Ls&Cs: Paul Krugman on Ignorance and Conservative Values

Two op-ed pieces this past week by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

NYT, June 28: What Underlies the G.O.P. Commitment to Ignorance?

Begins with Tucker Carlson’s attack on Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Can you imagine how Republicans would freak out if AOC said such a thing?)

The problem is obvious. Closed-mindedness and ignorance have become core conservative values, and those who reject these values are the enemy, no matter what they may have done to serve the country.

…to be a Republican in good standing one must deny the reality of man-made climate change, or at least oppose any meaningful action to limit greenhouse gas emissions. One must reject or at least express skepticism about the theory of evolution. And don’t even get me started on things like the efficacy of tax cuts.

What underlies this cross-disciplinary commitment to ignorance? On each subject, refusing to acknowledge reality serves special interests. Climate denial caters to the fossil fuel industry; evolution denial caters to religious fundamentalists; tax-cut mysticism caters to billionaire donors.

And yesterday: Only the Incompetent Need Apply

I wrote a few days ago about how ignorance — ignorance about history, about science, about economics and more — has become a core conservative value. This exaltation of ignorance naturally goes hand in hand with disdain for expertise: A vast majority of scientists may agree that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet, but hey, it’s all just a gigantic hoax.

But wait, there’s more. On the right, expertise isn’t just considered worthless, it’s viewed as disqualifying. People with actual knowledge of a policy area — certainly those with any kind of professional reputation — are often excluded from any role in shaping policy. Preference is given to the incompetent — often the luridly incompetent.

With details about Stephen Moore, and Larry Kudlow, who’ve attained positions in T****’s sphere despite being almost always wrong.

So how did we end up here? How did one of our two major political parties come not only to reject democracy, but to exalt ignorance and despise competence of any kind?
I don’t know, but if you aren’t terrified, you aren’t paying attention.


What strikes me is how the conservative bubble machine — all those MAGA folks who think the election was stolen, and that T**** will magically be restored to office real soon now, despite repeated failure of such prophecies promising specific dates — are completely unaware of what’s happening in the real world where things actually get one. They live in a bizarre, paranoid fantasy.

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