I like the graphic picture of the spider web leading this article. It’s a perfect representation of the evil lies and gaslighting the anti-democracy party puts out daily. The Republicans can’t even list actual policy details- only slogans, vague statements and half-truths. When the Republican platform was posted on their social media (and they realized it might disclose actual awful policies for most Americans) it’s suddenly closed down and not for public view. How to actually make good legislation is a far-off and impossible goal for Republican legislators. And due to many Americans’ lack of critical thinking skills and indifference to facts and reality we have a supremely ignorant electorate. I can’t believe that so many Americans just don’t get it- the only segment of Americans that Republicans cater to are the wealthy donors/ corporations and white Christian authoritarians. Do millions of Americans really believe that a woman’s right to determine her own reproductive health is bad? Or our right to unionize for better working conditions and better pay is bad? Also the right to safe, free or low- cost healthcare is bad? Our rights specified in the constitution for ALL Americans(not just the white wealthy minority) are bad? Our right to vote in a safe environment without intimidation is bad? Honestly, I’m hoping that somehow either more revelations coming out about the premeditated coup attempt naming high level republican participation or actual indictments against tRump and his inner circle will wake Americans up. Because we cannot go on as a functioning democracy until voters reverse the damage by the anti democracy party.

Expand full comment

It is worth noting that when Republicans come up with a message, it becomes mantra-like and is repeated with robot-like consistency thus giving the impression of "truthiness". Democrats, on the other hand, are criticized for their inability to formulate a unified message, because they may be actually trying to offer possible solutions to real problems thus giving the impression of confusion and indecisiveness. Pragmatism seeks to find something that will work, whereas the Republican approach, whatever its philosophical foundation, seeks to make "reality" conform to some preconceived dogma from which any deviation is considered heresy.

If your primary constituency is the "morbidly rich" crating policies to satisfy them is not difficult. If your primary constituency is everybody else, with their plethora of issues, policy making is far more challenging.

Expand full comment
Sep 27, 2022·edited Sep 27, 2022

I like the fact that this is a good point-by-point list that can be passed on to those who may need convincing.

Expand full comment
Sep 30, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

AMEN, THOM! Brilliant recall of the truth in recent history! Nobody says it as profoundly as you, Thom! God love ya! Xoxo

Expand full comment

If speech and specifically lies were money, this country would be the richest. It is actually number 8, just behind those socialists in Norway. Stating we are the richest is just another big lie often told and not corrected.

Thom is not out there in the wilderness, so many people are trying to speak truth to power and madness. It is working; it's just not working on the authoritarian conservatives (predictable outcome). Democracy and the jeopardy it's in is at the forefront of political discussions. We need to keep it there.

There is an excellent documentary on PBS to watch and pass-on. It's "FRONTLINE: Lies, Politics and Democracy". It was released 9/6/22 and it's free online. No lie---it really is FREE!

Expand full comment

I remember Thom saying that 21% of any set of humans will prefer authoritarianism to some extent.

My sister is in the cult. I can tell you EXACTLY why she is in the cult.

It's her personality. She is terrified of everything that she hasn't done herself, personally. She just cannot trust anything new. Trust is not even an option for someone she's known since birth. For example, she won't give me her children's contact info, or them mine, even though we both tell her it's fine. Don't ask me why not, I'm not a shrink. I work with whatI have.

Perhaps she's an extreme case, but she wouldn't grab a gun and attack the Capitol. She will say they were ANTIFA in disguise.

The cult says "just go along with everything we say and do, and we will protect you from everything you fear". They are singing her song.

I run into a LOT of people who spew the same psychosis, some worse, some not as bad, but if you look them in the eye, they ALL are lying. They would rather be called a cultist than admit they want a daddy. Remember Thom's 21% - they are them, or something like that.

I just thought of something. We can give them a daddy, and we won't require they pretend to believe fantasies. Daddy Joe, has a nice ring to it. Why isn't the Democratic Party trying to help the Democratic Party win, I cannot figure that out.

Expand full comment

Hey Thom. Your article clearly accuses tens of millions of people of being stupidly gullible or worse. The truth is that many on both sides don’t believe the lies offered by their leadership. They simply overlook the ridiculous political rhetoric that comes from their side of the aisle. They just believe their group of fabricators are better than the other side of fabricators. Our problems of immigration policies, law enforcement, issues of school reform, science surrounding gender issues, tech censorship, legalizing drugs, all come with rhetorical spin designed to persuade voters that one side offers true answers and the other side only offers lies about the issues.

But the deeper problem points us to how thought leaders like yourself necessarily rely on elementary binary terms to push the notion that the Right is full of deceit and rhetoric of the Left isn’t. This rhetoric perpetuates the Manichean understanding of our political convictions. We all get it, you believe the Right is evil and lie and the Left is Good and tells the truth. If you can keep the sides fighting and condemning each other, people will stay in their place and dutifully follow their partisan elites.

Living in Chicago, allows me to see how overwhelmingly effective this strategy works. The Democrat super majority in Chicago has been in total control for a century. Their voters overlook all the deceptions and massive failings of this majority. The voters seem not to care that its Democratic leadership remains 100% responsible for the social decay of the City. So your question can be applied to Illinoisans: Why do so many Chicagoans believe the lies pushed by the Democratic super majority? Of course the same could be asked of Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Baltimore, St. Louis, and New Orleans.

In 2019 the Chicago metropolitan area was ranked as the most corrupt U.S. city in a new report from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Since then the City has not gotten better. And no doubt the Democrat super majority stood right by the side of all those that have given the city this title. I understand the problems we have are overwhelming and complex. But leaders in our city use your similar rhetoric to dumb down the complexities. Whether espoused by the right or the left, this kind of rhetoric encourages the sides to demonize and hate their opponents. It does absolutely nothing except empower the sides to hate each other.

Thomas Sowell’s thoughts remind us why both parties believe the lies of their leadership. He writes: "No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems -- of which getting elected and re-elected are No. 1 and No. 2. Whatever is No. 3 is far behind".

Expand full comment

Goebbels's description from Wikipedia.

Joseph Goebbels, the head of Nazi Germany's Ministry of Propaganda.

Joseph Goebbels also put forth a theory which has come to be commonly associated with the expression "big lie". Goebbels wrote the following paragraph in an article dated 12 January 1941, sixteen years after Hitler first used the phrase. The article, titled "Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik" (English: "From Churchill's Lie Factory") was published in Die Zeit ohne Beispiel.

The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.[15]

Alleged quotation.

The following supposed quotation of Joseph Goebbels has been repeated in numerous books and articles and on thousands of web pages, yet none of them has cited a primary source. According to the research and reasoning of Randall Bytwerk, it is an unlikely thing for Goebbels to have said.[16]

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

Expand full comment

As usual, well-written and forcefully argued but it stops short of detailing what concrete steps are needed to revive independent American journalism. It needs to be thrust in their face how they are failing and how to fix it.

Expand full comment
Oct 6, 2022·edited Oct 6, 2022

Language acquisition and literacy educators in our primary, secondary, and collegiate schools teach a theory of emotionally driven behavior. This cognitive construct must be further assimilated by a student to understand and comprehend more advanced literary works. This neurolinguistic programming is also reinforced with a socially accepted reflexive stimulus-thought-emotion-act paradigm as professed in religion, psychology, law, and philosophy. The Republican propaganda machine makes full use of this animalistic reflexive cause and effect emotional process where thoughts stimulate emotions that drive behavior. But this is a false cognitive construct of a highly evolved and human cognitive-emotional re-processing mechanism where cognition, not emotion, precipitates the neurological and biochemical physiology that does drive behavior.

Emotions, as perception of physiological states of being, have evolved to guide, re-process, and re-construct cognitive behavior towards those thoughts and beliefs that feel good and empower the individual. The Republican propaganda machine relies on humanity’s ignorance and inability to re-process, re-structure, and re-organize one’s own internal thoughts, beliefs, and awarenesses towards joy, well-being, and success and rely on a person’s automatic, reflexive, and animalistic behavior response to blame their outside surrounding and observable reality as causal to their pain, suffering, and failure.

The Democrats are weak and ineffective in their efforts to combat the Republican propaganda because they are “educated” and have accepted the Ancient Greek philosophers' and today’s academic dissertations of emotional suffering, slavery, and vulnerability. The Democratic elite need to understand that emotional suffering, slavery, and vulnerability exists only when cognitively dwelling upon the lack or absence of that which is wanted, desired, or intended. With Democrats’ own messaging and educational efforts, these emotionally negative cognitive activities can be re-processed, re-structured, and re-developed into emotionally positive cognitions. A Republican constituent of emotional suffering, slavery, and vulnerability can be transformed, transmuted, and reinvented into a being of joy, freedom, and power with the imaginative, artistic, and creative mind necessary to fashion and manifest their wanted, desired, and intended world, reality, truth, and favored fortune. Or is that not the person the Democratic elite want from our educational institutions?

For more cognitive-emotional theories on positive human transformation see symbioticpsychology(dot)com.

Expand full comment

The elites own corporate media and that means every newspaper and television station and radio stations. The consolidation made possible by Ronald Reagan's people made this easy to do. So the "news" is from the wire services or a Bezos owner newpaper or a Murdoch media outlet or a Rush Limbaugh and even NPR is has been so financially emasculated that it now needs corporate sponsors to continue to broadcast. When a program is sponsored by Exxon Mobile or Chevron or the Sachlers it is going to have bias. What passes for balanced coverage is degrees of right wing religious propaganda.

Tell a lie enough times and it becomes part of the culture and is embedded into its history. Small wonder the ultra right is opposed to education that promotes critical thinking or reveals unpleasant aspects of the past.

Too many lies, like how America won WW I which was fought to protect American bankers' loans to the French and British or WW II where the Soviets did 80% of the fighting and were responsible for the surrender of Japan with their rapid invasion of Manchuria and Korea in August 1945, or the lies used to promote wars in Southeast Asia, Iran, Iraq, Central and South America, Africa, Yugoslovia, and the Middle East. If young people knew the truth even the annual expenditure of $1 billion for recruitment would not be enough to keep the military with enough cannon fodder.

Expand full comment

Thanks Thom, again. Exhausting.

Lies are cheap. Proving lies is expensive.

We can't stop lies, we have to stop liars.

Lies can get halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on . . . old saying, from the first years of the telegraph, the 'Victorian Internet.' Samuel Morse got a patent on it, 1840.

Even though lawful mechanisms to correct lies exist, they are outrageously slow and expensive.

Slander, libel, fraud, are all available. Slow. See Dominion v F*x

But shunning is the old tried and true method. Dangerous, easy to abuse and misuse. Felon? Don't have to hire. Accused in the news? Don't have to hire, don't have to invite to parties.

Our society, so called social platforms, our people need to demand sober, expert sourcing and assessments of claims. Not happening, yet. Potential -- Michael Moore has just posted a note highlighting that the movements referenced most often by traitors today have a long tradition: Losing.

Confederates? Losers. Klan? Losers. Fascists? Losers. Nazis? Losers. MAGAts? Losers - twice, 2016 and 2020. ( Decertify the election? 2016, right? )

Never lose sight that each of these movements caused horrendous, widespread, lasting death, loss, and damage. But they were losers, from the start. The South had everything they wanted. And then.

What we need in one large part, at least, is for the followers of these losers to finally do the zombie double take, and say, 'Hey! Those are zombies!' If any large fraction of the R base wakes up, any and every R candidate will suddenly be as toxic and unimaginable as they should have been to begin with.

There's nothing like a wave of social revulsion to put an end to a bad idea. ( and yes, good ones )

If someone asks, 'how do you know [Q morons] are lying?'

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 Mars Bars are *not* actually from Mars.

best luck to US -- b.rad

ps apologies for any repeats, predict I may commit same again

pps also, if you're looking for well funded documented and accomplished conspiracies of pedophiles, I shouldn't have to tell you to look in the planet wide Catholic church first, and then the Baptists, and then every remotely similar bastion of claimed righteousness and arbitrarily trusted and exalted individuals, *first*, before you start making sh*t up.

Expand full comment

I am have trouble getting signed into twitter to ask you IF any group or movement to rebuild the natural great basins and let nature move the water there instead of the oceans. It would also help with water reserves. Thank you for your time (all of you).

Expand full comment