The Party that preaches the sanctity of life continues their trek to destroy the living with their stances on policy. Paul Krugman details the manner in which their Republican hatred for regulations is killing mostly their own but folks throughout the country.
Paul Krugman in his article “Nasty, Brutish and Trump” points out some very inconvenient truths. He first dismissed the idea of arming teachers which he points out is taking right out of the NRA’s playbook. Krugman points out that it is very well known how to limit gun violence and “arming civilians isn’t part of the answer,” Krugman writes. He reminds us that after Australia had one too many gun massacres, they did something about it. Australia banned assault weapons and purchased them back from those who already had them.
Krugman then went into the central thesis of his article. He points out how Republicans’ refusal of regulations and public policy materially affects us all but specifically their own.
This isn’t just about guns. To see why, consider the very case often used to illustrate how bizarrely we treat guns: how we treat car ownership and operation.
It’s true that it’s much harder to get a driver’s license than it is to buy a lethal weapon, and that we impose many safety standards on our vehicles. And traffic deaths — which used to be far more common than gun deaths — have declined a lot over time.
Yet traffic deaths could and should have fallen a lot more. We know this because, as my colleague David Leonhardt points out, traffic deaths have fallen much more in other advanced countries, which have used evidence-based policies like lower speed limits and tightened standards for drunken driving to improve their outcomes. Think the French are crazy drivers? Well, they used to be — but now they’re significantly safer in their cars than we are.
Oh, and there’s a lot of variation in car safety among states within the U.S., just as there’s a lot of variation in gun violence. America has a “car death belt” in the Deep South and the Great Plains; it corresponds quite closely to the firearms death belt defined by age-adjusted gun death rates. It also corresponds pretty closely to the Trump vote — and also to the states that have refused to expand Medicaid, gratuitously denying health care to millions of their citizens.
What I’d argue is that our lethal inaction on guns, but also on cars, reflects the same spirit that’s causing us to neglect infrastructure and privatize prisons, the spirit that wants to dismantle public education and turn Medicare into a voucher system rather than a guarantee of essential care. For whatever reason, there’s a faction in our country that sees public action for the public good, no matter how justified, as part of a conspiracy to destroy our freedom.
Krugman then strikes at the ideological excuse that Republicans and Conservatives use by using ultra-conservative George Will’s words.
This paranoia strikes both deep and wide. Does anyone remember George Will declaring that liberals like trains, not because they make sense for urban transport, but because they serve the “goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism”? And it goes along with basically infantile fantasies about individual action — the “good guy with a gun” — taking the place of such fundamentally public functions as policing.
His resultant analysis hits the nail on the head.
Anyway, this political faction is doing all it can to push us toward becoming a society in which individuals can’t count on the community to provide them with even the most basic guarantees of security — security from crazed gunmen, security from drunken drivers, security from exorbitant medical bills (which every other advanced country treats as a right, and does in fact manage to provide).
Here is a reality, however. The Conservative intelligentsia indoctrinated its masses. The Conservative masses are not intrinsically individualist. That is a narrative imposed on them that they have gullibly accepted. In fact, when one asks the wants of the Conservative masses, they are predictably Progressive. The individualistic Conservative positions were placed on them because profit is made from the chaos Republican stances create. There is always a new industry to form to clean up the mess created by their manufactured ineptitude, Importantly, Trump and Republicans are not good at building walls or anything of value to Americans. The wall they’ve already formed created a death belt that unfortunately affects not only their own.