Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:
The media rightly ridicule the bigotry and ignorance of the Republican voters who are responsible for Donald Trump’s buoyancy in the polls. But your report today on Hillary Clinton’s proposed 4% “surcharge” on millionaires reveals that Democratic voters are also infested with a mix of bigotry and ignorance that, although different in detail from that of the Republicans, is no less uncivilized and dangerous (“Hillary Clinton Proposes 4% Income-Tax Surcharge for Wealthy Americans,” Jan. 12).
While many GOP voters today mindlessly heap lots of blame on immigrants and foreigners for America’s woes, many Dem voters today mindlessly heap lots of blame on “the rich.” While many GOP voters ignorantly suppose that transferring jobs from immigrants and foreign workers to Americans is a sure-fire way to make ordinary Americans more prosperous, many Dem voters ignorantly suppose that transferring incomes from “the rich” to ordinary Americans is a sure-fire way to make ordinary Americans more prosperous. And while many GOP voters stupidly believe that immigrants and foreigners are natural and implacable enemies of the common good – enemies who prey upon us only because Uncle Sam has been too tolerant of evil in our midst – many Dem voters stupidly believe that “the rich” are natural and implacable enemies of the common good – enemies who prey upon us only because Uncle Sam has been too tolerant of evil in our midst.
The fact is, the success of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders testifies unmistakably that the ranks and files of both major parties are now filled with far too many simpletons who not only are utterly ignorant of the ways that economies and governments work, but who also are in equal parts mindless, bigoted, and uncivilized. They are, in short, dupes for power-mad despots-in-waiting.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030