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Paul Krugman - American thought police

Paul Krugman has been supporting "William Cronon, a historian who teaches at the University of Wisconsin, decided to weigh in on his state’s political turmoil." Mr Cronon recently wrote an op-ed piece about the recent upheavals in Wisconsin. He is an Independent, a supporter of neither the Republicans or the Democrats. His article prompted the local Republican party's lawyers to sub poena his email records. It seems they are "out to get him." He is standing firm. Below is a comment left on Krugman's article about this sordid affair. I think it puts things in perspective:

Comment by Jonathan M. Ramlow, PhD, MPH
I have read Dr. Cronon's recent New York Times editorial. Quite by coincidence, I recently read an account for juvenile readers of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and the Triangle workers strike of 1909. The strike, the fire, and its aftermath were major contributing factors to the subsequent successes of the organized labor movement--benefitting men and women alike--and the women's suffrage movement, which also benefitted women and men.

Mr. Krugman's report suggests that Wisconsin Republicans will not hesitate to use the tactics of their spiritual mentor Joseph McCarthy to make life difficult for anyone they dislike. Ironically, Dr. Cronon's opinion piece proposed that Governor Walker himself could be compared to former Sen. McCarthy more in style than in substance. Clearly the state GOP intends to bring the substance and the style.

Some time ago it seemed to me that the Republican Party and its right-wing allies in the media and among certain religious denominations were intent on undoing each and every progressive social policy and program adopted in this country since the first day of Franklin D. Roosevelt's first term in office. Their tactics in this war on the middle class and the poor have been consistent and all too successful: when in power, run up huge deficits that make it impossible for Democratic administrations to do anything new; make sure that their corporate bedmates get everything they want in the way of deregulation and tax cuts.

Recent events in Wisconsin and elsewhere are beginnning to convince me that I've had it all wrong. These people are, I now believe, intent on rolling back all that has been achieved by and for the unprivileged men and women of this country since about about 1890. They seem bent on restoring the Gilded Age of the great monopolists, plutocrats, and robber barons. They see nothing wrong with the growing inequalities of income and wealth in the United States, because they hope to join the super-rich themselves, first by continuing to rig the game in favor of the rich, and then by securing the ongoing patronage of the tycoons who bought their offices for them in the first place.

Being reactionary in this country used to mean something along the lines of wanting to turn back the clock to the mythical good old days of the 1950s (good for white Americans perhaps). Now, however, these people seem to have come unglued to such an extent that they would like to put an entire century of social progress down the memory hole. All this would be laughable if it weren't so bitterly hateful and sad, just like the perpetrators.



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