Aug 10, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

When I hear Democrat I respond with Republicant

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My response: RepubliCon. Don’t ever use Republican or GOP or Party of Lincoln. It’s RepubliCon, the McCarthy Cult.

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Thanks Tom. Thus has always bothered me. (The Republic Party?)

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Aug 10, 2022·edited Aug 10, 2022

Great op-ed and important strategy points to help change public perception - both on calling out the use of Democrat vs Democratic as a slur and encouraging people to also not fall into the trap of "giving it back." We need to help decrease polarization.

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"In your own words... Do you have your own words? Hey, I'm using the ones everybody else has been using!" - George Carlin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11lEtj-MuMk

It's too bad George Carlin isn't with us during these Dark Ages of the Trump era -- of debasing public discourse -- to help explain us to ourselves. His education, varied career paths, and comedy routines seemed mostly devoted to the meanings, or the ridiculous nonsense, behind words and phrases that people normally take for granted, making people laugh as much as making them think.

Although, even Carlin might have a hard time finding anything funny about a malignant narcissist on the far, far, fall-off-the-table end of the nutjob/asshole spectrum who became a fake president -- a pathetic, immature, egotistical bully who constantly spreads hate and division by twisting and perverting the common language to such a degree that a good third, maybe half, of the "United" States can no longer even talk to their neighbors, much less understand them, much less share a country in peace.

This year in Dallas, the CPAC crowd (and one of their favorite dictators, Hungarian Prime Minister/dictator Viktor Orbán) said the quiet part out loud, as usual: Screw democracy! God wants Trump and billionaire tycoons to rule America as a white, Christian, theocratic plutocracy (based on contorted reasoning and constitutional principles that don't exist -- and never should -- in the real U.S. Constitution and subsequent body of law). DemocRATS are pure evil and are America's worst enemies! Heathens! God hates them all! It's totally cool to start a civil war and, you know, wink, wink, kill 'em all with your awesome ARs! (Okay, maybe they didn't say that last part out loud ...but almost.)

Yup, words matter -- insomuch as they reflect facts and truth; otherwise, they're just nonsense. But in the wrong hands, it's dangerous nonsense that can kill and tear a nation apart. Rhetorical roles change fast on the "insurrectionist right," i.e., mainstream Republicans, depending on which way the crazy winds are blowing. Now, they're calling to "Defund the police!" Well, the FBI, anyway, same thing. (And, btw, that's a Republican projection blown way out of proportion, a disingenuous viral bum rap, never a Democratic thing.)

Whenever transparent trolls, assorted wingers, and "conservative" snowflakes (cough, cough, trumplicans, cough, cough) whine about all the nasty name-calling directed their way (well-deserved, imo), three glaring omissions always blot out their long-winded, Republican-victimhood sputter:

1. Seven interminable years of MAGA Trump-speak. (We're all a little crazier.)

2. Most Republican insults hurled at Democrats (or anyone else who dares to call them out) famously are NOT backed up by any worthwhile evidence to waste internet ink on, while most return fire from Democrats can fill libraries of history and law. Sorry, but widely-accepted, scientific, agreed-upon, base-line, hard facts are the primary premise of any worthy argument. (Alas, some lost souls are even stumped by the basics. For instance, did Biden win a free and fair election, one of the cleanest in American history? Simple question; simple answer; way too hard for average Joe Trumpee Republican who needs to shitcan Fux "News" and get a real life.)

3. Liberals and progressives who seek truth and justice are smart, beautiful people from all over the world, of all races and cultures and religions. They are very interesting and lovable human beings. (Subjective truth.)

A multitude of people have gone forth and multiplied across the land and built a powerful small-d democratic nation. Tragically, not without huge atrocities along the way. To many, too many, the legacy of American nation-building is not an inspiring story. Yet, as luck would have it, despite the odds, most of our forebearers' progeny evolved in egalitarian spirit, worked together to be better, and largely prospered. (Though, in racism, militarism, religious bigotry, economic predation, and in so many other areas, we mere humans still have a long, long way to go.) The increasing majority of good citizens who built the strongest middle class in history were proud liberals (a good word until "Limpballs" perverted it into something un-American and evil). And when it really counted, given a fair and informed opportunity, the real "makers" voted big-D Democratic, the "Party of the People." In opposition, Republicans belonged to the "Party of the Rich."

Today, not much has changed fundamentally, except the unhinged attitudes and verbiage exploding in the great Lie-o-Sphere -- the redhats' universe of "alternative facts" -- is ever more extreme, violent, and mainstream. How in hell did that happen is a fascinating if not alarming question; but more importantly, you have to wonder why. Why is stupid winning over hearts and minds so easily? Simply amazing. Horribly tragic.

Here's an old quote often attributed to Aristotle: "The job of a scientist is to discover facts. The job of a philosopher is to ponder those facts."

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On this one, I'm a little underwhelmed. It may be childish of me to call the GOP "The Repuglicans," as I often do; no argument there. But even with its McCarthy history, calling the Democratic Party the "Democrat" Party seems like pretty weak tea and a bit like we're living up to the progressive "snowflake" reputation. "Democrat" is a noun; "democratic" is an adjective. To call the Democratic Party the Democrat Party is, in fact, simply saying the party of Democrats. This is not to say that using derogatory or mangled names to belittle and "other" people is okay; let's just not make a big deal of this very minor one thus giving them more fuel for the fire. I do think the revisit to the McCarthy era was spot on and very relevant, however, as the US Congress and Senate are now riddled with McCarthys, and even worse. In fact, one senator from Texas even looks like him.

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Thank you, Thom, for the history. I was unaware of the connection to McCarthy. I have lived some of the other history with gay friends, including serving with some before Don't Ask/Don't Tell. I was lucky enough to have those friends by the time I was 20, so I knew their stories and experiences of how they were forced to "act" to make a living. Shameful prejudice---just like so much of American society continues to display. I'm hearing DeSantis talking about "grooming our children" in my head as I think of this.

Of course, the best way to fight back is to not join them in the mud. Now excuse me while I laugh and cry hysterically. The best part of participating in the Democratic Party is that we love diversity and don't always agree on the solutions.

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Thom. I understand your arguments, however I'm unable to make sense of the premise of your arguments. You claim a legitimate “outrage at Republican policies and the egregious lies of their elected officials — from election denialism to birtherism to trickle-down.” And you agree that the use of such language reflects more poorly on the person using it. If true, can I claim a legitimate outrage at a Progressive agenda that uses obvious deception to further their objectives? For example, the Left consistently tells us that our border is secure and closed and that our immigration policy is protecting us from unparalleled illegal immigration. They tell us that a massive tax and spend bill that will certainly INCREASE inflation. And they provide a clear articulation of a refined biological/chromosomal denialism. Or what about when a show hosts has referred to Rush Limbaugh as Rush Limpballs? Or the Tea Party as Tea Baggers? Or when he levels a blood-guilt sentence on the entire GOP. Or when he simply condemns his enemies and casually calls them unchristian, White Supremacists and or just plain Fascists?

Doesn’t such exaggerated language reflect more poorly on the person using it, than it does anything else? Given your aggressive condemnation of your enemies on the right, how is one to judge the premise of your own arguments? In complete and similar proportion, Progressives have departed from normal political dialogue and continue their onslaught to defame and discredit their enemies. If we use the principles of your argument the progressive political faction must equally lose their claims to political legitimacy.

I agree, this is no small matter. Every time a radio talk show host hatefully condemns his enemies, the deeper we fall into an uncivil morass. And please read this not as “whataboutism” but rather as a reveal to how one can be so readily self-discrediting. When he accuses his enemies of the very similar thing he is doing, such rhetoric begins with and ends in vicious propaganda.

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Thanks Thom -- Good to call it out. It's such a small thing, stupid, yet it is powerful signaling, metastasized in our discourse, a loud dog whistle among so many other dog whistles.

We progressives are reaching out to people who are clearly affected, and even controlled, by bullies. One mode of bullies is abuse of language, and we progressives are losing that conflict, constantly, it seems to me.

For instance, we refer to 'the Right' This is what they want, we give it for free. There has been nothing right about them for a very long time. The academic explanation talks about legislative chambers, and parties sitting on one side or the other.

But we should see what this is, and not go along. We all know, who were cultivated in a supposedly Christian religion, just who sits 'on the right hand' of the deity, and much more simply, 'right' means correct. Not. Using the label simply reinforces the farce, but it is so embedded in our discourse that it's difficult to overcome.

Likewise, 'left' is just about meaningless when referring to progressive liberals in the USA. FDR was a proud, proclaimed liberal, but he was not remotely Marxist, excepting maybe Groucho.

So, are we trying to reach the small fraction of our population who vote for the 41 Senators, in particular, from the lowest population states? Or are we trying to reach those in those states who have not registered to vote, and who have not voted even when registered?

( Angus King said 24% of our population control 41 Senators . . . my quick estimate says 5% or 6% actually voted for the 41 . . . shocking, working . . . do you feel like a very small group of crazed idiots is jerking your life around? Could be some numbers to that . . . Daily Kos got me going on this . . . )

Likewise 'conservative.' Nazis are not 'conservatives.' Klan members are not 'conservatives.' Fascists, dictators, most religions are not 'conservative.' We have finally reached the place where the loudest opponents to our law and principles are actual, demonstrating Nazi and Klan members and dictator fodder, and worse.

'Conservative.' Not. Robert Reich wrote an excellent recent piece on 'conservative.' Like him, I want to conserve human rights. I want to conserve voting rights. I want to conserve women's rights. I want to conserve the amazing prosperity that we have built in the USA and around the world, for ourselves and our posterity, just making sure to support the general welfare along the way with that wealth. I'm very, very conservative -- as a very progressive liberal!

And then there is 'Republican Party.' Which one is Lincoln? Which one is even Teddy, who was a trust-busting protector of wilderness, and otherwise a mess? Not one of them. We see half-crazed traitors dressed in loud Uncle Sam costumes, which barely cover their klan robes, over their confederate boxers, cinched up by their tighty-whities just in case, making the 'heil' sign right out in public. And they are carrying US flags to stab anybody they don't like. What's not to love? These are patriots?

The current 'Republican Party' is just a neoconfederate conspiracy. That's been clear since before W, but especially since W.

Reciting the Constitution to bullies is just fodder for them. Likewise reasoned, fact-filled argument.

Theory -- Finally, 'conspiracy theories.' Theory is a *sacred* word in my secular world. Lies are not theories! Conjecture - Hypothesis - Thesis - Theory ( roughly ) . . . the lies out there don't even qualify as 'conjecture!' They don't pass the smell test. But the phrase is everywhere in the mouths of otherwise responsible people.

How do I know they are lies? I tell them, 'I know it the same way I know there are no elephants orbiting Uranus -- without even looking! I know it the same way I know that Mars Bars *do not actually come from Mars!*'

Lies are cheap. Proving lies are false is expensive. There is nothing a liar loves more than a fired up target digging deep and spending time and money to prove his lie is crap. In the meantime, the liar can create and test a dozen more lies.

Lies can get halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. ( old quip, many attributions )

We can't stop lies -- so we have to stop liars. Tall order -- b.rad

ps -- so are you saying we shouldn't call them Greedy Old Perverts?

Are you saying Kevin-Joe McCarthy should get our respectful quiet attention? ( btw the way that R leaders repeatedly snap-yank into line, puppet spasms, jerking to a microphone to squawk outright lies, after making reasonable undeniable statements in favor of the law, common sense, and common decency -- few of the horrific events I've witnessed recently, with many others, disturbs me more than those simple unfathomable self-debasing acts . . . )

Should we not promote 'Chumps for Tr*mp!' ? I won't pay for the t-shirts, but somebody might . . .

Vote R? Don T!

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