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Paul Krugman: It’s not just Trump — the entire Republican Party is ‘a systematic enabler’ of white terrorism

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- Commentary

Veteran economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has been a blistering critic of Donald Trump’s presidency. And following a racially motivated terrorist attack in El Paso, Texas that left 22 people dead, Krugman stresses that the Republican Party in general — including President Trump — has become “a systematic enabler of terrorism.”

Trump’s racist rhetoric, the 66-year-old Krugman stresses, has been a source of inspiration to white nationalists. But Krugman quickly adds that Trump is only part of the problem, as other Republicans have been reluctant or unwilling to speak out.

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“As far as I can tell,” Krugman asserts, “not one prominent Republican has even hinted at the obvious link between Donald Trump’s repeated incitements to violence and the upsurge in hate crimes.”

When Trump says something that is flat-out racist, Krugman writes, most Republicans lack the courage to criticize him. As long as Trump champions policies like tax cuts for the ultra-rich, Krugman laments, fellow Republicans won’t call out his overt racism.

“The party remains in lockstep behind a man who has arguably done more to promote racial violence than any American since Nathan Bedford Forrest, who helped found the Ku Klux Klan — a terrorist organization if there ever was one — and who was recently honored by the Republican governor of Tennessee,” Krugman asserts.

But Republicans, the Times columnist emphasizes, were “enabling” terrorism from white supremacists and white nationalists long before Trump ran for president.

“The party’s complicity started long before Trump came on the scene,” Krugman recalls. “More than a decade ago, the Department of Homeland Security issued a report warning about a surge of right-wing extremism. The report was prescient, to say the least. But when congressional Republicans learned about it, they went on a rampage, demanding the resignation of Janet Napolitano, who headed the agency, and insisted that even using the term ‘right-wing extremism’ was unacceptable.”

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Krugman goes on to say that if the GOP had been more proactive in addressing the threat of white nationalist terrorism, many lives could have been saved.

“A different, better GOP might have been willing to acknowledge the growing threat and supported a crackdown on violent right-wing extremism, comparable to the FBI’s successful campaign against the modern KKK in the 1960s,” Krugman writes. “A lot of innocent victims would be alive today if Republicans had done so.”

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