112 Comments
Dec 18, 2023Liked by Thom Hartmann

I agree with you on this, Thom. There have been two things reliably driving Republicans to the polls in the past 40 years: abortion and immigration. Since SCOTUS gave them control of abortion, they now have only one major reason to pull the lever for trump et al. Should the southern border be closed through 2024, and strong efforts to actually fix border policies be undertaken, Republicans would have to start searching for new voter incentives. I’m sure they’d find something to get that base riled up and ready for a fight. But in the meantime, they might just be happy that things are going their way, and maybe the Democrats aren’t quite as evil as they were led to believe.

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Thom you have caught onto something much bigger here. Republicans are very good at inventing or expanding problems and then saying they have solutions for them. (The border and immigration issues are problems, so here I am just agreeing with you on how they are being approached.) "Woke" is a ridiculous non-issue, but pushing it as a big threat gets the credulous get stirred up. The same with LGBTQ+ rights, and as was mentioned here abortion and quite a few other issues.

All this is just smart, cynical advertising, a bit like convincing people to spend a lot of money for bottled water when what comes out of their tap is just as safe and healthy--create a need and then fill it.

If we can stop those excited about these issues long enough to define the problems and solutions maybe a few will actually stand back and think rather than react emotionally. And incidentally I didn't see things quite like this until after reading the graphic novel "Berlin." In a scene occurring in 1930 Goebbels tells Hitler, "We create chaos and then offer solutions. The press eats it up." Enough said.

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Dec 18, 2023·edited Dec 18, 2023

I can see how if nothing gets done, the republicans can blame the democrats for not trying to "secure the border" while losing standing in the world for not being able to help allies...and continued dysfunction leading to the need for a "strongman" ruler.

I would be surprised if they could come to any sort of agreement which would seem to be a win for democrats, as it would take away one of the republicans main talking points.

I knew that "open border" propaganda helped create a narrative for some voters, but I had never considered that...hmmm...hmmm...that it was a ploy to actually draw more immigrants to the border to exacerbate the problem. My mind is blown.

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In the 1980s White Nationalists as documented in Prof Kathleen Belew's book Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America, decided after the Oklahoma City bombing that they were getting too much attention.

https://www.hup.harvard.edu/books/9780674286078

Their goal was to create a White Nation and White Global Government, as followers of the White Supremacist treatise The Turner Diaries.

https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2004/turner-diaries-other-racist-novels-inspire-extremist-violence

They decided to stop being so overt in their racist rhetoric and instead of saying get rid of Blacks, Mexicans and Jews, they would say that they wanted to protect their country from immigrants. They met with other White Power groups from around the world in the Pacific Northwest and decided that instead of fighting against the government they would enter mainstream politics and once they had their people in they would take over with not an American agenda, but a White Nationalist. They also decided to appear less violent to the many Evangelical Christian Nationalists who did not have militias and co-opt them too. We are seeing the effectiveness of this plan, because they are all lying and trying to hide their real intent, until they get leaders into power that approve their agenda, such as Trump. Every non-White who is going along with this, does not know their history and does not see the big picture. They are just tools for an end that does not make room for them. I have also thought that it might be expedient to go along with Republican rhetoric to get the bill passed, but I am bothered by the people who will be effected by this and by the fact that we will be violating international laws. Just because the EU is doing that does not mean it is the way to go. I think that every country should be taking the bull by the horns and sizing up their manpower shortages (the EU is way worse off than we are), when I am in Germany I live in a city where the population is 50% over the age of 60, and they do not have enough workers. The USA also has a work shortage and there should be programs run by the government to recruit people from countries around the world to fill our employment gaps in all kinds of sectors with a path to citizenship. Let the people at the border who want to fill work vacancies come in, and let us get their paperwork processed fast to fill in jobs. We should not be supporting the Republican plan to put children into dangerous jobs in place of allowing in immigrants. We need new, youthful people to come and make a better life here, by doing things that we have a need for from high skilled work, to low skilled work. I have been of the mind that Democrats could go another route and just start telling the truth some more. Let people know the numbers of vacancies and the numbers of people out of work. Which industries are effected the most. I know we have a shortage of doctors. We also have a shortage of child care workers. Both of these could be filled by people from abroad. Get the message out Democrats. Do not play into the White Nationalists Agenda.

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Great article Thom!

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I think this *could* be a good temporary solution BUT, I would expect the GOP to refuse to pass their own poison-pill bill if Dems supported it. At this point, sadly, the Dems need to play dirty. ‘Everything, everywhere, all at once.’

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A man urgently calls his wife and tells her that he needs to take the car and rush his mother to the hospital due to sudden chest pains and shortness of breath.

The wife says, “No, we're not taking the car ANYWHERE until you and I sit down and discuss why the car keeps breaking down.”

Democrats want to assist Ukraine and Israel, and the GOP wants to sit down and discuss their “border crisis.”

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I don't know if I can agree with this. I really do not know all that much about politics and these sorts of large-scale issues. But I would expect capitulation to work against our interests and that better immigration policies would not ever materialize. I would rather see us call their bluff and try to work around their obstruction. The American people support aid to Ukraine and Israel and one can hope that there would be many who see the use of the border question as unrelated and an illicit ploy. I do not like giving them anything when they are not acting in good faith. On the other hand, giving Russia any advantage, even briefly, is extremely risky and if Europeans do not take up our slack, Ukraine will be set back significantly. Flip a coin?

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Dec 18, 2023·edited Dec 18, 2023

I wholeheartedly agree with you Tom, however I am not sure I agree with you for the same reasons. I live in the San Antonio area and the immigration issue is front and center every day whether we want it to be or not. San Antonio is a very blue sanctuary city in a very gerrymandered red state. I live in a small, VERY RED town just north of San Antonio and I am here to tell everyone that "open borders" is the main topic of conversation and is blamed for everything from someone's car being vandalized to someone being the victim of a scam. It doesn't matter the gender or ethnicity of the person blaming "open borders"...people of Hispanic origin complain about "illegals" just as often as white people (very few other ethnicities exist in this area). The Nextdoor app puts all the crazies on display and is my window into what the people at the opposite end of the political spectrum are thinking. It's soul crushing to read, but I think it is a valuable tool to gauge the town and, by comparison, what is going on in numerous other towns just like it across this country. I personally think it wouldn't change a lot of those voters' minds about who to vote for because they are devoted to their cause in a cult-like way, and it has become part of their identity to "own the libs". However, what I think closing the borders would do is stop the flood of people coming illegally across the border and give the Democrats a visible action to address an on-going problem.

I know most people would wonder how a progressive, liberal person can think that the border should be closed. First, let me say that we, as citizens of this country, deserve protected borders. Do I believe, like my governor, that river buoys and razor wire are the answer? Absolutely not, but we need to get the border situation under control. Our governor has politicized this issue instead of seeing it as a humanitarian crisis that affects actual people on both sides of the border. In September 2023 alone, over 20,000 migrants were processed through San Antonio. This year, $48 million was granted to the city of San Antonio from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program National Board to assist migrants. This is not sustainable, nor should it have to be.

We need to have comprehensive immigration reform that also addresses asylum seekers and those fleeing persecution. Congress needs to act immediately and Democrats, especially, need to understand that they are losing voters with the immigration issue in Texas. When there are little old Hispanic ladies and men saying in Spanish that they don't like "open borders", you know something has to be done.

As a side note, I know quite a few Mexicans living here in the US illegally that would love for there to be a program like Bracero (but without crushing employer controls) so that they could travel freely for work and still be able to go home. One family I know hasn't been home to Mexico in over 15 years because they can't risk having to get back into the US if they leave. Their extended family hasn't even met their two youngest children who were born here. They came here for a better life, own a home here, and pay taxes (federal and state) to a country from which they will never be able to get benefits. They are productive members of society and contribute to our economy. Maybe a second round of amnesty might be good way to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch with a comprehensive immigration policy? Reagan, the god of Republicans, liked it enough...

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We really have to do this. I believe this will be a win-win for democracy.

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The Republicans have created a no win situation. IMO they would like Putin to win, Ukraine to lose, and a giant wall on the border. Why not give them their stupid wall (call it a preliminary step) that will be prove to be a total failure, in exchange for their vote to save Ukraine? Walls can always be removed later.

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Biden's handling of the migrant situation is almost identical to that of Trump's. In fact, Biden expanded Trump's Title 42 twice and has deported more Haitians and Venezualans in three years than Trump did his entire term. Here in Chicago Biden's administration is sending zero funds to help the city cope with thousands of migrants bussed up here by sickos like Abbott, but by not having adequate resources it fulfills the Republican narrative of Democrats only saying they care about immigrants. And not to worry Biden will always cave for war as he has sold more weapons around the world than any prior president and upholds the imperialist mantra of more weapons and more war as a conduit to peace. His complicity in another genocide should tell us all we need to know about Genocide Joe. And please don't tell me he is trying to stop it. He is merely straddling the line politically while going behind the back of Congress to supply Netanyahu with more munitions. What a sick country we are and how you have fallen from progressive grace.

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founding

Only problem is they wouldn't play it straight to fix anything and more would suffer

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I remember the years when Bill Clinton agreed with every Republican campaign issue. He was a very eloquent speaker which made it appear that he was the policy originator. He dissolved every a Republican issue. Clinton reformed the welfare system. Clinton abolished banking regulations. Clinton made it possible for industries to move jobs to foreign countries and cut their labor costs. Clinton was a neoliberal on foreign policies. Of course this left little or no difference between the parties and Clinton was easily re-elected. As a liberal Democratic I never liked Clinton. He was good at getting elected. Going along with a tough immigration policy smacks me as Clinton like, but I support if it if prevents Trump from winning a second term.

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I agree. I live in the Andy Biggs state and that's the only thing he talks about. We can publicize the good things that Biden does on every corner of the world but the people that watch Faux entertainment won't care. They will listen to Andy and others. It's time to do this, for the sake of Ukraine.

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founding

America. Time for questions.

How do you see yourselves?

Do you believe in right and wrong?

Who is right or wrong?

You have had many instances where you could have supported the left with: decent healthcare/education and well paying jobs?

YOU did not do this. why?

Were you scared of "socialism?"

Were you scared of "communism?"

Did you recognise greed?

Did you recognise that there was hunger and people who just could not make it in the US because of .............mental problems or whatever."

Did you really think that you as a race of people were better than others?

Did you really believe you were a Democracy since the time of Ronald Reagan?

Did you put the people first?

YOU produce weapons of "mass destruction." Why?

Do you understand that America can NEVER stop your Military Industrial Complex?

Do you understand that many people in a huge number of States will be out of work if the MIC stopped working?

Do you believe that you are a nation of warmongers?

Do you believe that every American citizen agrees with all your wars?

I could go on and on...............................

Is Woody Guthrie a 'patriot' or a lefty/communist?

What does the word 'patriotism' mean to YOU?

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