Paul Krugman: ‘An outraged populace’ is ‘our last defense’ against Trump’s assault on democracy
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman believes our democracy is in peril — but he’s hopeful that an engaged and angry citizenry can put a stop to President Donald Trump’s attacks on our independent judiciary and free press.
Writing in his Monday column, the Nobel Prize-winning economist says that he’s heartened by the mass protests that have broken out against the Trump administration’s policies, and he says that such protests are democracy’s final firewall against would-be dictators.
“Democracy itself is very much on the line, and an outraged populace may be our last defense,” Krugman writes. “Mr. Trump is clearly a would-be autocrat, and other Republicans are his willing enablers.”
As an example of what can happen when citizens become disengaged with what their government is doing, Krugman points states such as Hungary, which he says “remain democracies on paper but have become authoritarian states in practice.”
So what would such resistance to Trump look like? Krugman outlines some crucial steps.
“This means supporting news organizations that do their job and shunning those that act as agents of the regime,” he writes. “It means patronizing businesses that defend our values and not those willing to go along with undermining them. It means letting public figures, however nonpolitical their professions, know that people care about the stands they take, or don’t. For these are not normal times, and many things that would be acceptable in a less fraught situation aren’t O.K. now.”