Krugman Asks the Right Question

Is there any reason to believe that a Clinton victory would lead to irretrievable disaster?

2016, a bizarre and unique election season in every way, also represents the first time we know of that a majority of voters loathes the candidates of both parties.  We are used to voting for the lesser of two evils, but we aren't really used to voting against, and for, quite so much evil.  For most people we know, the question comes down to: who is slightly less nauseating and repugnant, Crooked Hillary or The Donald?

No points for guessing where notorious Enron adviser Paul Krugman comes down:

This isn’t a column about Mr. Trump and the people who are O.K. with anything he says or does. It is, instead, about Republicans — probably a minority within the party, but a substantial one — who aren’t like that. These are people who aren’t racists, respect patriots even if they’re Muslim, believe that America should honor its international commitments, and in general sound like normal members of a normal political party.

Yet the great majority of these not-crazy Republicans are still supporting Mr. Trump for president. And we have a right to ask why.

As usual, Mr. Krugman is dead wrong on all the points he tries to make.  Mr Trump is certainly not racist - he's nationalist, yes, but that's a quite different thing.  It is not possible to respect patriots "even if" they're Muslim, because to the extent that one is a good patriot one is a bad Muslim and vice versa, just as you can't be an American patriot and also a good Nazi.  As far as honoring international commitments, that's all very well - but when so much of international law is used as an intentional end-run around the Constitution that a President swears to preserve, protect, and defend, it's a grey area at the very least.

Yet, for once, Mr. Krugman does finally present precisely the right question, of most profound importance for everyone still wrestling with the unappetizing choices come this November:

Even if you’re a conservative who really dislikes the Democratic candidate, how can you justify choosing Donald Trump?

Put it this way: Is there any reason to believe that a Clinton victory would lead to irretrievable disaster? Because that’s the question you should be asking yourself.

Practically every presidential year is cast as "the most important election of our lifetimes."  We've heard this for Bush v. Gore - and no, Mr. Bush didn't nuke the world, nor did global warming fry everybody.  We've heard this for Obama - and, to our mild surprise, Mr. Obama has not in fact confiscated our guns nor collectivized the economy, at least not at one fell swoop.  All the grave damage our longsuffering body politic has sustained thus far in this inauspicious millennium is still possible to fix - difficult, yes, but not impossible.

Thus, on the face of it, Krugman's question has an obvious answer: No, of course a victory for Crooked Hillary, as ghastly and corrupt as she is, would still not be the fabled "last straw."  The country could yet recover afterwards, as it did from Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, and every other president you don't agree with.

There's only one problem: Mathematically, that is mistaken.

The correct answer is - yes, a victory for Hillary would, in fact, lead to irretrievable disaster, from which a restoration of a constitutional America would indeed become impossible.

Finally, The Cliff!

Let's let Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine explain why this is so:

In our administration in the first 100 days we’ll put forward a comprehensive immigration reform package that includes a path to citizenship.

Note, he did not say "a path to legalization," or even "a way out of the shadows."  He specifically promised a path to full 100% United States citizenship for all illegal aliens, in three months and change.

There are estimated to be between 12 million and 30 million illegal aliens currently residing in these United States; that doesn't count however many more may flood across the border to fraudulently take advantage of a President Hillary's amnesty as happened when Ronald Reagan did the same.

By way of comparison, in the most recent presidential election, 129 million people (presumably U.S. citizens) cast a ballot.  Thus, the Hillary-Kaine campaign has promised to add between ten and twenty percent to the voting population!  Remember, a newly naturalized U.S. citizen has exactly the same right to vote as you do, and that's not something that ought to be altered because legally naturalized immigrants are Americans too.

But in the most recent presidential election won by a Republican, in 2004, only 122 million people voted.  Bush got 62 million, and Kerry 59 million, with a handful split between the also-rans.

Therefore, Hillary is going to add between four and ten times the margin of victory last time Republicans won.

Let's look at it another way.  Remember Mitt Romney's infamous 47%, his calculation of the number of voters who were so beholden to big government that they'd always vote for the Democrat no matter what?  With 129 million voters, that comes out to be around 60 million voters locked-in for whoever has a "D" by their name.

If immigrants voted in roughly the same proportions as Americans, this wouldn't be an issue.  But that is not so and hasn't been for as long as records that detailed have been kept: going back well over a hundred years, new immigrants have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats.  What's newer is the fact that their kids vote Democrat even more overwhelmingly than their parents did.

Let's be conservative.  Let's take the smaller Democrat percentage of newly naturalized immigrants - 75%, vs. 25% for the Republican.  And let's take the smallest projected number of illegals granted citizenship by President Hillary, 12 million.

Simple math tells us that this will instantly produce 9 million new Democrat voters, and 3 million new Republicans - on net, an increase of 6 million for the Democrats.  That is twice the margin of the last time a Republican won the Oval Office.

To find an election where the Republican won by more than 6 million votes, you have to go back nearly 30 years - all the way to 1988, when George H.W. Bush beat Mike Dukakis by 49 million to 42 million.  Instead of a thumping, 6 million extra Dems would have delivered Bush Sr. a squeaker, but he'd still have won.

Obviously there would never have been a George W. Bush presidency, which many of you would applaud.  But would America be better off with three decades of uninterrupted one-party government?  We've tried this in quite a few major cities and the results have not been pretty.

For many of our readers, Donald Trump is an unworthy candidate and no conservative.  That may be true, but he has one signature policy that covers a multitude of evils: He has promised to deport every last illegal immigant present within our shores, and to cease accepting the very most dangerous of legal immigrants, Muslims.

Time to Say Goodbye!

Now, you might think this wouldn't have much effect on voting patterns, since immigrants don't vote until they're naturalized.  You'd be dead wrong there too.  As the Washington Times reported this past April:

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that illegal immigrants and other noncitizens can be counted when states draw their legislative districts, shooting down a challenge by Texas residents who said their own voting power was being diluted.

The ruling does not grant noncitizens the power to vote, but says the principle of one person, one vote doesn’t require localities to only count those who are actually eligible to vote when they are deciding how many people to put inside of each district.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court, said even though only eligible voters are supposed to cast ballots, elected officials represent all people within their districts, and it is that act of representation, not the election itself, that the boundaries are drawn to.

Can illegal immigrants vote?  Not directly, no.  But the Supreme Court made it clear that their presence, illegal though it be, still counts for districting.

Every ten years, according to our Constitution, we perform a national census.  Based on the totals of who lives where, seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are portioned out, as are electoral college votes.

And it's well known that immigrants both legal and illegal gravitate to the major cities which are almost exclusively in the hands of Democrats.  So, yes, in effect, illegal immigrants do vote, by bulking up the size of Democrat strongholds and the number of electoral votes and Congressional seats they receive.

Donald Trump has promised to deport all illegal immigrants by the end of his first term.  Perhaps you don't believe him; perhaps he won't succeed, but he doesn't need any assistance from Congress.  All he has to do is to order existing Federal law-enforcement agencies to thoroughly enforce the laws already on the books.

Deporting illegal immigrants may not be as easy as Pokemon Go, but if you set out to catch 'em all, maybe you won't succeed 100% but you'll get a good many.  Let's suppose Trump succeeds in catching and deporting only 10 million illegals by the end of his term in 2020.

What else happens in 2020?  The national census - which will show millions fewer people living in Democrat cities.

This isn't merely academic; over the first ten years of this millennium 5 million people moved out of Democratic California, largely to Republican Texas.  This had an effect, because other parts of the country were growing while California wasn't:

California will remain at 55 electoral votes through the 2020 presidential election. This is the first time California has not gained at least one electoral vote in a reapportionment.

One more elector for California is simply one more vote for the Democrat; the fleeing 5 million prevented this.  How many more Democrat electors can be avoided by 10 million vanished, albeit non-voting, illegal residents from mostly Democrat places?

Obviously, these 10 million deported illegals won't be entirely from Democratic districts - there are a lot of illegals in Texas, after all, but it does seem reasonable to expect that the large majority of illegals live in lefty cities where they're welcomed as allies rather than conservative places which view them with resentment and anger as alien fifth-columnists.

Demography and Destiny

So, on the one hand, you have a candidate who has promised to make it impossible for any national Republican, much less a true conservative, ever to be elected again.  Yes, ever, barring a massive and violent civil war which, well, God forbid - or, as in England, a "conservative" party that bears no trace of conservatism.

And on the other hand, we have a candidate whose policies would make it slightly easier for conservatives to have a chance to roll back the tide.

Will Donald Trump save this country?  No.  But he does buy us time.  

A President Hillary, by simple mathematics, means the final whistle blown on historical America, traditional American values, and indeed on what is often called "the real America."  As long as we are a democracy, there won't be any coming back from that.  And if we try to fix this by ceasing to be a representative democracy, well, then, we equally wouldn't be "the real America", now would we?

Prof. Krugman, we extend our thanks for presenting us with that most vitally urgent question:

Is there any reason to believe that a Clinton victory would lead to irretrievable disaster?

Yes.  Oh, yes.  God help us, yes.  Trump may be no prizewinner, but there is nothing irretrievable that he has proposed whereas Hillary proudly proclaims it. And that makes all the difference in the world.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

Great analysis. Dick Morris has recently written a book about this. His focus was on the Taker versus Maker issue. Bring in all those illegals And they will wallow in their SNAP card an WIC bounty. Those that DO work will probably continue their under the table ways. They under cut the pay of legals because they get welfare and don't have taxes and FICA deducted. Pretty common here in AZ. . It's called John Legal vs Juan Illegal. Funny, the Dems promote this ( SNAP cards for votes) but it hurts their core constituency of legals and blue collar folks. I guess they know they will get votes as the free stuff party.
The obvious next step will be that the minority of folks who actually pay taxes will have to pay more. I'm sure we will hear appeals for " fairness" and " humanitarian crisis"( or the Spanish equivalent) as these new Dems demand their payoff for votes.

August 2, 2016 9:21 PM

Petrarch, certainly you know that politicians are notorious for not keeping their promises. ANY promise to put illegals on a fast track to citizenship can be thwarted with sufficient political pushback.

August 2, 2016 10:37 PM

Interesting analysis of an issue many fail to consider.

A small technical note is the subject verb disagreement in the following:

This isn't merely academic........ " because other parts of the country WAS (?) growing while California wasn't....."

August 3, 2016 12:16 AM


...the most profound of all the words uttered here. Trump has proposed much, and tomorrow he'll propose much again. His gentle hoodwinked followers can't seem to separate his actions from his proposals.

Of course the great irony in all this is that, except for the fact that he himself happens to be running for President, he would be supporting Hillary.

August 4, 2016 7:59 AM

Yes, Mr. Krugman, let me count the ways:
Supreme Court; 1% GDP growth; First, Second and Tenth Amendments; those are the top five. The list goes on...

August 4, 2016 3:24 PM

"...we’ll put forward a comprehensive immigration reform package that includes a path to citizenship."

Is that a path to citizenship for everyone?

September 3, 2016 6:39 PM

Exactly as happened in Canada in the 70s. Pierre Trudeau--a liberal--opened the gates to mostly southern Europeans....Italians, Greeks, Spanish....who, true to form, voted liberal. They came from socialist countries and followed their socialist upbringing all the way to Ottawa. The conservative party moved so far left in order to just survive that it too bears little resemblance to anything conservative--to this day.

May 23, 2018 1:36 AM
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