We can all sense that our country is in trouble.  For thirty years we’ve lived alongside a cable “news” network that has spewed lies and distortions, selling character assassination and fear for profit.  For thirty years we’ve tolerated AM radio lunatics shrieking the most vile, disgusting conspiracy theories and hateful, race-baiting, homophobic, misogynistic drivel. And now three decades of hate, fear and propaganda have delivered their inevitable spawn to the White House, Donald Trump.

It’s easy to dismiss Trump as an aberration and to imagine that his attacks on our press and our institutions are hollow and surmountable, that the damage he is doing can be undone by the next president.  But if you read one thing this month, read this article in Salon by Thom Hartmann titled “How republics die.”  Here are some excerpts:

A republic is dying when the price of political activism becomes so high that the only people willing to engage in it are also willing to kill or die for their positions. But before the physical killing and dying happens, first comes financial and political killing and dying.

When politicians are terrified that the wrong statement or vote will lose them their political and financial patrons — or could even get them thrown in jail or killed—they cease to be players in a republican democratic drama, and instead become sycophants to and enablers of the plutocrats who have the actual political power, even though they don’t hold office.

This is the position elected members of the Republican Party find themselves in today relative to the billionaires and industries that own them, and the white supremacists and religious zealots they’ve invited in as allies; the future of our democratic republican form of government will depend on whether they continue to encourage this poison, or reject it.

Please read the full article here:

https://www.salon.com/2019/05/26/how-republics-die_partner/

It’s a concise, tour-de-force analysis of our current political moment, and makes a clear argument for viewing Trump, and Trumpism, as a lethal threat to our democracy.  As he notes so profoundly,

The death of a republic is different from the death of a nation.

Hartmann gives a list of signs that a democracy is in trouble, and to see in black and white the things Trump has been doing on that list is alarming and sobering.

Trump is becoming a tyrant, but only because he’s supported by a fearful and feckless GOP that sold its soul to greedy plutocrats like the Koch Brothers and the Mercers and the DeVos family and the Murdochs and Adelson.  The game has always been amassing and keeping money by whatever means necessary, at least since Ronald Reagan began demonizing the government to keep the spotlight off of the corporations who were slowing taking control and concentrating wealth.  So until we get corporate and plutocrat money out of politics our democracy will face an existential threat, most notably in the person of our current president.

Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

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