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Author: Thom Hartmann

Becoming Unraveled: How a nation that was a beacon of freedom disintegrated from its own brutality

“Conservative” columnists in America are bemoaning how coarse, violent, and Third-World-ish the United States has become in the past 40 years. David Brooks, for example, comes right out and says “America is falling apart at the seams.” In that, he is largely quoting data from Matt Iglesias’ substack newsletter Slow Boring, where he wrote: “You’re seeing more killing, which is a subset of the increase in shooting, which in turn is a subset of the large increase in gun-carrying. But traffic deaths are also up. Unruly passenger incidents on airplanes have surged. Schools report more discipline and student safety...

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War on Voting: How a small but wealthy group seized control of our political system for their own profit

Our vote is the most important part of the American commons. The commons are those realms that we all own and jointly administer through our government. They include our air and water; our roads and skyways; the frequency spectrum we use for communication, radio, and television; our public school system; our military, police, and fire departments; the agencies we use to ensure the safety and quality of our food and medications; the systems and laws that keep people playing the game of business within legal boundaries; our jails and prisons; our oceans and public lands; and our social safety...

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Guarantee Clause: Buried in our Constitution for 232 years is an emergency mechanism to save Democracy

The Founders of this nation, and the Framers who wrote our Constitution, created as Ben Franklin famously said a constitutional republic: a government “deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed” through citizens’ right to vote. They referred to this as “republicanism” because it was based on the Greek and Roman republics (then thousands of years in the past but still remembered and idealized), and when put into law they called it “a Republican Form of Government.” Today that form of government in crisis in America, as that core right to vote that defines republicanism is under...

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Abandoning Democracy: A failure to pass meaningful voting rights will signal the death of our republic

Remember when the Biden presidency was brand new and Democrats in the House and Senate proposed a sweeping, $6 trillion package to rebuild our social safety net, cut drug prices, upgrade our infrastructure, rescue our students and elderly, and save the environment? As it was moving forward, a small group of Republicans and Democrats who call themselves the “corporate problem solvers caucus,” told us that if they could just peel off the parts that involved actual physical construction of infrastructure into a separate bill, they’d get it going right away without having to worry about the filibuster. The Democrats...

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Bankrupting American society: Why billionaires peddle the cultural lie of “rugged individualism”

December was full of messages pushing the spirit of giving on consumers, and reminding those who itemize their taxes that charitable 2021 deductions would vanish on December 31st. I found myself talking back to the TV and appeals by mail that crushed me over the holiday month. Why was a children’s hospital asking for money when every other developed country in the world finances pediatric research and pays the full cost of kids who need medical care? Why were dozens of charities helping homeless people when Finland — a country nowhere near as wealthy as America — has functionally...

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Lost Voting Rights: How a “slow motion insurrection” over 2021 has put fascism on the ballot for 2022

When fascism reared its ugly head in Europe and Japan in the 1920s, it signaled a coming war. As a newer and slicker form of that despotism rises here in America, it may well bring the same type of crisis. We stand on the threshold of momentous change in this nation. While it’s rarely discussed in this frame, the next two elections will almost certainly determine what form of government we’ll have for at least a generation. Will America become more free and democratic, or will we devolve into a 21st century form of Trumpy fascism? The Democratic Party...

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