23 Comments
Sep 1, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

Sadly, too many Americans fear “leftist takeover” and “libruls” in power more than increased chance of dying from all the diseases listed in this article. They can deny and deny away clean air, water, safe food, decent affordable healthcare, collective bargaining as a “commie” plot. Part willful ignorance and just a stubborn belief that conservatives will somehow magically make everything better is a safer mindset for them. Plus throw in racism and hate for everyone different than them and there you go- America’s white cristofascist party now showing up openly running for office near you.

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Sep 1, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

“They believe that people will only “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” when they’re confronted with horrible poverty as the alternative. (The exception to this, of course, are the children of rich people, who must be allowed to inherit every penny without a “death tax” on their inheritance.)”

This is an excellent point.

I’d like to use this analogy in my arguments with people regarding the Reagan Revolution if it’s ok.

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author

Please do!

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I have the (possibly insane) hope that there is a great awakening taking place in America, and elsewhere in the world, and the frauds that have been perpetrated upon us are becoming so plain and undeniable that there will soon be a great shift in the power structure. The awakened (not to be confused with "woke," though it certainly includes many of them as well) are set to demand that the promises we've been told this country represents be at last fulfilled. We may come out of this election in better shape than the pundits and prognosticators were guessing a few months ago, and I can envision a totally different country by the end of the decade - one that will go beyond anything we have known in the past. But, as I said, I may be insane....

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... in a good way. ]:--))

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Yes, of course! :-)

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The only thing insane is trying the same thing and expecting different results. I have low confidence in politicians, nonprofits, and volunteer activists saving our democracy.

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It's a tough sell. ];--))

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Sep 1, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

I believe in America, just not white men who claim to be rePUGlicon’s! All we have to do is look at history, they destroy, bully, mutilate and of course lie to be in power! To stay relevant when they are seriously mentally ill psychopaths!

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Haha, ya gotta call 'em like ya see 'em.

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Sep 2, 2022·edited Sep 2, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

Excellent and very usable list of the problems in those states. Thank you. Now let’s hope Democrats have enough sense to support the workers and the impoverished areas all over the country and not be so arrogant and self-important in doing so. We need to turn around then correct the sellout that Democrats made to corporatism and neoliberalism under Clinton and Obama. Medicare for all is a start, cutting the budget for the Department of Offense is the next.

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Sep 1, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

Google "resurgence of unions" and look-up the stats on voter participation and you will get the answer to today's question of "When". It truly is now.

The pandemic was the ultimate pause-to-ponder moment. People were forced to talk to others and attend via the internet, and our opposition was forced to admit the internet and communication is a necessity for everyone, especially the poor.

Connection is EVERYTHING and everything is CONNECTED.

As each piece of infrastructure (public/private) fails due to age and the climate crisis, it will become more apparent to conservatives in the middle that something is very very wrong. These are folks who learn when the problem lands on their doorstep. It is how their brains work.

And speaking of brains, people that do nuance and are able to empathize have finally figured out who the far-right is and what they have been up to. Trump gave them permission to show us who they are and how they will destroy America if we let them.

Spread democracy not despair. We need the history and the stats to do that. Thanks,Thom.

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It’s always worthwhile believing in America, but it all comes back on us. The moral arc of the Universe is completely indifferent but you and I can bend it towards justice. Believe in yourself and America. 🇺🇸♾

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Sep 1, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

Liberal is where Liberty comes from.

I hate to see ‘liberal’ contorted and abused in an anti-liberating context. Imagine, undermining and co-opting the message . . . The Economist published some articles about how the word was used long ago … I haven’t read your book about neoliberalism, Thom, have to get on it.

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ps here is the Economist article I was thinking of, not that I read it much or trust it that much — sounds ‘neo’ in the brief intro offered for free, yet harking back to the 1843 founding of the magazine — <https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/09/13/a-manifesto-for-renewing-liberalism>

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And — I have met the government, and it is us.

Every group is a democracy — but some do it a hell of a lot better than others.

When someone says they want small government, it means they want you out of it.

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The phrase “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” originally referred to a feat impossible to perform. Don't know the source but it sounds about right that in private (of course) the morbidly rich of the time used the phrase in derision of the poor.

The privileged elite by definition only care about their own plight. The poor are always the butt of the joke when the rich throw lavish parties in their mansion, on their yachts, at fundraisers for sell-out politicians.

The original analogy back in the day that really seems to fit the MAFGA-heads of today to a T(rump) is a dumb guy trying to pull himself out of the swamp by his own hair. Think of the wispy cotton candy hair (?) stuck to the stupid-looking orange head of Mr. Blubbergut thrashing about, slowly sinking in his own muck. Sad but kinda funny ...and sounds about right.

Tickling the intertubes a little produced this: https://zapier.com/blog/you-cant-pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps/

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RE: "Republican philosophy is clear on the matter: ..." and driven by their ingrained right-wing authoritarianism

Based on the published works of John Dean and Robert Altemeyer about the authoritarian personality, which they show dominates the members of the GQP, I suggest the seemingly contradictory GQP philosophies are best understood by noting two of the key traits of authoritarianism: belief in both social hierarchy, or inequality, and in severe punishment/reward to maintain that hierarchy:

- "Dean and Altemeyer propose a psychological theory of Trump’s base and the base that supports other right-wing xenophobic populists in other countries as well: a certain percentage of citizens have been subject to social, cultural, and familial circumstances that enhanced features of intolerance, hierarchy, and authoritarianism in their personality structure, and these individuals constitute ready ground for supporters of xenophobic authoritarian populism." - https://undsoc.org/2020/10/14/theories-of-authoritarian-personality/

RE: "Neoliberalism preaches that government will always be inferior to the “free market” when it comes to making any sort of meaningful decisions."

This GQP philosophy of inferior government and the superiority of economic neoliberalism are based on these two key traits of authoritarianism: inequality and severe punishment. On the one hand, Democratic government is 'inferior' in their worldview because it is the one man-made system that can force equality and distort the ranking of their fear/hate based hierarchy. On the other hand, economic neoliberalism is an optimization of auhoritarian capitalism and is essential to maintaining their imaginary social hierarchy: reward those white, racist, xenophobic, heterosexual, monogamist, Christianist, and excessively wealthy men at the top while punishing everyone else:

- "Finally, a fourth invention of the term “neoliberal,” independent of the first three, came with Charles Peters’s “A Neoliberal’s Manifesto” in 1983. As Peters used the word, “neoliberalism” was not a call to bring nineteenth-century economic liberalism back to life but, rather, to moderate the ambitions of New Deal social liberalism particularly with regard to labor union privileges and welfare entitlements." - https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/uses-and-abuses-neoliberalism-debate

RE:" ... climate change has set the entire nation up for disasters that are going to require massive action by both federal and state governments."

Our growing climate disaster is a cancer of neoliberalism and its neutering of government. Neoliberal economics has been used to maximize the GQP hierarchical inequality over all forms of life and Earth's natural resources. It also punishes any 'inferior' life form and our only home in the universe, Mother Earth for the sake of greed of the few:

- Rather than human nature, the problem was that, just as “governments were getting together to get serious about reining in the fossil fuel sector, the global neoliberal revolution went supernova, and that project of economic and social reengineering clashed with the imperatives of both climate science and corporate regulation at every turn”.

- "Fanatically committed to the free market as a regulator of all human social interactions, politicians ruled out public spending or direct bans on emissions. The only measures deemed credible centred on creating trading systems that turned environmental outcomes into commodities on which global financiers could speculate [and profit from] – in essence, nominating the most venal people on the planet as the best bet for saving humanity." - https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/17/neoliberalism-wrecked-our-chance-to-fix-the-climate-crisis-and-leftwing-statements-of-faith-have-changed-nothing

GQP economic neoliberal philosophy is killing everything, including our democracy, to maintain a hierarchy of and control by the greediest few.

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Sep 1, 2022·edited Sep 1, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

Thanks for that.

It's just amazing that in this "modern" age of endless knowledge, after 10,000 years or whatever of study on the ills of society, the different human tribes on the whole still haven't learned basic lessons in overcoming base instincts -- greed, selfishness, fear, hate, and violence being at the top of a long list.

By now, if after all that violent history, on the downward slide of inevitable consequences of stupid behavior, in the twilight of civilization on a sick planet running out of resources, and humans still haven't evolved enough to clean up their own messes, then they probably never will before winking out of existence.

Alas, the optimist in me (hidden in there somewhere) always ruins a good doomsday rant by rooting for the evolution of mind and spirit overcoming seemingly impossible odds. The fact of even being alive in the vacuum of space proves it's happened before.

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Sep 2, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

Speaking of 10,000 years, checkout the long-term study of civilizations in Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Shape Our Brains, Lives, and Future by Riane Eisler and Douglas P. Fry. They have a more hopeful Partnership outcome for humanity:

https://centerforpartnership.org/nurturing-our-humanity-how-domination-and-partnership-shape-our-brains-lives-and-future/

“This fearless, beautiful, and very timely book is a radical reminder that humanity’s truest nature is oriented toward love, partnership, gender equality, and peace. It is essential and transformative reading for every policymaker, philanthropist, activist, and change-maker interested in a more just, balanced and peaceful world.”

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Sep 3, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

Wow! You are as big a fan of Altemeyer and the others as I am. I think it is so valuable to look at authoritarianism psychologically and more and more people every day are doing so.

Some of the studies of authoritarian brains go as deep as neurology (deeper than just psychology). They mention things like the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. Here is my favorite, because it looks not just at fear, but at "mechanisms of belief and doubt": https://www.researchgate.net/publication/299483442_The_Henchman's_Brain_Neuropsychological_Implications_of_Authoritarianism_and_Prejudice .

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Sep 2, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

The truth is out there.

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Dear Thomm. Your consistent vitriol of the "philosophy" of your opposition comes as no surprise. But it seems you failed to provide any details of the philosophy that you espouse. You supply us with people who are on your side. You remind us that the leaders you like might be able to restore a faith in a government that solves problems and serves people. You provide your opinions about environmental and tax policies, healthcare and problematic social issues (which you frame as mostly happening in red states). But of course none of these are a philosophy of governing principles. It would be helpful if you provided a cogent philosophical system that seeks to understand fundamental truths about political ideas, the world in which we live, and the relationships we have to the world and to each other. This would help me believe you when you say: "Philosophy matters. And philosophy turned into law matters a lot."

Living in Chicago indeed proves how philosophy works to sustain a city. Of course the city and state has been run by the philosophy of left leaning democrats for basically the throughout its history. Given it's proximity to Lake Michigan, it remains a very beautiful city. But it's perennial political philosophy has remained aligned with your ideological beliefs and political agenda. The results?

According to AreaVibes, Chicago's crime rate in 2020 was 3,926 per 100,000 people. That's 67% higher than the national average and well above Illinois's average rate of 1,985 crimes per 100,000 people.

On average, from 2000 to 2019, residential property taxes in Chicago rose by 164%. They rose $543 million just during former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s term and Mayor Lori Lightfoot in her current budget added $94 million in property taxes, plus created automatic annual increases tied to inflation.

In terms of individual scores for quality of services and for total budget per capita, Chicago ranked 136th for cost per capita and 140th for service. Washington, D.C., took the bottom spot overall and Detroit offered the worst city services, with costs ranking at 99th.

This data provides the complexity needed to understand what happens when the Red versus Blue states and cities apply philosophical/ideological principles. We have witness Chicago unequivocally practice the ideology you espouse. Again the results? High debt, higher crime, more and more poverty stricken neighborhoods and an oppressive and burgeoning bureaucratic machine to which it will always be captive.

Until states and cities commit to living within their means both red and blues states and cities will always face ballooning turmoil. As trite as it sounds, Coolidge brought us the only empirical truth about how to our lives and manage our affairs. “There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.” If this is not the central tenet of your side's philosophy it will never restore America's faith in the government.

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