WOW Thom...we need this historical reminder of what tyrants in the past have promoted. Keep telling us and putting those facts out there. Seems it runs in families! :(

Expand full comment

Thank you for this timely reminder.

The Republicans are fascists and will stop at nothing to win by the rules of money , power and lies.

Blatant racism, hypocrisy, and hate are their main ingredients . Don’t let us forget constant misinformation.

Otherwise known as Lies, from Trumps mouth to their eager ears and then intimidation , threats, and attacks on anyone involved with the truth. They cannot abide the truth . It labels them as the miscreants that they are .

The monied and powerful spread this criminal agenda.

The corporate media is bought up for the purpose of spreading these same lies.

We must expose their fascism for what it is these people pushing for the end of democracy feed on corruption.

Expand full comment

"So now it’s largely up to us. You and me. People who value democracy and want to see a world safe from tyrants and wannabee tyrants like Putin, Xi, MBS, and Trump…"

If it's up to me, find more Taylor Swifts. Demographics favor democracy. Young people consitute 40% of the elecorate. Wherre I live - even in red Florida- young people and renters trend Democratic by 70%. Concentrate on kids who will turn 18 by November 2024.

Attached is a list of influencers. https://klear.com/influencers/Democracy

Michelle Obama’s has a group, When We All Vote, https://whenweallvote.org/. Too bi-partisan for my taste.

Tom should interview, Taylor, Olivia Ponton, Monica Kim, Labron James, who have been Democratic influencers. People like Juanita Monsalve, at United We Dream Action (UWDA), powered by immigrant youth, youth of color with immigrant family members. https://unitedwedreamaction.org/

Not only do they spead the word about democracy, they can spread the word about the Tom Hartmann Show.

Expand full comment

This piece deserves more than 112 hearts. It cuts precisely to the "how" of why we find ourselves on the event horizon of an authoritarian blackhole.

For years I have been aware, and therefore sharing, the very real truth that war is literally being waged against democracy - not only here in the US, but the world over. Literally. It may not always resemble traditional warfare, but it is absolute warfare no less. Social media and the mass proliferation of targeted misinformation therein can achieve many of the same objectives as a full-on military assault - minus the atrocities that would surely unite a people and spur them to action. It is troubling that no matter how well reasoned or articulated this fact is, people generally don't seem to grasp it. I fear it is simply too inconvenient, and yet, not inconvenient enough. It is a truth many may feel - but absent the horror of bombs falling from the sky or the undeniable terror of an invading military force murdering and raping its way across our communities (obviously these grotesque and very real criminal assaults are being committed against the people and sovereignty of Ukraine, by Putin) - it will remain a truth exclusively felt, not confronted.

Irregular warfare is perhaps more dangerous and consequential than traditional warfare in the sense that it is extremely subtle and exceedingly complex. It seeks the same sinister objectives - only invading from within, by weaponizing people and institutions. Trump remains Putin's most dangerous (and most definitely dumbest) man on the inside.

As Thom so clearly reminds us, the spiral down goes gradually - then suddenly. I'll keep saying it for as long as I can speak: We can do this, we can turn the tide of authoritarianism back, we can build a stronger democracy. And we can only do it together. It is literally no less and no more up to all of us - right now.

Expand full comment

Usually we only ban people when they are abusive toward our call screener. What will Mark tell me if I ask him why he banned you?

Expand full comment

Thanks, Thom, for another cogent and holistic picture of what we're up against.

We need a conscious plan for how democracy survives. I'll start with a few basic thoughts:

1) Retain belief in our values - Inclusiveness, the rule of law, fair elections, a free press, and non-violent resolution of conflict, all make a happier, healthier society for the 99%. Tyrannies create terror on purpose. Violence is their primitive response to not getting what they want which is unassailable dominance.

2) Join and support groups working toward preserving these values wherever they're under attack: reproductive rights, the climate catastrophe, local and national politics, the media...whatever you have a passion to preserve, and

3) Spread information from Thom, Ruth Ben Ghiat, Dr, Bandy X. Lee, Glenn Kushner, The Meidas Touch, Michael Moore, and other progressive voices you follow who clearly recognize the fascist agenda and the psychopathology from which it emanates but who also remind us of the strengths of our own side. In our individual universes of influence we can spread information, register people to vote, answer their questions respectfully, protect and support workers at the polls, and educate others regarding the psychological damage done by tyrants who subordinate us, strip us of our rights, eradicate dissent, annihilate individuality, and force us to submit.

Tyrants in public office are just like abusive men (or women) in our lives. They use physical threats, gaslighting, and other forms of manipulation to subordinate their target, invalidate that person's reality, cut them off from sources of support, and reward total submission. The antidote is to retain connection to supportive others, retain belief in our own perceptions, and ultimately, get them out of our lives…vote them out of office.

Expand full comment

The world has a lot more experience with tyranny than it does democracy. Democracy is hard to maintain--just like it's hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a good weight and shape. And what-the-hell, it's even hard to maintain a good attitude sometimes. We have to put on our citizen hats and start calling out the people who are hurting us. Hint: look for haters in the top tiers of power.

Expand full comment

Why does no one ever bring up the following

Ukraine, Russia, the U.S. and the UK

signed the Budapest Memorandum in 1994 treaty

that assured Ukraine it would be safe from attack

as long as it gave up its massive stockpile of nukes

The nukes were sent to Russia

It was formal recognition of Ukraine as an 'equal and sovereign state'

In 2009, Russia and the U.S. announced that the assurances

in the Budapest Memorandum would continue to remain in effect in the future.

But Russia first violated the memorandum in 2014,

when it sent its military into Crimea and annexed it.

The other three nations named in the Budapest Memorandum

invoked the treaty’s sixth assurance, or the agreement

to consult each other in the event the treaty’s commitments came into question,

and met in Paris to discuss the invasion.

Russia did not attend the meeting.

So why do the Democrats bring up the fact

the US is honour bound to help Ukraine

I know it will not move the needle on the ultra-right-cult followers

but at least the mainstream would be able to see that this is a matter of honouring

signed commitments.

then it will become disgraced

Which leads us to the next conclusion

why does anyone think there can be a diplomatic ending to the war

when Russia not only broke that treaty

but multiple other treaties just like Hitler did.

Expand full comment

Reference today's callers addressing WWI Germanophobia. My grandfather told me about agents in his German-language Lutheran Church in Nebraska required the sermons and hymns to be in English. Likewise, it was against the law to speak German in public or on the telephone; violators had their phone lines cut. He told me "In America you have 'Freedom of Speech' if you are speaking English; 'Freedom of Religion' if you worship in English, 'Freedom of the Press if you print in English." The U.S. Board of Geographic Names cleansed America's landscape of dozens of topographic features and towns with German or "German-sounding" names. Prohibition of the German language included restaurant menus: Sauerkraut became "Liberty Cabbage"; frankfurters became "hot-dogs"; Hamburger steak became Salisbury steak; even games were not immune, Sternalma became "Chinese Checkers" and "Mensch ärgere dich nicht" became "aggravation". Bi-lingual German-English language schools become "English only" and German-language private Lutheran schools were forced to teach in English. Thousands of German-American "Schmidts" became "Smiths, "Brauns" became "Browns" or adopted American (English) names and surnames. HAPAG passenger ships parked in neutral American ports were seized after war was declared and then sold to "real" Americans, including the (president) Bush family. German language books were removed from public and university libraries, and in some instances burned - this was years BEFORE the Nazi's burned books. A sign outside a German-American owned business that was compelled to sell war bonds displayed this sign: "Deutsch-Amerika tut sein Pflicht wenn dabei das Herz auch bricht" (German-American will do its duty even if it breaks our hearts). The end result of America's ethnic genocide campaign against German-Americans was quite successful -- I am the LAST member of my family who can still speak my heritage language.

Expand full comment

I also suggest a close reading of President Biden's speech in Arizona, but also General Milley's farewell speech on Friday. Both speeches summarize the essence of our democracy and threat to its continued existence. A close reading of both speeches are elaborations on a much shorter speech namely The Gettysburg Address. If the United States has a civil religion, as many contend, the I suggest the Lincoln's speech is its credo, and Biden and Milley's speeches are its Summa Theologica.

If you truly ascribe to the continuance of democracy, I suggest a daily recitation of and meditation on The Gettysburg Address.

Expand full comment

Imagine if we could find the right string of words to promote democracy.

Expand full comment

My avocation is genetic genealogist and since my family has roots in Ashley Co, AR from 1859, I bought a book, The History of Ashley County, Arkansas printed in 1954. At the very end the asshole (part of the ruling class of course) says that the War between the states was fought for states rights. (the right to own slaves). My great great grandfather, a great great uncle and a whole passel of c ousins, did not own slaves, they were dirt and pig farmers. They stupidly marched off and never came home, because these illiterate ancestors and relatives were swayed into being patriotic by the press and the pulpit, whose income and survival depended on the opinion and support of their betters, the press, pulpit, law, and merchants.

Expand full comment

I believe it is the new battleground, especially after poorer folks and holdouts were somewhat coerced into getting internet service due to the pandemic. The social media sites and ZOOM became lifelines.

We all knew we're being jerked around by old-school advertising, but this ability to throttle, index and choose concerning websites and info is a whole new field of propaganda. So thanks, Thom, we really need to tell others what we know on the subject.

To borrow from Ross Perot, that giant sucking sound you hear now is from the rich, unrestrained media moguls sucking the life out of us. They want to promote fighting, dictators, and the misery of the world because it enhances their bottom line.

I have to repeat myself on this point concerning Ukraine---it's not our choice. They have proven to Putin it was not his choice either. We can choose to help or hurt. Hurting others is what makes Trump, his Republicans, and Putin feel powerful.

Expand full comment

Propaganda is not Power. But it is Power's first cousin: Influence. Archimedes is claimed to have said "Give me a long enough lever and I will move the Earth." I say give me enough influence and everyone will voluntarily give me power.

Expand full comment

"So now it’s largely up to us to carry the message forward. You and me." How's about a shoutout, Thom, so people look at my summary piece where I'm uniquely looking for what we-the-people can do now? "What's on A ROADMAP TO THE FUTURE?" https://suzannetaylor.substack.com/p/whats-on-a-roadmap-to-the-future? What does anybody think?

Expand full comment


But Americans love to be talked to and talked about as if America did have honour

and at the very least the Democrats are their own worst enemy

for not tapping into that and stop the bleeding from war fatigue which is exactly what Putin is counting on.

Expand full comment