Friday, September 24, 2021


Paul Krugman asks:
Are Centrists in the Thrall of Right-Wing Propaganda?

... a Republican attempt to make President Biden fail, no matter how much it hurt the rest of the country, was predictable.

More surprising, at least to me, has been the self-destructive behavior of Democratic centrists....

So what’s motivating the sabotage squad? Part of the answer, I’d argue, is that they have internalized decades of right-wing economic propaganda, that their gut reaction to any proposal to improve Americans’ lives is that it must be unworkable and unaffordable.
There's an obvious response to this:

Krugman acknowledges that money is part of the problem:
We certainly shouldn’t underrate the influence of money: Both wealthy donors and Big Pharma have been nakedly throwing their weight around.
But he mostly blames a belief in right-wing ideas.

I blame the money, period. Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, and their allies are working with wealthy right-wing donors -- the people who have built and financed the right's propaganda infrastruture for the past fifty years. Back in the 1970s, these people concluded that they were at risk of losing wealth and privilege unless they persuaded ordinary Americans to want what they want. So they financed institutions that would concoct pro-corporatist messaging that was persuasive to people who aren't fat cats and never will be fat cats. It worked. That messaging persuaded much of America that deficit spending is horrible (think of your grandchildren!). It lulled the country and help create a second Gilded Age.

Manchin, Sinema, and the others are repeating lines their donors' propaganda experts wrote to sell the message. Why not? Those experts have a pretty successful track record.

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