @R Law: of course the Dems owe everything about this slick, produced convention to Wasserman Schultz.....she was the mastermind. And it's why Hillary hired Wasserman Schultz to her campaign, the second she had to RESIGN in DISGRACE.

    A good deal of the reason the DNC came off so seamlessly, is that they totally and utterly put down the Sanders rebellion. And we all know how.

  96. Trump likes the North Korean dictator as well and thinks the peninsula should be reunited. Bet he would want the "strong" guy in charge too!

  97. The Republican mindset can be distilled to G.O.P. = Guardians Of Privilege.

  98. Thank you, Dr. Krugman.

    I didn't expect that with 101 days to go, we would be talking about patriotism in glowing terms again. Indeed, after the GOP convention, my stomach was in knots, and it seemed all we had in front of us was bitter fighting, mud-slinging and ever more dissection of what words actually mean. Life is grim at times, and I decided I had to gird my loins for more to come.

    I also didn't expect the Dems convention to be inspiring. I certainly expected them to try, but so often they seem to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and miss golden opportunities to skewer the large target the GOP keeps taunting them with.

    But it was inspiring; each and every night.

    And you touched on what I have been thinking for awhile; we can and should be critical of ourselves, and as Hillary mentioned last night, sow seeds in a garden we will never see.

    But we need to resist the impulse to be cynical, no matter how tempting that mindset is. Big difference between criticism and cynicism. One can be productive, the other almost never.

    I always think of my parents, both volunteers for the Navy in WW2; my father a weatherman in the South Pacific, my mother a communications specialist with the US Enigma Code operation (a fact we only learned of this year!). Most of the time, I have been glad they are not here to see this debacle Trump. Today, I know they would believe the Dems have their back. I could look them in the eye again.

  99. This is by far the best statement of what I've felt for a long time but could never really organize my thoughts about or put into words. Thanks very much, doc!

  100. No matter what the motive, many of us look forward to mid-October when someone (not necessarily the Russians) is going to publicly share the infamous "lost emails" from Chappaqua. 33,000 missing emails makes Nixon's missing 28 minutes look paltry!

    We also wonder whether 120 hours of lauding of our country in Cleveland can ever offset year after year of complaining about all the things that are wrong with our country. A few days enthusiasm pales in the face of two consistent terms identifying all the problems we have, with nary a mention of anything good that might be going on. Always some new defect to resolve!

  101. You are basing this on what, specifically? Are you a paid Trump troll posing as a 'concerned citizen' or are you one of those hangers-on that's going to race back to your chatroom and brag about 'making liberals heads explode'?

  102. This is exactly the point of the Republican Party and it's main backers, who bathe in an ideology that is totally ungrounded and serves only the wealthy. We can talk about jobs and the global economy, but we should look more deeply in to the relevance of it, as it relates to this article, and how it is a total reflection of a business world that has discarded it's loyalty to the country that they "say they love." Mr. Trump is just being obvious about it.

  103. "Why are Republicans so fixated on the notion that the president must use the phrase “Islamic terrorism,” ..."

    Whatever phony point works to deflect away from the GOP agenda: the elimination of taxes for the wealthy.

    "But what strikes me most is the silence of so many leading Republicans in the face of behavior they would have denounced as treason coming from a Democrat"

    Ryan's non-response was especially horrific. He's not Speaker of the House; he's Trump's PR speaker.

  104. Absolutely correct. The reason Donald Trump's supporters aren't troubled by by his constant and obvious self contradictions is they are not meant to be rational arguments, they are simply tribal signifying. The real message is "you can trust me because I'm not one of 'them,'" and it's being received loud and clear by a pretty huge chunk of the electorate.

  105. Well, I agree that macro-economically the Republican party is tribal, but micro-economically it is about using tribalism to achieve the goal of allowing the investment class to call the shots and hold on to as much of their wealth for as many generations as possible.

    The underlying power of the Republican party has never had particular concern for poor white people, but 1% is not an adequate portion of the electorate to win elections- so working class whites were allowed to camp out on the lawn of the palatial hotel that is the Republican party. After the passage of the Civil Rights act, the campground became packed with former southern Democrats.

    I guess those working class whites got tired of camping out, but they aren't quite ready to work with the party that tends to provide nicer rooms for a majority of Americans. They've found a new champion who looks and talks like them.

  106. Well said

  107. They certainly had no "champion" among the Democrats, who prefer to snark and call ordinary Americans "stupid low information rednecks".

    Bernie MIGHT have been their champion, but Wasserman Schultz certainly ensured he had no chances whatsoever.

  108. The only reason I would ever call them... well, less than brilliant, is because they consistently vote against their economic interests.

    Bernie lost because he didn't get enough votes. The establishment also favored Hill over Barrack, but Barrack had more skill than Bernie and could overcome the handicap. The establishment is invested in getting a "winner" nominated- dah!

    I would have voted for Bernie if he didn't run on so much anger and talked with a little more sense about where most jobs are REALLY going.


    Factory jobs are disappearing in China too.

  109. Paul, if patriotism nowadays means calling everyone one doesn't like unpatriotic, while the same person engages in praising a foreign leader better than our leader just because he's from a minority and not from his White tribe as Trump recently blurted out in one of his campaign trails, then Trump is a patriot only to his tribe.

    If getting his merchandise made in a country he says he hates i.e., China, then Trump is a true Patriot ( what a clown).

    Trump, as we've come to know for more than a year now, is a man whose plea to Putin is quite treasonous, gets away with it only because the Republicans are so desperate for a win in the Presidential election after two disastrous losses of their candidates to a man of color that they're not trying for any course correction with Trump.
    They just want to win this election at any cost because Reince Priebus, the Chairman of R.N.C. is tired of writing obituaries of his party after every election losses to a Black Democratic Presidential candidate called Obama.

    But this party of Lincoln has moved so far to the right with not only Trump who actually committed a 'treason' by inviting our arch enemy Russia to hack into our system and steal our countries' stored information but also the entire Republican party, past and present.

    If Trump was a slave in those days when the White House was built by the slaves, and if Trump had asked the British or the French Govt, for intervention, he would've been hung by a tree on the White House lawn.

  110. The right wing's war against America began a long time ago but Doctor Krugman hit the nail on the head when he talked about Alice through the Looking Glass. The star of the Alice Drama must be Humpty Dumpty who scornfully says "When I use a word"...."it means what I choose it to mean neither more nor less" As Humpty insists who is to be the master Humpty or the word.
    The great thing about America's founding is that it was written by men of letters and they left us lots of letters and they left us their libraries. The greatest absurdity of today's America is the constitutional originalist who much like Humpty Dumpty use words to defend the undefensible because words work for them and mean only what they choose them to mean./ One need only to examine the first and second amendments.
    The founders had a dictionary. All the founders used the same dictionary, there was only one dictionary and it was Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language. I used to love America and sometimes I still do but I know the constitution and I know what the first and second amendments mean and I know that they don't mean. What Bork, Scalia, the GOP and Ted Cruz say they mean is a lie because I know what words like militia and establishment meant in 1776 and I know a Humpty Dumpty when I hear one. You don't need lawyers to interpret the constitution when Johnson's dictionary is still available to inform us that a hunting rifle or shotguns are not arms.

  111. I love it when Professor Krugman and David Brooks write about the same topic on the same day.

  112. Patriotism is indeed the last refuge of a scoundrel. For Republicans is seems to be a tribal thing for people that look like me, think like me, speak like me, and believe like me.
    Right wing politics and fundamentalist Christianity seem to be two sides of the same coin. All about individualism at the expense of the collective good.
    Not to mention the need of conservatives to have "strong leaders" (that look like them, speak like them etc.).
    Imagine if a Democrat had said some of the things Trump has, especially the pro Russian statements. I can here Fox News now.

  113. Why do American Jews send their sons and daughters to serve and train in Israeli defense forces? How is that patriotic?

  114. If Joe McCarthy were alive today, if he lived, once again, to develop his personal list of Communist sympathizers within, would he not put Donald Trump at the top of this list? How could he not? How could he not start with a man who is openly and publicly enamored of Russia and its leaders, a man who has questioned the need for NATO, who encourages the Russians to pursue and hack and make public possibly sensitive state-related emails and refuses to make public his tax returns, which may or may not show business interests in other countries, including Russia? Yes, you would have to believe, that the foremost Communist fear monger of our time, Joe McCarthy, would start with Donald Trump.

  115. Sorry, but if he were alive McCarthy would be going after "people with known ties to Islamic terrorism."

  116. It is not McCarthyism to question Trump's bromance with Putin, or to ask about the Donald's business and financial dealings with Russian oligarchs.

  117. Mr. Trump is by no means an "angel", nor is he the "devil incarnate," as the constant drumbeat in the corporate media would have us believe. To suggest he is treasonous is crossing the line! He is a loud mouth and says what comes to his mind at the moment without thinking it through. But I am sure he is a patriot. How can it be otherwise?

    Demonizing Russia and Putin is a favorite ploy of the military-industrial complex and neocons, who will not hesitate a moment to empty our treasury in pursuit of "our mortal enemy." We do need a change in our attitude toward Russia. Say hello to another costly Cold War and wasted trillions, with Mrs. Clinton in the White House!

    Most are missing a vital point regarding Mrs. Clinton. There is no doubt that she is HIGHLY QUALIFIED to be our President. But is she TRUSTWORTHY? Once in the White House, will she carry out people's agenda or the agenda of her rich donors? Will she turn around once in power and get TPP and other trade deals through? Is she going to do what is needed with respect to Wall Street and the megabanks? She was not paid $225,000 for each of her 3 speeches by Goldman Sachs for nothing! If not, why does she not release the transcripts? Why did she erase "personal" e-mails? What was she hiding?

    Ultimately, "It is the Pocketbook Stupid!" Except for a lucky few like Trump and Clintons, people are hurting. Lack of decent-wage jobs is an existential threat to the middle class. "Same old" will not do. No wonder Trump is leading!

  118. And Donald Trump is trustworthy? Really? I'll take her untrustworthiness any day over Trump's.

  119. Changes may be needed, but not that much !

  120. And whose agenda would Trump carry out? There is nothing about his past, not a single thing, except his con-artist' verbal skills, to suggest he has ever looked out for anyone but himself. Hillary's shortcomings, in total, don't rise to the level of the new baggage/fibs/craziness this guy adds on each week.

  121. Vlad-Donald bromance. Priceless!!

  122. Vlad could use some tips on hair-care. Donald would benefit by some body-building tips to help him fill out his empty suit.

  123. For me, the most patriotic speaker at the DNC was The father of a fallen soldier. The Kahns chose to come to the US for a better life, to learn our customs and to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The love of country was supremely evident in his speech.

  124. Absolutely agree. He said everything that needed to be said about our country and where we are today in a little over 7 minutes.

  125. Thanks for this one Professor.
    According to the current Republican formula, freedom is like getting a suite in Trump Towers.
    If you can pay the per diem, you can stay. And you need not worry, your neighbors will be just like you, wealthy and entitled.
    No money no education no advancement no hope.
    Racial or ethnic diversity is only overlooked if you have a fat bank account.
    After a lifetime in the racist Southern United States, living in South America was a refreshing change. No racism, none.
    But it didn't take long to see the almost equally horrible exclusionary racism of class and wealth.
    The wealthy upper class held themselves apart. They knew that being wealthy plainly proved that you were a superior version of the species, and your ability to buy absolute worldly freedom went unchecked.
    Corruption fed the cycle.
    This is exactly where Trump-like the pied piper- wants to take us.
    Right over the cliff.
    Devil take the hindmost.
    You get what you pay for. Social stasis, little progress, and another generation is born under the curse.
    To love America is to understand that the American dream protects us all.
    And that if we let it die it will be our collective death.

  126. Mr. Krugman, It's quite clear that Donald Trump did not call on Russia to do any future spying. Hillary Clinton's server no longer exists. There would be nothing for them to hack into. The intent of his remark was for them to release the deleted emails they had already hacked. Not smart, but not treason.

  127. I think you're giving Donald Trump more credit than he deserves for putting together two and two together on that. Look up the exact language/verb tense of his plea to Moscow. Yes, he was egging them on, not asking for release of past purloined materials.

  128. Close enough. Asking a foreign government for fodder to spin into more lies to influence an American election. Something that foreign government apparently has already done with the handover of the other emails to wikileaks.
    This movie has one too many a Bond villain, though, and the henchman Assange is almost a third... kind of a mini-me to Putin.

  129. I think you have forgotten the Putin was from the KGB and if you think that agency is dead I have a bridge to sell you. To me Trump has stepped on the road to treason and for a Presidential candidate that is so far out of line that it's in the next galaxy. Putin is a dangerous man and never forget that. When you do, your life as you know it will be over.

  130. What Putin and Trump revere is power. Trump is really saying: I want to be powerful like Vlad. Neither is a patriot, or even a nationalist. They are both tribalists. The klepto-czar's tribe was the KGB, now it is the court of wealthy thieves clustered around him. Trump's tribe was the New York stratum of rich hustlers and rule-benders, now it is the much larger tribe of all those who fear the cultural, racial, ethnic and economic democratization of America. Mrs. Clinton, even with some personal wealth and many elite connections, is a natural democratic patriot. Her victory is our obligation.

  131. "Some personal wealth"? Please see this link to Time's estimates of the couple's wealth. The speaking engagement fees alone over the past couple of years are staggering, and it's hard to conclude that these huge speaking fees don't come with some overt strings attached. http://time.com/money/4344981/hillary-clinton-estate-plan-taxes/

  132. " Trump's tribe was the New York stratum of... hustlers and rule-benders..."

    Hey, that's an insult to Ratso Rizzo.

  133. I don't know Mr. Krugman, but according to a NYTimes story in 2015,

    "Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal", it appears Trump isn't the only cozy with, -- Vlad?

    "Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security .............. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton's wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton....................a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation ...............totaling $2.35 million. ................Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock."

  134. "Among the agencies..." so in other words, there may have been a dozen other agencies that had to sign off on the deal, agencies that weren't headed by a clinton.
    This is like the endless Fox News approach to blaming every misdeed by, say, a federal park bathroom cleaner on "the Obama National Park Service."

  135. The "uranium deal" as you put it was signed off on (and had to be) by multiple government agencies outside of the State Department. Those involved have stated Mrs. Clinton did not advocate for it, and there is absolutely no evidence of any quid pro quo. (If there is a person more continually smeared on the Internet and alt-right sites than Hillary Clinton, I don't know who it would be.)

  136. Your very selective quoting from that article leaves out everything that doesn't support your false equivalency. There's a big difference between endorsing a deal with the Russians for a strategic asset that will benefit the US and calling Putin the kind of leader we should have in this country, supporting his invasion of Crimea, threatening to leave other European allies vulnerable to Russian takeover, and inviting Russia to hack the computer systems of the inviter's political enemies.

  137. "The people who now seem to love America always did; the people who suddenly no longer sound like patriots never were."

    Bravo! A great line and oh so true.

  138. And we saw a Muslim family devastated by the loss of their hero son, and they ask if Donald Trump has even read the United States Constitution. They eviscerated Trump. "You have sacrificed nothing and no one." And he asked Donald Trump to go to Arlington Cemetery and look at the graves of those who have died for America. He wouldn't need to tell Hillary Clinton to do that. She knows the sorrow of losing friends in war.

  139. The BEST column I have ever read by Mr. Krugman.
    Tribe mentality from the Caucasians is correct and I am a white
    middle age male. The world is/has changed and always will.

  140. Here’s a bit of a ‘deeper’ analysis.

    Our ‘free market’ capitalism inherently breeds excesses, which brings out the greed in many. Far too many have far too little, while too few have so much.

    A ‘social democracy’ throughout the rest of the Western World reigns in these inequities. There, people are afforded a decent education, with health care guaranteed. The ‘right to bear arms’ is sacrificed for the ‘right to live a safe and secure life’.

    The greatest gift from Bernie Sanders is the light he shines on these truths, to allow America to see the goodness that exists throughout the rest of the ‘advanced world.’ Conservatives today are gripping with their fingernails to hold onto their mistaken ‘white privilege’, which ultimately, they are never able to enjoy, through all of their fears of 'the other.’

    Together, we are stronger.

  141. If this election is as close as some consider, it will indicate to anyone on the planet, including most of us, we really are a more ignorant people than even the cynics among us imagine.

    I do not consider myself naive, but if Mr Trump garners even a modicum of support in the 35/40% range it will, in addition to surprise also leave me scratching my head in disbelief at the stupidity of my fellow Americans.

  142. Nationalism is easy. Patriotism is hard.

    The ability to critically judge the actions and ethos of one's country and see a way to improve it requires more than knee-jerk slogans and finger-pointing. Those who would throw their lot in with Donald Trump's view of America risk saddling not just America but the world with a puerile caricature of leadership.

  143. This essay is so misguided that I am embarrassed for the writer. The party of the incumbent always embraces the status quo. The opposing party always embraces the need for change. This has nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with politics. Dr. Krugman is so naive and misguided that it appears he is entirely unfamiliar with electoral politics.

  144. That's far too simplistic. There are three branches of government, and the Democratic President presides, at this point, over only one. The second, Congress, is controlled by a party that has been making every effort in its power to block positive change and keep the country under the control of an oligarchy of wealthy donors -- up to and including shutting down the government and blocking the President's appointments to the third branch, the federal courts. In this environment, it is the party of the President that represents change for the country. The other party is still the party of income inequality, racial and ethnic prejudice, cruelty to the poor, and feudal obeisance to the super-rich -- no change there.

  145. The "need for change" in this case is an illusion hawked by a carnival barker. No comparisons to the past apply this time.

  146. Thank you Mr. Magoo.

  147. Democratism is the new communism.

  148. Not even close. Look up the definition of Communism and try again.

  149. Your point is?

  150. Except for the Republicans who are fleeing the Cult of Trump (once known as the Republican Party, which died last week.). R.I.P. Republican Party.

  151. A rousing article after her rousing speech. I feel like putting an American flag sticker on my car now!

  152. Yes. Last night one of my thoughts was, "now I feel the flag belongs to me, too, again"!

  153. Flag waving has nothing to do with America? I guess the flag burning communists outside the DNC are the real patriots. Oh, and they had to put up a wall to keep them out, imagine that.

  154. You know, mindless flag-waving and idiotic flag-burning are not the only two options. The hard-working Americans inside the DNC set a great example. That's what America looks like. Decent Americans accept the responsibility and need for compromise that come from living in a land where we extend rights to everyone.

  155. What utter silliness but of course it comes from a "Registered Republican"....!

    Why is it the GOP always needs "someone to hate"...why?

  156. Boy did you miss the point.

  157. No organization has better integrated their members than the military. As opposed to civilian society there appears to be little racial or religious strife It is a place that accepts any and all Americans with open arms with just a call to serve your country honorably. In this election Republicans have been adamantly exclusionary. Their ranks in Congress demonstrate undeniably how they are an enclave of white males. Now Trump enters the mix with a call to kill members of terrorists families, to carpet bomb large geographic areas, and to institute new forms of torture, The response from many military leaders is revulsion, a recognition that Trumps statements would be a violation of the military code of conduct, and an astonishing vocal call for mutiny if such orders were issued.

  158. At the same time, how scarily fascinating is it that so many Trump supporters or Bernie supporters who now plan to vote for Trump claim that Mrs. Clinton is the hawk. It never seems to really matter what Trump says. HIs supporters only hear the Palin echo of take their country back or Donald's promise to make us great again by reverting to the 50s.

  159. "No organization has better integrated their members than the military. As opposed to civilian society there appears to be little racial or religious strife It is a place that accepts any and all Americans with open arms with just a call to serve your country honorably."

    A point aptly made by the Muslim parents of the young AMERICAN hero who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Iraq war.

    I hope the supporters of the bloviating, veteran-disrespecting orange coward who evaded sacrifice and danger in Vietnam, were listening.

    But I doubt it.

  160. Our Founding Fathers were arguably some of the most "Progressive" men to have walk the Planet. They led us to a new form of governance, one that abandoned the feudal/religious practices that had the masses subservient to royalist or religious domination. The GOP has falsely claimed they are the defenders of the Founding Fathers' vision if nothing more than to give cover for their ultimate mission returning to a pre-1776 world. The Conservative world is one where rule is not based on merit and leadership skills but by skin color and heredity. This sadly conservative approach is not about creating an innovative future but of hoarding resources for a select few. Taken now to its hollow ends the GOP has given us their "Leader for the Free World" one Donald Trump.

  161. Yet, Republicans have persuaded many people who are not full members of their club--working class whites--that the GOP better represents them by stoking anger and fear with subtle racist appeals and wedge issues.

  162. "This sadly conservative approach is not about creating an innovative future but of hoarding resources for a select few."

    There are some dots here, and in Prof. Krugman's piece, that perhaps can be connected. Naomi Klein, in her book "This Changes Everything," argues that the ultra wealthy don't care about climate change because they believe they have the wherewithal to insulate themselves from its effects. Trump's desire to build a sea wall to protect one of his golf courses from climate change induced sea level rise, while otherwise denying climate change even exists, is
    illustrative. Climate change denial is of course now a staple of Republican petro-prostitution. Could it be that, with Trump, the clients of that petro-prostitution include not only american and multinational fossil fuel interests, but Gazprom and Rosneft?

  163. Stephan,

    The American Revolutionaries who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 and then created this great nation were political activists committing criminal acts of high treason.

    Those men committed their fortunes and their lives to the creation of the USA. They would have all been hanged by the English Government for Treason if the American Revolution military forces had failed.

    Today, politicians are only in the game for their own personal financial gain with perks, bribes and cash in paper sacks for their congressional votes and no-bid PAY TO PLAY contracts paid from the taxpayer’s Public Treasury awarded to their political campaign contributors!

    Today, only those politicians that accept sufficient campaign contributions in return for political favors and “PAY TO PLAY” no-bid contract awards from the public treasury can collect enough campaign money in order to buy enough TV advertising can get themselves elected to public office.

    The election of Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders as POTUS would present a great problem for the “DONOR CLASS” campaign contributors by shutting off their access to the US treasury’s taxpayer money VIA the “PAY TO PLAY” no-bid US government contracts and control of US foreign policy granted to these “DONOR CLASS” campaign contributors.

  164. Patriotism is a lot like parental love. We can love unconditionally, but not uncritically. We can love our country, and still be mad that it is acting like an immature teenager. We can expect a lot more from it.

    The GOP has been trading on jingoism rather than patriotism. John Wayne, pick-up trucks, church socials and Reagan or Eisenhower in the White House. A flag on the back of the car saying "support our Troops" and a vote in the ballot box to cut taxes so that we don't have the budget to send enough body armor or bomb-resistant trucks.

    We live in a different time: it will never be like the post war boom again. We can step back and decide how we want to live with that reality, or we can pretend that the reason we don't have jobs isn't because in the more than half century since the end of the war we both saturated the marketplace for many goods, and at the same time stagnated wages as the rest of the world caught up.

    That is our reality and we can listen to a self tanned mogul yell about how he, and he alone can change it, or we can pay attention to reality and look for leaders who actually understand what is going on. We missed that chance with President Obama - perhaps the smartest man in the White House ever. We run a good chance of electing the most profoundly uncurious, most profoundly self-involved and slyest to replace him.

  165. Very well stated. When WW II ended, the U.S. was, in many ways, the "last man standing". The rest of the industrial world was in smoking ruins, whereas our industrial engine had become a giant through war production that was easily turned to consumer goods production at home and reconstruction goods abroad. The pent up demand for both was staggering, and only we were fully positioned to meet that demand.

    We were in the catbird seat, and even after the demand backlog began to taper off over the next few decades, Cold War military production picked up the slack, employing millions - in and out of uniform.

    But as you say, while we were enjoying our heyday, the rest of the world was slowly catching up. Now the field is level, and our task is to adjust to this new reality. Our task is to figure out what we do best, and to turn our attention to doing those things rather than wasting our energy lamenting about what was, and probably can never be again.

  166. Mitch McConnell is holding the Supreme Court hostage.
    Rep. Steve King says that only whites contributed to society.
    Rep. Paul Ryan thinks welfare is a drug and we need to withdraw the poor from it,
    All agree the rich need more tax breaks.
    They are all against a minimum wage increase.
    They are treasonous, seditious soul-sucking oligarchs.

    It is time for them to go!! NOW, AND FOREVER.

  167. I wish I can recommend this comment many more times than just once. Love it.

  168. I wonder whether McConnell, King and Ryan ever stop to consider what God thinks about them.

  169. Paul, good points.

    Ever since the election of Bill Clinton, conservatives have sought to de-legitimize Democrats by whatever means necessary - in an effort to portray themselves as the only plausible ruling party for America. They were not content to portray themselves as merely superior on a policy basis - but insisted on literally arguing that the other party could be in no way legitimate.

    This tendency only became more pronounced with the election of the first African American President in history.

    Thus, the dominant conservative meme has become both tribal and theological. Not every conservative adopts this approach - but most appear willing to get in line once the most noxious party apparatchiks assert it.

    And where has it brought us? It has brought us to a moment in time where the former party of Ronald Reagan now admires the leadership style of a KGB thug in preference to the intellectual steeliness and emotional reserve that allowed us to triumph in our battle over the former Soviet Union (and earlier, Nazi Germany and Japan).

    Paul, oh for the good old days when nitwits like this threatened to secede from the Union, instead of attempting to turn our Union into a fascist state, led by a bumbling, vain, pathological liar.

  170. Republicans became so attached to their flawed party ideals that Trump grabbed the essence of flawed inability to adjust belief to reality and carries those ideals to the logical extremes they represent. The party should not be flabbergasted it should have been aware that the government is not always wrong, that consideration of commerce and economics includes all citizens not just some citizens, that not all people who do not have citizenship are bad people, that citizens who disagree with them have legitimate reasons for disagreeing but the biggest mistake republicans have made is that in human affairs policy and ideas are better written on paper than on stone. We can only hope that if Trump is elected he will not be able to carry flawed republican ideology to its logical conclusions.

  171. They never accepted the Carter presidency.

  172. Donald Trump loves to stand in front of a sea of American flags while telling the world how unbelievably great he is; they are just convenient props for the extension, worldwide, of his colossal ego. Patriotism, as Kennedy once said, has something to do with putting country before self. In Trump-world, there is no such thing as public service or the common good. It's all about telling the suckers what they want to hear in an orgy of self-promotion. Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, and P.T. Barnum all wrapped up in a single text-book case of narcissism.

    A head case that doesn't even understand the difference between patriotism and hucksterism.

  173. Trump does understand the difference between patriotism and hucksterism. He just cynically uses anything and abuses anyone to get what he wants. His campaign is amoral. As are much of his business dealings.

  174. Nietzsche did not wrap himself in narcissism. He is still largely misunderstood by those who do not have the requisite intelligence to grasp his thought.

  175. Never thought I would see the Republicans become the "hate America first" crowd. As they used to say to anyone criticizing them love it or leave it! Except your candidate may have put up walls everywhere when you come back.

  176. Not all that surprising. The story of Moses describes it all. It is all about a journey that culminates in the triumph of human values over the mammon, the building and worship of golden calves.

    The lesson is that we need to spend less time acquiring and worshiping stuff, and more time thinking about ways to unify and forward the interest of humans (both those within and those outside the tribe).

    It would seem that that idea was the underlying rationale behind religion as a body politic, and behind every other form of inclusive governance that has arisen ever after.

  177. I'm surprised you say you'd never thought republicans would become the "hate America first crowd". They've been spouting anti-American nonsense since McCarthy roamed the halls of Congress. Trump is only his latest reincarnation. republicans have in the past been able to squelch their anti-democratic tendencies over the years but if you haven't been paying attention for the last 45 years they've tossed out any belief of that when Nixon broke into Watergate. Now they just brazenly pass laws in the republican controlled state houses that deny people the vote. I didn't even mention the republican controlled Supreme Court whose decision in 2000 overruled a state court (oh how they love states rights except when they disagree with their idiotic philosophies!) to make George Bush the president. Anyway I hope this era is coming to an end and the republican party goes down in ignominious defeat waving their Trumpistic "values" while they crash and burn.

  178. Paul Krugman is an economist, an expert on trade theory and economic geography. In this article, he feels entitled to opine on matters having nothing to do with his field, issues of patriotism and general politics. But that's okay, he's a smart guy and thought about these issues, so the NYT trusts him to write columns like this.

    I'm a smart guy, and even though I'm not by his standard an "actual expert on terrorism", I can credibly say we should name Islamic terror when it is manifestly the cause of atrocities. Because not to do so obscures who the enemy is and will compound, not help solve, the problem.

    To say, as Paul does in effect, that only (unnamed) experts can talk about this issue is a cop-out plain and simple.

    Finally, Paul seems to find the loadstone of patriotism in "sheer variety of my fellow citizens". This disregards the fact that America and Canada, as polities and societies, were the product of very specific western European ideas and peoples. Ideas of liberty, freedom, and equality, although imperfectly realized in the original (U.S.) union, came from this background. Ignoring its importance risks damaging the values which that tradition stood for and whose full realization would benefit all North Americans, including the worst-off amongst us.

  179. No. Just no. We don't say "Chrisiian terrorism" when an old white guy guns down a doctor at a clinic. We don't say "white terrorism" when some guys kill a gay man. Why should we say "Islamic terrorism" when 99.9% of Islamists have nothing to do with terrorism? And what would it help if we did?

  180. What does it mean to "obscure who the enemy is" or for some term to be a "cop out"? That's vague verbiage, not an argument.

    If someone wants to use expertise to solve some problem, then they need to know what the appropriate target for intervention is. Experts will tell you, on the basis of evidence, that how conservative or strong someone's adherence to Islam is turns out not to be a good predictor of whether or not they will commit terrorist acts. There are a lot of Muslims in the world. A lot of them are conservative; many are very devout. But there aren't a lot of terrorists in the world. Even if you were entitled to infer from the fact that someone is a terrorist and a Muslim, that they're more likely to adhere to one of the schools of Islamic thought that some may take to be radical (a weaker correlation than many think, by the way), the likelihood that, if someone is a devout Muslim with putatively radical beliefs, that they are a terrorist is very low; almost as low as the likelihood that someone with any other set of religious beliefs is a terrorist.

    It's not clear how someone's religious beliefs could even be the target of an intervention. Is America supposed to convince people to have less "radical" Islamic beliefs? Is it supposed to eliminate or remove people who've acquired those beliefs?

    It sounds Islam isn't an effective target for intervention if we want to combat terrorism. So it's not the problem, and it obscures things to say that it is.

  181. We all know that the "terrorism" comes from the dark forces that dwell in misplaced, over simplified, and mythological, ideological sentiment.

    As the Inquisition mentality of the 13th century demonstrated, "terrorism" is certainly a dark side of religious pursuit, but it is not confined to any one religion.

    Terrorism is a product of the asymmetric warfare that technology has unleashed; where one or more bad actors can take on and disrupt our institutions of 'law and order' anywhere in the world on a local, national, and even global level.

    Terrorism is a pathological reality of our time, and until we solve the problem of 'how to promote a broader spirit of togetherness', we're going to suffer at the hands of 'virtually any armed ideological malcontents' who believe that they have no alternative but to physically defeat or eliminate any "others" who do not subscribe to their brand, their tribe, or their personal needs.

    In that sense, the 'terrorists' are among us, and they are not ALL necessarily Islamic. We do ourselves no service by taking a 'wack-a-mole' approach to the endemic and systemic forces of terrorism that underlie our age. We need to address the fundamental, ideological pathologies that drive humans to self destruction.

  182. Who didn't already know the GOP/conservative/libertarian position and many Republicans/conservatives/libertarians were fake patriots (and hence the, by now, quite well-worn phrase Hatriots)?

    Too bad out of all that supposedly "successful" Democratic convention there was no indication whatsoever that the Democratic party and especially Hillary Clinton and the (old) New Democrats (especially the apologists and Democratic economists like Krugman) have any intention whatsoever of any retreat from the neo-liberalism, from the Democratic reaction to Reagan that has handed the American right their bucket list of political objectives, ruined and made fallow the opportunities the lives of all but the very few, and is the primary reason for inequality across the country.

    So Krugman continues his usual conceits: finding fault with Republicans and paying scant attention to his beloved establishment Democrats who, by now, can claim equal culpability. Don't believe me? Then tell the world what the Democrats have done in the last generation since 1992. What have they actually fought for instead of being road kill for? What? Because you better do it; Paul Krugman won't.

  183. The whole economic academy persists in the view that monetary policy can achieve the objectives of fiscal policy, so it continues to be impossible to discuss separating the variables melded in the "dual mandate" to central bankers.

  184. .......saved the country from the rape and pillage of a deregulated assault on its assets and it's people; wound down two wars, the second of which was primarily initiated to distract from the fact that we were losing the 1st; extended some level of health care to 10% of the people who had no recourse but to use the emergency room to silently pass the bill to the rest of us.......this more direct approach will do a lot to reduce the absurd corruption that underlies our current system, and thus to improve the health care and security of ALL Americans; and dozens more lesser accomplishments that improved our country, improved our image as humans and 'freedom seekers', and established a basis for moving our society forward into the 'information age'.

    I will give you the fact that Republicans have worked hard to accomplish their goal to insure that only the deserving (aka them, their relatives, and their pay-to-play friends) receive any benefit from the net production of our society as a whole. Their lottery mentality of winners and losers has a long history leading civilization into cul-de-sacs of bloated self interest. Hopefully, we're going to take a long, refreshing break from the raw hate, fear, greed, jealousy, bigotry, and divisiveness that grows and festers when the sentiment of governance turns to the acquisition of mammon rather than the uplifting of humans and the human spirit.

  185. Theyve done a lot. The problem is you choose not to see it or to discount its impact. Obama and teh Dems saved the American automobile industry, they prevented a cooalps of the economy, they prevented a war with Iran and secured a safer future, they led on the cliamte talks. But of course since you dont care about these issues, or choose to ignore them ,they dont count

  186. I just returned from a wonderful river cruise and visit to Portugal. The people are wonderful hosts and thanked us for visiting their country. At each venue we were reminded how dependent Portugal is on tourists for their prosperity. What I love about returning is the variety of our cities and people. We are unique. We are the reflection of the worlds peoples and religions. Now that I am home in metro Detroit, I can have all the Middle East food I want as we have the largest Arabic population in the USA. Yea to us!

  187. Doc, if you know anything at all about the geography of the area around the northern Black Sea and Russia, you and your newspaper will quit going on about Crimea.

  188. Which part of that geography gave Russia the right to simply claim Crimea?

  189. You are so right.

  190. Thoughts now on the debates. How does a policy wonk like Hillary go mano-a-mano with the empty suit Trump and his content-free diatribes? And who will moderate such a "debate"? Who will both parties' negotiating teams even agree on, for three debates? The debates are where the rubber will hit the road.

  191. Something will hit the road. It's unlikely that it will be rubber.

    The 'Gatling gun' of lies, conspiracy theories, and innuendo coupled with the smoke bombs of hate, fear, greed, jealousy, and bigotry may just continue to work to mask and distract "we, the people" from the underling Republican dismantling of the wealth, spirit, and ideals of the great American experiment.

  192. 'Truth in opposites.' Count on 'Honest John Car Dealer' and 'Equitable Management Company' to be crooked. We've all heard that 'patriotism (or God) is the last refuge of a scoundrel'; similarly, the ones who wave the flag the 'loudest' will be the first to sell out their country.

  193. It depends on how and why the wavers wave. Togetherness, tolerance, and the spirit of "yes, we can" would seem to occupy the high ground against the ugly tide of hate, fear, greed, jealousy, and bigotry that has been rising from below.

  194. Thank you for this article Paul. Too many people are missing what's important about Trump's ascendency. He is not an aberration. He is a personification, a characature, of every Republican candidate of the last 50 years. The natural result of the alliances they've made with racists, xenophobes, religious fundamentalists, and the like. With the exception of his anti-trade rethoric, traditional Republicans are not upset at him for his policies (and yes, I recognize that I'm using the term policy generously). They are upset at his refusal to speak in the coded language the party has used so masterfully since Nixon. Because of Trump's stupidity, from Republican leaders' point of view, the gig may be up. If Trump ends up destroying the Republican Party or perhaps even better fundamentally changing it so that all Americans, even us African-Americans who've bore the brunt of their coded rhetoric over the years, have a real choice in the party we support, the country will be much better off and I'm sure The Donald will end up telling us what a genius he is and that this was his intent all along.

  195. Thanks for restraining from bashing Bernie. Your job is done but the archives show (and perhaps wiki leaks emails too) how systematically and methodically you disrespected an honorable old man. Give yourself a nice pat on your back.

  196. Everything you say is true, and probably everything Bernie said was 100% true. However, there is an older generation that remembers "Nader or Nothing," and in 2000 we got worse than nothing. We got Bush and the Iraq war and all the consequences we see now in the mid-east. I see Trump as a Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon rolled into one, and it was more important to try to beat Trump compared to backing Bernie. I don't know, but I think this motivated a lot of PK's actions. Therefore, if so I would regard PK's actions vis-a-vis Bernie to be honorable since they may help defeat such a great evil.

  197. I kept waiting for that old man to show us his tax returns, but he successfully ran out the clock.

  198. No question about Bernie being honorable and I don't believe anyone has suggested otherwise. If it is any consolation many of his points are being absorbed in the platform and that frankly is his legacy. He started the revolution, Hillary will carry some of it on and you will see the effect and then you get a shot at it again in the next election cycle if you even feel it necessary. I wish well for the country, not any particular candidate.

  199. The silence of the Republican establishment as Trump essentially invited Russian cyber attacks on the US state and its private citizens was mind boggling. It's actually far worse when you get into the Republican fever swamps of its base. Most of them are applauding because they are so consumed with hatred of Clinton in particular but Democrats in general. So this week while the Democrats have been celebrating America Republicans have been encouraging our enemies.

  200. John, remember which party deliberately undermined President Obama's negotiations with a country by sending a traitorous letter to that country? And which senators signed that letter? The question for that party, yes the GOP, the Greatly Overrated Popinjays, is this: which side are you on?

  201. Trump, in backing down on his outrageous suggestion that Russia should continue to hack the US, tried to cover himself by saying that he was being sarcastic. If one needed it, here is another proof of the ignorance of the man. There was no sarcasm in what he said but a direct statement. A sarcasm is like a sneer, something that Trump is capable of, to be sure, but he was not sneering at Putin but essentially praising him for doing the country a "favor". That Trump is a monumental liar is well-established, that he continues to be believed by some is incomprehensible. Never mind, God Bless America....May God Save America.

  202. This column brought tears to my eyes as it inspired hope for and love for my country. The reductive, simplistic definition of what patriotism means by the right, and their claim of ownership, has left me feeling defeated and alienated for years.

    An element of patriotism is straight up love for the flag and our Constitution. No doubt about that. But patriotism also means dissent, an embrace of the panoply of peoples here, and a stalwart resolve against countries seeking to undermine us (Putin I'm looking at you). It means a flat out rejection of injustice and inequality. The fact that the likes of Limbaugh and O'Reilly are trying to create a soft-focus, revisionist narrative of slavery, of all things, should make every one of us physically ill.

    This column together with the moving, and genuine convention the Democrats put forth this week has soothed my soul a bit. Both have stirred emotions about our nation I wasn't sure I would ever feel again.

  203. Hewing to tribe as a concept is a good lens. Tribal focus has always prevented progress in a national sense and here we are. The documented lock step blocking of any Obama agenda, even if truly in the best interest of all Americans, is just one example of the tribe thing and in my mind treasonable. They lost their focus on the big picture and instead doubled down on religious coopted agendas and economic polices that have demonstrably never worked. Tribe over country. Shameful and dangerous.

  204. Not everyone is comfortable shouting "USA, USA, USA". Some of us are quieter. Some of us think that America is strong enough to handle criticism, especially if it is accompanied by helpful suggestions, ideas, and not derogatory the way some comments made by extremists on both sides can be. If the GOP truly feels that too many Americans depend upon the government for help in their daily lives the answer is not to say that you aren't worried about them or that 47% of us are moochers. The answer is to look at what makes this happen and decide how to solve it in a way that doesn't compromise our health and well being. It may mean raising the minimum wage or accepting that people really need government assistance in one form or another.

    We are all Americans whether we are gay, straight, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, rich, poor, naturalized or born here. All of us deserve a decent education, the medical care we need, decent affordable housing, jobs that pay enough to do more than just survive; in short we deserve a life. For too long the GOP has been playing the wedge issues to win. If we fracture now along partisan lines we will not be the United States, we will be the Untied States. I don't think we want that now or in the future. I do hope that the GOP doesn't want that either but I have my doubts when I listen to what they say especially when they reveal their ignorance of how most of us live.

  205. Who knows Trump's actual allegiance? It seems it is only to himself and his lack of control over his mouth.

  206. I apologize for reproducing this posting, but it just fits in with this discussion.

    I see that a discussion is shaping up about Democrats demonstrating "Republican" patriotism, and it is pointed out that Democrats have been reluctant to affirm publicly their patriotism. But there was always a difference between the two conceptions of patriotism. In many cases, Republican patriotism was used to shut up accusations of indifference to the poor. It was used to mask the influence of the military-industrial complex. It was the way to counteract demands for social justice. And this perceived hypocrisy pushed Democrats to distance themselves from what they saw as jingoistic manifestations. The patriotism one saw last night, recognized the problems that still affect the country, from persistent discrimination, to uneven economic conditions, while at the same time showed confidence of the country's capacity to deal with them. Republicans have always seen criticism of the country's shortcomings as indication of lack of patriotism and have never understood that criticism is a manifestation of the deep desire to improve one's country. It is this newly discovered awareness that the country has finally removed the blinders that prevented it to see the way out of many problems, that has provoked this renewed explosion of patriotism.

  207. Real patriots don't take refuge where scoundrels hide.

  208. There are two republican parties. The one that led by the one percent that lied to its base for years and the one The Donald now owns. What should give us all pause, is not that there is a con man heading the GOP but that there are so many poor whites who actually believe The Donald cares about them. How did we get to a place where so many Americans actually will vote for someone as scary as Trump? I know that's a complicated question but one all sane patriots should consider. I fear the answer is we live in a country full of reality TV idiots. Truly people who are intellectually stupid teamed up with people who after 30 years of GOP government hate speech believe anarchy is better than governance.

  209. These are the same people who get into 12-items-or-less lines at supermarkets with 20-items-or-more -- selfish, me-first people who couldn't care less about anyone but themselves.

  210. "I fear...we live in a country full of reality TV idiots."

    Some time ago, a person wrote in to my local paper saying that he thought Trump would solve the nation's problems just like he solves the problems on his TV show. There was no hint of sarcasm. I wondered whether this person might have been trolling, but I don't think so.

  211. Generally speaking, a rise in the rate of nihilism indicates failing public policy.

  212. The contrasting images of slaves building the White House and the Obama children playing on the lawn say all that need be said about the United States (Khizr Khan thrusting the constitution toward Donald Trump through the cameras during the DNC is a worthy runner-up). America needed a history lesson and these simple images go a long way toward providing it.

  213. I think I love America, but I don't love the country that we actually have. I mean, come on. Look at its prisons. Look at some of its decrepit inner cities--not just Manhattan, but Detroit or Baltimore. Look at the current election. Sit in a room with the poorest people in our country, and then sit in a room with the most advantaged.

    Hard to love, unless you're comfortable settling a great deal. Sure, American institutions have more to love than Russian institutions, or Chinese ones. It's not even that clear, though, that our background culture is more just or better for our citizens, and so as loveable, than comparable developed countries.

    No, if you really love the United States, and you're not deluded, you love this: you love the set of defensible moral principles and ideals that (highly imperfectly) regulate the operation of our social and political institutions. You love the society that would fully realize those ideals. Just as you don't love the baby for slobbering or pooping on itself or barely articulating words (maybe parents would disagree with me here); instead you love the complete person it will one day be and the occasional glimpses its behavior today give you of what that person might be like.

  214. Manhattan is one of those 'decrepit inner cities'? You don't get out much, do you.

  215. The proof of love of country is the willingness to sacrifice for it.
    Those who did, our Veterans, support Trump over Clinton by a large margin
    Whatever the cause, it prevents me, a progressive Democrat, to claim to love this country more than the opposition. Indeed, I feel I fall short.

  216. There are many ways to sacrifice for your country apart from being in the military, and they're just as legitimate and worthy of respect. One of our problems right now is we consider military service the pinnacle of patriotism, and this sends the clear message that only those who have been in the armed forces can speak with authority on security and love of country. This idea is both wrong and dangerous.

  217. Deterrence is the objective of wise military policy.

    I don't understand why there is demand for opportunities to bleed for one's country.

  218. Are you implying that people who served in the military have better judgement than those who haven't? I'm afraid your logic skills have taken a hit. Either that, or you have the driest sense of humor I've run into this week.

  219. Dream on a few more hours.

    1.2% growth vs. 2.6% predicted!! What an exclamation point to the convention.

    Then do, do, do, do read Greg Ip in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. An accurate and excellent presentation of the major inflation produced by the crazy monetary policy that Bernanke announced officially as a trickle down asset stimulus.

    The way journalists write, Ip is predicting a crash. With the 1.2% it just may come before November. Then Trump wins by 10 to 20 points rather than the 5-10 that is probable after the 1.2%.

    We have a great America, but with 16 years of Presidents in the bottom quarter of all Presidents. As a result, we have a terrible economy and foreign policy mess. Clinton is promising more of the same.

    We have worse race relations than 8 years ago. I think Obama's failure to reach out to red voters and his encouragment of racism to give blacks something--their guns and bibles-- to cling to as their wages fall is largely at fault.

    But it doesn't matter. The approach of talking incessantly about racism and the need to reason together simply doesn't work. Hillary promises the same. Trump never criticizes blacks, has the trust of the white working class, and wants to have a lot of black votes in 2020. I think that is absolutely the right approach, but it is worth a try.

    And Trump wants an end of the Cold War--not Obama's, Romney's Putin is Hitler approach. He criticizes Bush's Iraq War and Hillary's in Syria. Let's give it a try.

  220. I am a middle class, white, working class male, and I don't trust the republican candidate as far as I could throw him. And, I've felt that way for as long as he has been in the public eye, what, maybe 30 or 40 years? I'm puzzled and frustrated that evidently millions of people can look at this man and not see that he's an elitist shyster of the highest order. I've always known that republicans seemed especially easy to be duped, what with Reagan, Bush I & II, Newt, Sarah, et al, and they just keep proving me right. However, this candidate crosses a line of depravity and idiocy unseen before in American politics.

  221. And who said that you can't accomplish anything if you (a) fill a garbage bag full of Scrabble letters, (b) shake it, then (c) dump it on the floor? They were wrong.

  222. I will only believe Greg Ip if he actually puts skin in the game. That is, he must bet at least 75 percent of his assets in investments that are counting hyperinflation, and a worldwide crash by November/December of this year.

    I'd believe you, more, too, if you did the same.

    Neither of you will do this, of course. Because the USA economy is, by far, the most solid in the world. And while, it is emotionally satisfying (and, for Ip, financially satisfying) to cry "doom," it is another thing entirely when you actually have to face the consequences of your inane predictions.

  223. Paying taxes and serving in the military are the two most patriotic acts one can do...Trump and most of the GOP has done neither.

  224. "The answer, I’d argue, is that the alienation isn’t a side effect they’re disregarding; it’s actually the point — it’s all about drawing a line between us (white Christians) and them (everyone else), and national security has nothing to do with it." Once again, an incisive, rational analysis of the Republican M.O. Dr. Krugman hits it out of the park again. Thank you, sir.

  225. The race is on and much is at stake. My concern is that many voters may assume it is in the bag for Hillary and not bother to vote. Jonathan Chait points out that we may have another Nader spoiler in the wings in Jill Stein of the Green Party to contribute to the confusion in some voters minds.

    She has pointed out that "Putting another Clinton in the White House will fan the flames of this right-wing extremism. We have known that for a long time ever since Nazi Germany. We are going to stand up to Donald Trump and to stand up to Hillary Clinton!" Essentially an absurd statement of her goal but she will attract some votes from the disaffected Bernie followers who, at this point, appear to be sulking. Is she on Trump's payroll? Does she consider herself a 'patriot'?

    Hillary is surrounded by people who support her but I am in awe of her strength and resolve, and her thick skin. Many commenters here agree with Paul re: who the real patriots are and it isn't the GOP.

  226. Forget her thick skin and resolve in the glare of the spotlight. I am most impressed by her work for those less fortunate throughout her life outside of the spotlight.

    The truth about all of us is revealed by the choices we make when no one is watching. Compare her first 40 years to Donald's. Then compare their lives in the spotlight. A simple choice.

  227. This explains why Fox and republicans always held Obama to higher standards than they held themselves to. It was adherence to their tribe rather than principals. Jon Stewart was brilliant at pointing out their hypocrisy. Start at 4 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNiqpBNE9ik

  228. The true character of Fox and it's ilk, as revealed by Roger Ailes, and then the chorus of how much they still loved the man, despite his despicable behaviour is an almost perfect parallel to Trump and the Republican establishment that now nods along. One wonders what the Fox/Ailes supporters would say if it was their daughters who were being propositioned and sexually harrassed by Ailes.

  229. Professor Krugman, your last sentence sums is brilliant-I just wish it would fit on a bumper sticker. Perhaps lawn sighs and billboards will work. Thank you from a patriotic Democrat-and there many millions of us!

  230. Its not who loves america, its which america do they love. Is it an inclusive or exclusive america they love? Is it rich people or all people? Do they want a progressively inclusive america as its been evolving recently, or a return to the good old days. All incumbents have to say things are good but there is room for improvement which we will do. All their opponents have to say things are terrible and we're the perfect people to fix it. So politics necessitates 2 very different views of the same state of affairs. All candidates say we represent the true american values and our opponents are deluded at best.

  231. Inclusive of Bernie supporters. I don't think Paul's America has reached there yet.

  232. Mr. Krugman as a Republican I love my country as much if not more than any Democrat. This new found patriotism is amusing in light of Michelle Obama's statement during President Obama's presidential convention years ago that she was finally proud to be an American. I guess she was ashamed before but because her husband was the first black president she had a change of heart. A bit fickle don't you think.

    The Democratic Party's waving of flags was nice but if the Republicans had displayed such patriotism the Democrats would be laughing and mocking them terribly. To accuse Republicans of not being patriotic is a sheer lie. It was odd that the Democrats kept mentioning God in their speeches since they are the party that keeps on shouting about the separation of Church and state. They have voted for and passed many laws that are contrary to the Judeo-Christian tenets.

    The Republicans are proud Americans and we believe in America first. We love our country and are ready to defend it. It may have its faults but it is the best place on earth for freedom and being able to say what we want without being jailed or even worse murdered. Why do so many come here legally and illegally? We are the home of the brave and the land of the free. I have always been proud to be American and love my country dearly.

  233. If you love your country and are a true Republican, then you will not vote for Donald Trump, I assume.

  234. Over the last 40 years I have resented the Republicans acting as though they are the only Americans who are Patriots. How dare they!! I was not aware that there is some sort of contest re: who is the most patriotic. Anyone in this country who spends the time keeping abreast of the issues of the day, working day by day in their communities to make them better and making sure that people in their community vote on election day is a true Patriot, no matter the party.

  235. Stop drinking the "Kool-Aid". When you do your thinking will clear up.

  236. A patriot, by definition, makes national weal the first priority. A fraud patriot will instead put the interests of something else, e.g., a political party, as the first priority.

  237. The idea that we might elect a President of the United States who considers the autocratic thug Vladimir Putin to be a "kindred spirit," is revolting and terrifying in equal measure.

  238. "The people who now seem to love America always did; the people who suddenly no longer sound like patriots never were."
    FINALLY! Someone has pointed out that the Emperor has no clothes! That Liberals and Progressives don't hate America, they LOVE America, so much that they fight the injustices of the selfish short-sighted ones who would destroy it out of blindness.

    Yesterday, my niece shared a post from an older lady on FB complaining how her hometown had changed from its idyllic state of her youth, and the way things were. Funny thing--the lady's hometown is my hometown, and she graduated high school with me, in my class. And she only remembers half of the truth. She's forgotten the racial unrest, schools closed by protests, Black kids complaining that guidance counselors pointed them to menial or trade schools, not college, tracking that had only 2 Black kids in the "A" level track. She also didn't remember the programs that concerned citizens (like my mother) organized to fight slumlords, red-lining or police tolerance of child prostitution (which didn't happen to us "nice", White people). She wasn't constantly dragged into fights as I was for not being Christian--Anti-Semitism in this upstate river town was common.
    No, she didn't know or see the poorer side of town where things weren't so pretty, or what the kids who lived there faced.
    Ironically, it's the Russians who have the saying that half a loaf of bread is just half a loaf, but half of the truth is a LIE!

  239. The candidate of the hedge fund oligarchy - y'know those job-killing companies that have given Shillery nearly $50 million in contributions, because of course they love America - is now officially anointed. The candidate for never-ending war, an ever-encroaching surveillance state serving the 1% and a continuation of this country suffering the inane identity politics religion foisted on us - that's who she is. A failed cabinet member. A failed west wing henchwoman. A failed US Senator. Doubt this? Try to find one accomplishment of a positive nature. What has she excelled at? Enriching her family at the expense of everything she and her ludicrous husband touch. Who loves America? Not this horrible candidate and certainly not this fish wrap posing as a "paper of record".

  240. So, have you about run out of your monthly allotment of free clicks yet?

  241. Your readiness to criticize the Democratic Nominee for President leads me to conclude you are either woefully unaware of your privilege or simply misinformed. Maybe it will help to remind you that if Hillary Clinton does not win the presidency, we wont have to make up such fact-less insults about our president. We will, in fact, have Donald Trump, a man who has used his campaign as a money making venture, supporting his family through contributions. We will have a president who welcomes war with our enemies and our allies with disregard to the men and women who serve. Donald Trump is the ugly love child of the 1% and if you choose not to believe it, you only push us farther down the rabbit hole.
    Wake up to the reality of 2016 and go out and vote to save our country from exactly what you claim to disdain.

  242. As Tina Turner said in her hit song "What's Love Got to Do With It?" Indeed, why do we embrace love of country with such fervor? Isn't our own history strewn with the battered and bruised who others declared that their form of love was insufficient?

    Why not love the long process of becoming a real constitutional republic? Why not embrace the imperfections of that journey, as any love affair has its ups and downs? Why not love our struggle to give modern meaning to our ever evolving sense of liberty and equality?

    Any good marriage counselor will tell you that proclamations of love are great, but then the real work begins. Love of country too often has been the proclamation without the work. Like any long term relationship...do the work and you'll see that the love is there.

    For us the work is rebuilding a faltering democracy that has been taken over by powerful monied interests and has rendered this last election cycle a mere shadow of real democracy.

  243. If the Constitution was perfect, why so many amendments? Oh, and was there a cutoff date for amendments to be added? Too bad if it's "closed", because we could use an amendment banning twitter right about now.

  244. Mr Krugman, it was quite a week. We were glued all four nights to the DNC in Philadelphia, proud to be an American.
    And may I give a big shout out to C-Span, where we were allowed an uninterrupted, unedited and a direct experience of the lineup of speakers, the issues, the energy of the people, no commercial breaks, no pundit filters telling us what we heard and what to think. It was the best connection to the spirit of the lives that came before us, out of the fabric of America, and spoke with such strong messages, Mothers of the Movement, Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez, General John Allen, Reverend William Barber, and that was just a few from day four!

  245. "But what strikes me most is the silence of so many leading Republicans...."

    Forgive me, but Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, John Boehner, Mike Pence, etc., etc., aren't silent: they're actively endorsing and advocating this breakdown in civility, decency, and American values. They're not afraid to speak up to Trump—they hope to ride his gilded coattails to power, and they could care less what impact it has on our country or the world.

  246. I couldn't be more proud of my country than I am right now. I watched much of the Democratic convention and let me tell you, it was nothing short of wonderful. The convention was truly a celebration of our greatest hopes and dreams, and our highest aspirations. That's the America I recognize.

  247. While Mr. Krugman's characterization of the Republican Party contains much truth, there are many Republicans whose conservatism does not embrace the tribalism he describes. Those decent Republicans are the ones greatly dismayed by their party having nominated this demagogue, the ones that can neither endorse nor vote for him.
    Democrats now must make peace with these alienated Republicans, overlook differences in policy, and instead look to shared values.
    My point is, let's not characterize all Republicans, all conservatives, with such a broad brush. Let's invite them to join us in the fight against the existential threat that Trump poses.

  248. Despite this incredible week in which we saw the Democrats take the higher ground in reasserting America's aspirational values as opposed to the Republicans week of promoting fear, anger and hate, the fact remains that this will be a close election. After receiving the usual 'bump' next week in the polls, the numbers will settle with Jill Stein and Gary Johnson taking more votes from Clinton than Trump.

    The remaining 5-7% of independents and undecideds will determine the election and the fate of our country.

  249. Donald Trump is the perfect exemplar of Republican patriotism. Wave the flag and then wrap yourself up in it while offshoring your money in tax havens and going to heroic lengths not to pay taxes on what's here at home. It's about fanning the flames of racial resentment and cultural grievance. It's about playing the victim card when someone brings up history like "slavery". It's about living in increasingly segregated communities of wealth and privilege. This is love of country? It's more like South Africa in the 1980s.

    "Patriotism" that is about skin color more than ideals like equality and justice is an obscenity. That's Republican patriotism.

  250. We have every right to be proud that, though imperfect, America is among the nations at the leading edge of civilization, and, therefore, it is our duty to keep America secure. Accordingly, we have almost always put aside our differences when our nation has been confronted by threats to its existence. We now face such threats: global warming; nuclear and biological weapons proliferation; gross economic inequality; widespread racism; inadequate schools, and the growing difficulties citizens encounter when trying to vote.

    The great mystery is that supporters of Trump and of others who are out for themselves alone, don’t realize that we are confronted by existential threats today.

  251. It is perversely funny to watch Krugman and his Zombies take up the cause of Senator Joseph McCarthy--"Mr. Trump, are you now or have you ever been, a friend of Valdimir Putin ?" Through the looking glass ? Indeed

  252. It is indeed a startling transformation of US politics, whereby the Democrats are suddenly the patriotic and "values" party -- it is not exactly a "role reversal" because what the GOP has done is to embrace a dystopian American; they do sound anything like the Democrats.

    Michelle Obama's stem-winder on opening night about "family values" and how she and Barack take their roles as parents seriously set the tone that continued in the president's speech embracing American "political values" and "exceptionalism", a speech that even many conservatives praised after spending the past 8 years accusing him of denying the concept "American exceptionalism". If anything, however, it is smart politics because the "values" Democratic party could make it easier for wavering GOP voters to identify more with than with Trump's GOP and vote against the latter in November...

  253. Isn't it now, as it has been since Nixon, win at all cost politics—just with a lot of distraction? Trump keeps everyone guessing, his opponents always responding and playing defense. Now the definition of patriotism is up for discussion. Do you think this will change the minds of any Trump believers?

    The Republican political campaign strategy hasn't changed since 2001 when Grover Norquist supplied the memorable image of reducing the size of Government until he could drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub. Nothing Trump has said changes this. It is only his moderate ideas like leaving Social Security and Medicare alone that draw real fire from his party.

    Take away the controversy and you're left with the same game plan—stoke social resentments among those hardest hit by economic change, then harness that rage to advance policies like tax cuts, deregulation and austerity that crush any hope that government be a positive force. Trump has put the plan on steroids. The goal is to undermine Democrats. Everything else is an afterthought.

    Because Trump is so skilled at manipulating the news media himself, the party appears to be on the sidelines. They may not like him. But he is delivering what no Romney, Bush or Rubio could by keeping everyone distracted with the latest outrage.

  254. The difference between the two conventions which was most apparent was the list of speakers for each. The Republican's list was very weak, and didn't include any credible leaders, unless you think simps like Paul Ryan and Chris Christie fit the bill. Or Rudy Giuliani, a washed-up has-been if there ever was one.

    Contrast that to the Democratic speakers. Not just the real people who would suffer under a Trump administration, like the disabled. But the number of national leaders was very impressive. Of course, these people have a vested interest in seeing that their party continues in power. But when you have the most powerful people in the administration, as well as all the military leaders who have been persecuting the wars in the Mid East, give their support for Hillary, it really means something. She didn't rely on her children and bought-off toadies to screech support for her. She had the very people who have been leading this country for years do that.

    One of the most powerful speakers last night was Khizr Kahn. When he pulled out his copy of the US Constitution and asked Trump if he wanted to borrow it, that was such an incredible statement. It's clear that Trump has never read, much less studied, the Constitution, so how could he ever swear allegiance to it?

    Hillary clearly won the convention contest. And she will clearly win the election this fall. Trump has begun his slide into irrelevancy, which is something to be thankful for.

  255. I agree with this analysis but would suggest an additional, highly relevant dimension: the tribe for whom Trump purports to speak (or unleash) is not a singular entity. Trump's supporters (to use a generous term), are comprised of many tribes that seemingly have coalesced to achieve their own peculiar and distinct purposes.

    More curious, many of these smaller tribes have little if anything in common with one another other than a shared feeling of displacement and an inability to see themselves as members of our larger national fabric, especially in economic terms. In fact, Trump's monied supporters and his "base" are actually working at cross-purposes. This sort of alliance is temporary at best and fraught with opportunities for internal fracturing and real damage to our nation.

    More Republican notables should search their consciences, publicly divorce themselves from Trump and rebuild their once-respected brand. I suspect Mr. Pence cannot do this. He knows that his position, even if Trump were to win the election, is without substance. Trump has no real regard for him. Trump would have nominated his daughter for the VP role if he thought he could get away with it (and I'm a bit surprised he didn't). But other Republicans still have time to show us their conscience and courage, to show their statesmanship, to walk away. They needn't endorse Mrs. Clinton if that's a stretch too far. But rather than suffer with and be further embarrassed by Trump, they should disavow him.

  256. I am an immigrant from India and have been here for the past 25 years having obtained my graduate degrees in this country and having made it my home, not because of mere or sheer convenience but because it is where I want to spend the rest of my life. The US, with all its faults and as an ongoing geographic experiment is still the closest thing to perfection.

    I have always been stymied by the utter cynicism offered by the Republicans ever since my time here (the days of the George H. Bush campaign) and the apparent public confusion of such attitudes with patriotism. On the other hand, well meaning public commentaries urging improvement on part of the US have always been treated with suspicion sometimes from within the walls of the Democratic party but mostly from within the Republican front. There are superfluous politicians on both sides of the aisle and the Democrats most certainly need to up their game on a few fronts but for the most part the Republicans are vastly cynical in their outlook. Whether such cynicism stems from mere ignorance, impatience, bigotry, sexist attitudes, xenophobia or simply a mere distrust of everything that does not resemble their blueprint is arguable but it definitely exists.

    Thanks for this article Prof. Krugman. Like your snippets on matters of economic importance, this was much needed. Of course, now you will be criticized by the Republican circus as being a Marxist. Ignorance it would seem has no small limits.

  257. I think that like most or all of Mr. Krugman's columns, this one is much more correct than in error.

    I have a small bone to pick with Mr. Krugman's last sentence today, "The people who now seem to love America always did; the people who suddenly no longer sound like patriots never were."

    The first clause has almost always been true with regard to politically active center-left Democrats, who have always worked to allow our nation to better live up to our ideals. But there have also always been a cast of left wing simpletons, still in evidence this week, whose ignorance and insecurity-based absolutism prevents them from loving, or even seeing, all that is beautiful about our nation. Instead, they see only our failings, or those they imagine as failings. To say they love our country is a stretch, at best.

    Mr. Krugman's second clause, about those who were never patriots, is certainly true about all the gasbags who have been Republican mouthpieces since the Nixon era. But as to the rank and file, even some of those who currently support Trump, this is not always true. It's entirely possible to love our country and to wish it the best, but to simply and sadly be deceived and deluded about both current and historical facts.

    To me this is an essential difference between the whiny fools on the right and the whiny fools on the left. In both cases, given time, you can "fix" ignorance, unless its willful.

  258. "The answer, I’d argue, is that the alienation isn’t a side effect they’re disregarding; it’s actually the point — it’s all about drawing a line between us (white Christians) and them (everyone else), and national security has nothing to do with it."

    Actually, it is about drawing a line between us (citizens) and the rest of the world. In our version of tribalism we have a nation. And in our nation citizens have rights and privileges that foreign nationals, legal or illegal, do not have. And so when our citizens are suffering high unemployment and low labor force participation we send the foreign nationals back home. And when we are suffering labor shortages we invite foreign nationals in, as citizens.

    In our version of tribalism the needs of the citizens are more important than the needs of 10,000 refugees from failed states with high ISIS demographics.

    The progressives like to talk about the effects of systemic racism and White privilege on Black citizens. High unemployment rates cause high poverty rates, high rates of interaction with police, and high rates of imprisonment. Those second order consequences wreak havoc on our Black citizens. The Democrats continue to betray their loyal Black constituency by sheltering twelve million illegal aliens. Those aliens fill jobs that would otherwise be filled by citizens.

    In our version of tribalism we have a nation. And our politicians put our nation and its citizens first, the rest of the world second.

  259. What many people forget, especially those who interpret any criticism as proof of alienation, is that America has always been a work in progress. The main Democratic speakers this week emphasized the 'progress' part of the phrase, as they focused on the country's trajectory toward fulfillment of the expansive ideals of the founding generation. But the critics, like the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, for example, who stress the amount of 'work' that still separates us from the realization of our democratic principles, exhibit a tough love that matches in importance the more celebratory variety.

    Donald Trump, on the other hand, yearns for a mythical golden age, when white dominance created a false national unity and our allies depended too much on American power to question our policies. The country he loves resembles a static society caught in a time loop circa 1950.

    Trump evaluates change only in terms of the risks it entails. He feels betrayed by the behavior of allies whom American power helped to protect until they regained the capacity to act independently. He resents marginalized groups who demand inclusion on a basis of equality in the national community.

    Democrats, however, regard the discomforts and disruptions these trends cause as the price of living in a country that continues to be a work in progress. The election will help determine which of these two very different visions of our future Americans will choose.

  260. Part of the problem is that the left (and I am on the left) ceeded patriotism to the right. Noam Chompsky and Howard Zinn raised important issues about American foreign and domestic policies. But, because those authors rarely praised America, their had the unfortunate effect of closing off space on the left to express the passionate love for America that that leftists have.

    Paul is right: liberals love America deeply, but always with a certain critical distance. That distance makes passion harder to express. But so be it. It's been pointed out that liberals love America the way adults love their parents while aware of their imperfections while conservatives love America the way children love their parents because they are not aware of those imperfections.

    I would add that all people need to love America the way that parents love their children. No child ever improved after being told he or she was all good or all bad.

  261. This Trump/GOP Reality show brought back a old memory. I lived in Tokyo from roughly 1947 to 1949, from ages 5 to 7. This was right after the war. I have many vivid experiences from those 2+ years. I learned Japanese and was allowed to roam pretty much at will.

    One of my adventures was to sneak into a radio station's auditorium and sit quietly on a crate of some kind among many adult Japanese men, while actors on the stage dressed in what seemed like bizarre costumes to me but were actually like a Kabuki stage setting, very Japanese. The sounds and sights still resonate in my memory and, even though I spoke Japanese at the time, I could not grasp what it was about.

    The GOP convention, as much as I could bear to watch, brought that memory to the forefront, particularly as Trump spoke. He is one bizarre dude in looks and in the fact that, while he was speaking, I could not understand it.