Aug 7·edited Aug 7

I've said for years: "Trump supporters don't care if he lies TO them as long as he keeps lying FOR them." They love him for his ability to get away with it. What we find most appalling about him—the deceit, the arrogance, the hate and racism, the corruption and hypocrisy—are precisely what they find most appealing. But what's really frightening is their shared addiction to revenge, as this article explains: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/12/12/trump-grievance-addiction-444570

Expand full comment

Excellent commentary Thom. Dead center bulls -eye hits on the malignancy that is tRump and his con job on Americans. It’s all about the grift, Republican grifters all surrounding the tRump orbit cloaked in delusional Americanisms and fake patriotic BS. Yup, the “gullibles” really bought the cool aid fix, even dying for it by believing the BS during the worst pandemic of our lifetime. I’m in indictment heaven waiting for the tRump trials and the imploding of the Republican Party. I don’t believe the MSM hysteria that tRump will magically win 2024. He’s toast! Thank goodness for our legal system and the sheer professionalism of Jack Smith. Get the popcorn ready!

Expand full comment

The rational Trump supporters won't admit they were wrong, and the irrational ones need to be reprogrammed for the I'm the cult. I'm doubtful anything objective gets through to them. My Republican friends have gone very quiet on the subject of Trump.

Expand full comment

Excellent work as usual, but I keep thinking about a dinner that I just had with a good friend. She is well educated and very open minded about many things (and incidentally has several gay siblings whom she loves dearly). But about Trump, "He wasn't responsible for January 6th," "He's working for those who don't have much," "He's fighting the woke radicals," and so on and so on. Facts don't matter, it is perception. Try convincing a person taken in by a Ponzi scheme, a cult (which incidentally the Republicans are), a well organized gang, or any other group that offers stability, the sense of empowerment, and an answer to life, preferably with a leader who offers certainty. People can be, and are, deprogrammed all the time. But sheer facts rarely do it.

Expand full comment

Not just change the channel, but stop funding him. I agree with Kathy that it's all about the grift, keeping the grift going. Probably why Trump has his lawyer trying to assuage his base a little longer, in an attempt to keep the funds coming for as long as possible.

Expand full comment

Fraud almost always involves speech: it’s hard to defraud somebody out of something without talking to or at them. But that doesn’t even remotely make it protected by the First Amendment’s free speech provision. Our prisons are filled with people who defrauded others purely with their words.

I love this comment, Thom! I was sickened watching dt's lawyer being interviewed Sunday by Chuck Todd and George Stephanopoulos repeatedly and smugly commenting that this was all a free speech issue and blaming the Biden Admin for charges being brought against Trump.

Your comment about our prisons being filled with people who defrauded others needs to hammered in with TV/cable adds. I also wish you could go on national TV and present your whole article as a Public Service Announcement!

Why couldn't George or Chuck respond to dt's lawyer, "the Biden admin had nothing to do with these charges" or, "the line on free speech is crossed when a person is using it to defraud others".

I guess I'll just have to have faith that our justice systems proves that at dt's trial.

Expand full comment

China has about a thousand billionaires 1/3 more than America. The cultist believe the Chinese are communist despite the facts that China is a capitalist dictatorship like Russia and Saudi Arabia and almost all the failed third world Nations. The cultist also believe Trump won the election despite the facts. In order to deprogram the cultists, we must present them with the facts over and over and over again and point out what their future will be like living under a capitalist dictatorship. Where they have no rights or freedom. Where they can be turned into slaves, starved, tortured, no social spending, their organs harvested, their children used as sex slaves, where they drink poisoned polluted water and food and drugs. We must not forget chopped up in a bathroom also. The only way we can possibly reach them, is through buying up commercials and donating money to fund the commercials. The commercials could be on the cheap antenna TV channels, the Western channels the country music channels the NASCAR channels the rodeo channels. The truth is cheaper to spread than lies. For probably 1/10 of money we could undo whatbthe billionaires have spent over a trillion trying to successfully brainwash the non-rational rational thinkers. There are millions of us Democrats and Independents that would donate money to fund a deprogram The cult operation. It wouldn't hurt if Biden would use his bully pulpit also to spread the message of what life will be like in a capitalist dictatorship or any other kind of dictatorship. Only when the Cult figure out that they themselves will be envying the Dead, will they see the light. At the end of each television commercial there could be an address where we could donate money to to keep the commercials going.

Expand full comment

What perfectly wonderful rational, logical, sensible, intelligent, and fully provable thinking and information. Case closed! Problem solved! Fret no more.

Let me start another one of my monthly letters to the local Las Vegas liberal Sun newspaper. They have a 250 word limit, however. But opinions from liberal/progressives and the paper's editors appear there daily. Millions of words. The reactionaries (who believe they are conservatives) do not read that section, or if they might browse briefly reject every word about 98% of the time. They have a mind-set, a belief system, and a counterpoint for every statement and argument deeply etched in their brain. They are true believers and they believe there is a war in progress of which the culture wars are only one small part. They are on the side of good in their minds. Permissive, liberal, scientific, and rational concepts are from people who do not understand the true state of the world and of human nature.

If only one "side" is at war and fighting with all its resources and will, the advantage is theirs. Reality is cruel and unsympathetic. Trump did not have the right to lie, even when he was ostensibly speaking politically or from his personal viewpoint. He was placed in a position of trust and power with an affirmative obligation to be truthful in all of his utterances and appearances. The fight is about demanding fidelity, truth, decency, and patriotic deeds and attitudes on the part of all our leaders. That must be our demand. But if we are not facing the reality of how our citizens are not well-informed and capable of discretion and aware of the workings of their own systems, we are still on square one. The Republicans cannot hear you and they do not give you the slightest credibility and we all already know that.

Expand full comment

Right on Thom and thanks for laying it out so succinctly. Just wish his followers would read this. I will share but people don't read my facebook posts any longer

Expand full comment

That certainly lays it out clearly for anyone who cares about the truth to understand. Unfortunately, there are millions who not only don't care, but prefer the lies. Thanks for a great read.

Expand full comment

The freedom of speech con is so absurd in this situation imho.

45 was ON THE JOB for crying out loud! Does anyone on the job have the right to say whatever they want and keep their job? No! Has anyone questioned this to trumpers? If they shun facts, can they relate to job expectations? Lies and threatening coworkers is not a part of the job requirements of POTUS! He was on the job on Jan. 6!

The spin and non stop coverage on mainstream news is disgusting while the climate crisis rolls on, SCOTUS must be reigned in, big dark money out of politics, blatent corruption held accountable, so very much to do.

This oligarch ruse by their minions must be stomped out.

What about the financial cost of this con job to taxpayers? Court costs of all those unsuccesful lawsuits should have been and should be paid for by 45, the GOP and their supporters. Were they? Will they be? Citizens are being robbed and harmed while these oligarch games are being "played" nonstop in the manufactured reality TV show (formerly our government) played on FOX. Make them pay for their nonsense!

Bottom line, 45 was fired by the American people; because the GOP, while on the job, PAID BY CITIZENS, did not do their jobs! 45 came back at us for revenge not unlike a fired employee who returns with his assault rifle and kills his coworkers.

I am so ready for accountability for all involved with this continuing fraud on the people.

The prosecution of 45s assuault on us must be televised! ALL US citizens are victims of this ongoing scam!

Keep up the fight dear progressives!

Expand full comment

Thom's reasoning is solid as a rock when it comes to explaining Trump's plight and how it is hardly weaponization of government or unfairness, etc. that is bringing down MAGAism.

The only flaw in Thom's reasoning is thinking that any of his letter might trigger critical reasoning in a MAGA. Kellyanne Conway taught them how to rationalize facts that refute their beliefs. They will call Thom's facts lies. When irrefutable, they will move the goal posts to declare a "gotcha." When those tactics fail, they will unleash a torrent of "yeahbut's."

What motivates this MAGA denialism? As a psychologist my favorite hypothesis is that MAGAs are not happy with their lives and want relief from the pain of the regrettable choices they made which contributed to their current misery. Along comes a fake messiah who promises to turn regret into redemption. Even their evangelical pastors endorse his lies as dogma.

Blaming others is often the easiest way to try to offload regret. "It is those radical socialist (aka communist) Democrats and their policies that caused me to lose my job that time, or fail to get a promotion because some Asian guy got it instead, or other life setbacks. Now especially, as the SS Trump is listing in the water of justice, the MAGA faithful must cling to their dogma or accept yet another regrettable life choice.

Expand full comment

You have articulated the facts well. It has been read my many, if not mostly Democrats, possibly some Independents, but few if any in DJT’s cult of zombie-like followers. The rich honchos who are funding him will, for now, continue. For them it’s like purchasing a seat at club-only members theater. That said, this article gives people a lot of snippets to use when exchanging with Trump leaning people to help make a point or two. Usually, exchanging with them turns into waring with them and nobody comes away with a satisfied result.

I will continue to post on several social media’s and email a growing list of people who are willing to work toward a successful 2024 election. After all, the price we pay for our freedoms is our eternal vigilance. We must work, in what ever way is within our means, to elect people who will defend them.

Expand full comment

Dear Thom,

Thank you for this wonderful , clear synopsis of what is on our ‘stage’ at this moment.

This tsunami of breaking news, exits us all !

Words Matter” is the title of the piece I am writing for OEN - and to open my blog at Substack.

It is beyond ironic, that from the Don, comes “IF YOU GO AFTER ME I AM COMING AFTER YOU!”

He is quite clear as to his intentions -- as he always is! THAT is a known quality which the brilliant Jack Smith is going to showcase on the stage of our highest court.

What needs to end — in this transformational era where information technology allows the instant transmission of lies to millions— is that blog of his, ironically named “TRUTH Social !”

That media networks (like Fox and NewsMax ) disseminate lies twisted to sound like ‘news’ exacerbates the problem!

A stressed citizenry, is already overwhelmed by this endless narrative which describes a lawless, malevolent criminal , who has never paid the piper for his antics.

If a child behaves in a way that is hurtful, or unethical, the parent shows that this behavior is unacceptable, by putting the child in a “time-out “ — in order to think about what just happened!!

It’s hard to allow one’s child to cry.

But they recover, with a sense of discovery!

Don’t do this again.!

I am a very successful teacher! 1998 “NYSEC Educator of Excellence.”

YES, I rewarded achievement! Harvard said that every child in my class learned, because I set “CLEAR Expectations “ -- the first “Principle of Learning “ -- when I was the NYC classroom cohort for their thesis on Learning

... the first “principle of Learning “ is critical.

If a human child does not realize what behavior is expected, if successful work is to be achieved, then

One gets a donaldtrump!

My students knew that the rewards depended on ethical, conscientious behavior…. And that egregious behaviors were unacceptable… and inexcusable!

It is time that our Judiciary make it clear to MR. Trump, that what he did was not merely unacceptable—- it was unconstitutional!

It is time for our people to grasp what our Founders meant by Freedom of Speech!


It is time to regulate social media platforms which use this guise of ‘Free Speech’to ferment not merely division, but violence.

And it is time, to condemn entertainment networks that promote lies, and call it “news!”

One way, is for everyone to refuse to purchase or use products or services promoted on that network, if they do not present accurate details and information to back up their rhetoric.

So, tonight, at 5 pm, we will learn how our judiciary is going to protect our citizens, who testify and judge this criminal who would be King of America, so he could Do Anything He Wants!

Expand full comment

Thom, on the ROKU channel (ROKU Streaming) there are some informative documentaries on Hitler. There are the Occult histories and a couple as to “How I Did It”, in Hitler’s own words. Trump’s playbook.

Expand full comment

Thanks again Thom -- One point that I don't hear often enough is that Don T did not pardon the capitol attackers. He didn't even try. He had plenty of time and staff.

He brays that he is the only one protecting his followers -- but he did not, in the most glaring and obvious opportunity.

Why? Knowing the s-o-b, because they did not succeed. No surprise, but also noting that I wouldn't expect him to help them even if they did succeed. That would fit.

The capitol attackers are all under prosecution or in prison. Don T did not pay for their defense either, to my knowledge. He has the PAC money, though how that can be used for legal expenses . . . doesn't seem truly legal to me.

Don T did not help when it was needed most, never mind the rest of the time. This is the kind of talking point that I want the fake news to hate so much that they try to debunk it.

That sows the doubt, when the topic comes up at all, in the bubble.

Still remembering -- it's not about Don T -- it's about the people who vote for him, and the Rs, who vote against themselves, and their family, and the rest of US. -- best luck to US, b.rad

ps have to throw in more bait -- Fake hair, fake tan, fake smile, fake money-- he's a fake man.

pps - still haven't heard any effort to expose those who held the Capitol Police back, per a White House plan as I understand things, and especially those who knowingly and deliberately prevented the National Guard from showing up, Flynn's brother et al

Expand full comment