I had stage 2 Lyme disease; a knew all about Lyme from living in NJ for 25 years but, didn't think it was in GA yet. Well, stupid me, I got bit on a mountain trail where tons of deer forage. I got the bullseye rash, all the symptoms but I thought it was a spider bite because my friend had just been bitten by a spider and she had a rash too. Power of positive persuasion. I ended up getting pretty sick and landing in a hospital on intervenous antibiotics for several days. That's what works on Lyme; not pesticides. So, the moral of the story is, influence of others can convince us of just about anything, if we're not careful. These politicians are just that; politicians. Ron Paul is a sociopath. Ron DeSantis is a sociopath. They will say anything for a buck (hopefully not a deer buck;). Couldn't resist.

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Mar 24Liked by Thom Hartmann

This article has provided yet more insight into our nation's health crisis. Thank you!

I would like to add another reason that the working poor turn to alternative health solutions! They CAN'T AFFORD RETAIL MEDICAL CARE! As a young. single mother, I was always able to "work something out" with the pediatricians and medical doctors that I needed to see, but I vowed to stay as healthy as I could to avoid that expense. So I turned to diet, supplements, herbs, and other lifestyle methods.

I am grateful for that path, even though now I am able to afford medical treatments through Medicare, because I use the medical system only when needed. I was particularly thankful for the IRA's lowering of vaccination costs! Some to zero. Medicare is a true gift, but the lifestyle habits and nutrition are my mainstay.

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Mar 24·edited Mar 24

Thanks for the background on this propaganda campaign against COVID vaccines.

I recalled on reading this, the christian attack on evolution aka creationism. It seemed odd this is no longer the rage. What happened after so many years of attacking the schools? I looked up some references and discovered to my surprise we had a supremes case which decided it was unconstitutional. See https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/264/edwards-v-aguillard.

Teachers (science in particular) being forced to teach creationism is against the first amendment's establishment clause! Note the cases came up from laws passed in states like Arkansas and Louisiana.

How is it education is under attack again against teaching history, teaching medical science, teaching CRT, teaching about sex (LGBTQ)? My suspicion is the fascists have found new empowerment in the biased supremes and politicians like DeSantis. Which means creationism's abject failure in 1987 was simply a trial run.

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I am waiting for that technology that Dr. McCoy used on Star Trek before I spend much time with a doctor. On the other hand, modern medicine helped heal a broken bone, a few infections, and gave me vaccines that have spared me from death and the worst in life.

The behavior we are seeing from the right is fear-based, and if they read the science, they would know they are LIVING in "fight or flight mode" 24/7. They are scared and paranoid all the time and they try to force everyone else to join them.

I too wish we could prosecute the phony bastards involved. If you have time, watch the PBS show American Masters: Dr.Tony Fauci. He says he's made mistakes, but there is no mistake about the fact that he is compassionate, brilliant, and a hero. What the right has done to him is a crime.

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Speaking as a long time family doc, I related to and was enlightened by your insights. I have been shocked by the vociferous, even violent, self-destructive wave of anti-vax, altRX, anti-medical science believers who rode the wave to their own death for many. No Nothing anti-science is very dangerous on an individual and society wide basis. I think you correctly and brilliantly capture the ethos behind it. The highly intellectual, academisized, data driven, bureaucratic public health establishment did not have a clue what this was about or how to deal with it. Hundreds of thousands of extra unnecessary deaths occurred. DJT and now DS both plugged into and magnified the dynamic you describe.

I would add that the vibrant anti-science culture also grew out of the SAME years' long political and cultural trends that energized the alienated, insecure, demoralized (and often unemployed) middle and lower classes that were exploited by DJT. Not only was the medical profession arrogantly dismissive of vitamins, of our dietary exploitation by big Agra, and dismissive of common but scientifically mysterious diseases like long lyme and CFS; the medical establishment pushed (or at least tolerated) narcotics to the point of a deadly epidemic, left us prey to the monetary exploitation by pharma and the insurance companies - so care was hard to get or led to personal bankruptcy or family stress - all tolerated or endorsed by a government that coddled the Wall Street, the banks, the rich, put us in massive debt to pay for many useless post secondary education experiences, and slowly sucked away jobs, our homes (see 2008), put us in wars that caused national PTSD that had no patriotic purpose; taking away our security and the social safety net. The irony is that they all turned to ethnonationalism (which seems eager to magnify all these problems while soothing your passions) instead of democratic socialism (which could really make a difference).

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“Why are So Many Republicans Embracing Quack Science?” The simplest explanation is that too many millions of Americans have been the victims of learning to be bad at learning thus making them vulnerable to the grifters that want their votes and their money. But, what is the root cause of Republicans eschewing critical thinking and embracing the ivermectinizing of their cult? I believe it shares the same root cause with all the other bad things in our world, and that is the morbidly rich who exploit their powers of corporate personhood. In perhaps the most important anti-promotion-of-our-general-welfare choice ever made, Reagan’s defunding of public education created a significant population of poorly educated racists just ripe for the grifting of Trump and his acolytes. Although they are unlikely to engage their critical thinking skills to acknowledge that they’ve been played, I always thought that if Trump did a good job of allocuting to his crimes, some of his marks could be won over.

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These drugs also cause infertility. Let’s Go Darwin. #Karma has a funny bone.

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Wasn't it James Madison that veto'd a bill that would have given money to churches to aid the poor?

If you let the thief into the house he will rob or kill you. If you let a vampire in, it will suck your blood (OK I don't believe in vampires but that is a very apt mataphor).

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You had to go and ask. Why do Republicans do what they do? You’ve partially answered the question. Easy solutions, quick fixes, arrogance, fear, and pure selfishness are certainly valid answers.

But, why do I feel like I’m in a bubble? I keep hearing about our own thousand points of light. Still, they don’t add up to much in a dark universe. The daily messages of action, condemnation, and hopefulness mixed with re-emerging hopelessness seem too much like a tempest in a teapot. Despair is not an option. But I have to delude myself at least fifty percent of the time to avoid despair. Are progressives really making progress, or are we treading water, or even losing ground? How much of our hope is just denial?

We cannot allow them to break our spirits. Yet how many of our institutions seem to have been hijacked and warped to implement the breaking of spirits? No, I’m not even talking about the “school-to-prison pipeline”. I’m talking about the US Supreme Court, the Congress, the hostile workplace, and the everyday public school where arbitrary authority has been institutionalized for the express purpose of suppressing, dampening, confining, and breaking EVERY child’s spirit before their spirit has seen the light of day.

I have spoken the truth. No one wants to hear the truth. NO ONE. I have violated the taboo. Public schools have wrought “miracles”. Or, at least they are reputed to have done so, and indeed they COULD have done much for society.

However, those same people who are now banning books and churning out fascist laws were the one’s who insisted that the people could not be trusted to make good use of schools unless they were compelled by law to do so. They brought the poison to the table and everyone thought it was going to be okay because kids must have discipline. Order, structure, and control are absolutely essential in the (small) minds of the influential elites. They altered the idea of learning and the pursuit of knowledge and truth and created places where there would always and forever be authorities to formulate and decree for the rest of us what truth and knowledge would be, and they call it curriculum and “education”.

Dogma, trivia, and testing are now the daily fare of students. Within the hierarchy there are the exceptional few, the winners, the leaders, and the academically talented. The rest will find Facebook, Fox “news”, and their ilk, and abstain religiously from books. They flock to the conspiracy theories, the quack or pseudoscience, and the comforting certainty of religion because the answers were given to them on the multiple-choice tests, denying them the felt need or opportunity to create their own awareness and knowledge and to discover their own reality through living in a real environment.

The milieu matters. What children sense and intuit matters. What they feel, and experience, and believe matters. Arbitrary and anonymous authority is not just a wet blanket and a dark cloud. It is the uninspiring, inimical, and unalloyed message that the people will not learn without a teacher and that they will not endure without the leader’s constant guiding and often controlling hand. It is the belief that their thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs cannot be relied upon. We, of all people, are supposed to be aware of this. We surely do know better. It is the antithesis of the essence of democracy.

I had counted on finding people here who could see through the smoke and mirrors. That has always been my downfall. I cannot stop hoping.

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Ron DeSantis: " ... I would have fired somebody like Fauci. I think that he got way too big for his britches, and I think he did a lot of damage." ...Says an arrogant little pissant in platform shoes. https://youtu.be/w98XWZ980f4

And Republicans' other darling, who claims to be all about "law and order," has so many state and federal and civil and criminal charges pending against him that it's hard to keep track.

The death of irony is alive and well in "real America." Fascism under "God" -- "It is the way."

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Thanks, that was enlightening.

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So many issues and perspectives. I am concerned that there are persons and politicians in this country who would prefer to encourage gun ownership and insurrection over teaching critical thinking/reasoning in our schools. Thinking/reasoning citizens are a threat to the fascist/authoritarian dictator or quasi-dictator. This, I believe, is why the Right so energetically supports book banning and the teaching of any narrative that questions "American Exceptionalism." That said, conspiracy theory thinking is appealing, I know as I have dabbled in a little of it myself. When you fear you are largely powerless, it is attractive to read or listen to the folks who are telling you that no one, no part of the "establishment" is accurate or truthful. The "establishment" (and this is the government, the school system, etc) is deliberately promoting lies and false information. Clearly all of the researchers are liars. Only certain people who question every maxim and propose alternate hypotheses are being truthful. Science, is our best bet. Science, when practiced faithfully, requires evidence derived from multiple lines of inquiry, subjected to review and replication before it is accepted as theory. Science and scientists are not perfect, but I will place my confidence in the scientific process over the quackery promoted by the "influencers" of this world.

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I only used the examples of diseases that have Virtually disappeared after a vaccine was implemented for each one. I didn't mean to imply that all disease has been irradicated. I take supplements to boost my system. What is Steiner's complete name. I would be interested in looking up what he has to add to the conversation.

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Thom, maybe just a word by you about the non-Republican other anti-VAXers, some of whom, otherwise, I consider admirable thinkers?

No time to look up all the right words involved here, but some links out there initially showed strong profit-motives in creating vaccines in the first place, this fueling many who have been against the vaccines from the beginning.

I remember reading an in-depth article showing how pharmaceuticals, or a couple individuals digging for profits, created the first formula, making it so very sensitive that the slightest sign of abnormality required the first vaccine, and that remaining the "bottom line proof" vaccine through most of the pandemic, I believe.

Another group saying, we'll never get wholesale immunity, unless we let older people and others immune compromised die, by we all not taking the vaccinations, this the way to crowd immunity, some of their older followers, saying, "I'm willing to die."

These same people, of course, pledging not to wear masks: "Our and our children's life experiences would be warped by these severe requirements."

Unable to agree with these other conclusions, I continue to wear my mask, last night's news saying there's another Covid variant out there, and I so appreciate fewer colds and flus.

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Oh my, you are living in a bubble if you really believe what you said, that "there are no contrary messages being suppressed." Check out the many doctors and nurses who have spoken out, and lost their licenses, or been fired, or various other consequences. There are a plethora of what you term "conspiracy theories" for the simple reason that the mainstream medias (owned by large corporations with financial interests) are the ones that have been doing the suppressing. People have taken to alternate sources to discover the truth, and of course, they're being labelled conspiracy theories.

You say millions have died from Covid, but neglect to mention the interesting fact that flu deaths took a surprising decline. Is it possible that hospitals were given more money if they labelled a death a Covid death than if it were a flu death? Sounds to me like you need to broaden your intake of information -- don't just listen to what Thom, or even the MSM, tells you.

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There was an anti vaxx movement before Trump, but it was limited to a resistance to the MMR vaccine, when my children were vaccinated there were separate shots for each and no shot for rubella, then they reformuate into one shot, and added mercury to extend it's shelf life, and after that there was an increase in autism. (I I know a controversial claim), just stating facts and time sequence.

Trump weaponized the anti vaxx idea. First he denied COVID19, tried to squash the stats, then a major donor that made money off hydryoxychloroquine and then Ivermectine filled his pockets and he started to advocate those as cures and prophylaxis. And the lemmings of the cult jumped on board.

Outside of the fact that these fools who get sick, affect my insurance premium, I really don't care if they get sick and die. It may sound heartless, but as the population of these cultists decrease, the propensity for the survival of democracy increases.

We are at war, and we know who the enemy is, the less of them, the better.

For instance Ukraine, as the stock of Orc's diminishes, the chances for Ukraine remaining an independent democracy increases.

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