"Trumpism" is just reinvented Reaganism with added brutality

Thom plus logo Grifter Trump stole Trumpism, just like everything else in his life

The king is dead; long live the [new] king.*

With today's transfer of power in Washington, DC, Trump isn't dead, but the best hope for the future of America and the world is that his political movement does, in fact, die an ignominious death.

Trump, of course, didn't create Trumpism; like pretty much everything else in his life, he stole it.

When Fred Koch poured his money into the John Birch Society to protest the Supreme Court's Brown v Board decision in 1954, helping fund billboards across America proclaiming that Chief Justice Earl Warren must be impeached, the scar of racism that was etched into our nation at our founding entered a new turning of our political cycles.

Richard Nixon picked up that banner with his 1968 Southern Strategy, and in the 1980s Ronald Reagan burned it into our national soul with policy after policy designed to disenfranchise, deny education or jobs, and keep healthcare, food and housing assistance away from Black people.

Trump was marinated in racial hatred by his father, who was once arrested at a Klan rally, and he spent his young years marking "C" for "Colored" on his dad's rental applications. As president, he turned white supremacy's hatred, horror and brutality into a new official policy, using the tools of government to intentionally inflict as much pain and violence as possible on Hispanic refugees and their children seeking asylum from rape and murder.

Thus, at this very moment, the vile private, for-profit prison industry he poured billions into is still running modern-day concentration camps for non-white refugees, and thousands of children tonight will cry themselves to sleep not knowing if they'll ever again see their parents.

When David Koch ran for President in 1980 on a platform of ending all free public education, giving Social Security to the big banks, banning unions, ending Medicare, and eliminating unemployment insurance, food stamps, and all forms of government assistance for those who'd fallen on hard times, he lost the election but his ideas were quickly picked up by Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party.

Reagan even kicked his campaign off with a speech near Philadelphia, Mississippi, where 3 civil rights workers were brutally murdered in 1964, then a very recent memory. His speech's theme was "States' Rights," code for maintaining legal racial segregation in America for over a century.

As President, Reagan put a man who'd called for the end of the Education Department, Bill Bennett, in charge of that very department; Trump's appointment of anti-public-schools crusader and billionaire Betsy DeVos to the same job was merely an echo of the 1980s policy positions of the party Reagan reinvented.

Bill Bennett would later restate the white supremacist policies of the 1950s in more modern, academic-sounding terms when, in 2006, he said, "If you wanted to reduce crime, you could - if that were your sole purpose - you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down."

When Nancy Pelosi called him on it, he replied, "We've got to have candor and talk about these things while we reject wild hypotheses." Riiiight.

Trump putting Eugene Scalia, a lawyer who spent much of his life helping corporations crush or keep out unions, in charge of the Labor Department, was an echo of Reagan putting Ray Donovan, a businessman with a somewhat less radical past but still no advocate for unions, in the same position.

Trump putting Ryan Zinke in charge of the Interior Department, where he promptly began selling off federal lands for pennies on the dollar to mining and drilling cronies, was just an echo of Reagan appointing James Watt to the same job.

When asked why he'd so quickly despoil public lands, Watt said Reagan hired him to "undo 50 years of bad government" and that "my responsibility is to follow the Scriptures which call upon us to occupy the land until Jesus returns."

It shouldn't surprise anybody that Trump put a coal lobbyist in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency, a military weapons lobbyist in charge of the Pentagon, a disgraced banker known as "The Foreclosure King" in charge of Treasury, and a Verizon lawyer/lobbyist in charge of the FCC. Reagan did largely the same.

He filled the senior ranks of department after department with lobbyists; after all, Saint Ronny told us that government was bad, so why not just take the opportunity to have some fun and make some profit looting the taxpayer's lands, air, water and treasury?

Trumpism, it turns out, isn't all that unique; Trump merely put a brutal and violent face on the putrid near-corpse of Reaganism. But retellings of Reaganism are still very much alive and well - and even revered - in today's Republican Party, particularly among the Donor Class.

Reaganism/Trumpism isn't dead yet.

President Joe Biden brings an opportunity for an American renewal, if he has the courage to stand up to what is still the GOP of Reagan, Bush and Trump.

In that, he's going to need all of our help.

*The saying, in various forms, dates back to 1272, when Henry III died, leaving his throne to crusader Edward I, and has been used for hundreds of years in numerous countries to mark the transfer of royal power.


Originally posted at thomhartmann.medium.com


napaeric's picture
napaeric 2 years 18 weeks ago

We, the USA, once again have a president, not a king.

We the people applaud and support our new president. I am proud to be a citizen.

I am very thankful for a peaceful transfer of the conrol of the USA.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 2 years 18 weeks ago

Yeah! So much for trump 'draining the swamp'

The trouble is 'individualism' versus ''collectivism'

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 2 years 18 weeks ago

napaeric - the king is GREED

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 2 years 18 weeks ago

Many folk are okay living alone as long they have a gun to defend against a perceived force

We are all ready to assist another in difficulty yet see this as individualism... not part of human life

Those who choose to lose their mind to the tv and stuff attach their to heart and thought to dumb influence

Riverplunge's picture
Riverplunge 2 years 18 weeks ago

No this insane, internal, US war is not over.

I hope that Biden lasts a while in the White House.

We could use peace for a while.

And maybe even have a few people who hate,

finally see the light, and realize they are being used.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 2 years 18 weeks ago

Okay you Trump supporting liberals. Enjoy it while lasts!

No doubt, the tons of photos of child molesting, pedophilia and recipe books for eating babies found by the patriotic Trump supporters when they captured the Capitol Building and searched the desks, offices and computers of liberal Democrats in the Congress and Senate, will be all that is needed to save Trump’s presidency.

What? Biden was inaugurated today!

Uh…never mind.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 2 years 18 weeks ago

Good riddance! Trump flew away today and disappeared into the clouds, dashing the hopes of his true believers. He leaves behind 30,573 lies, tens of millions of self-deluded individuals, and a divided nation. But at least it didn't take that long to disinfect the White House and clean up the Capitol. The Biden/Harris inauguration ceremonies looked really good on a beautiful winter day in the District of Columbia. So fck all the fake patriots and crazed, flag-waving insurgents!

The starry-eyed zealots believed deeply in this ridiculous, broken little man as some part of God's grand design or, let's be honest, as an extension of their own mortal schemes and scams. They loved Trump's racism, sexism, sadism, selfishness, and sense of entitlement and privilege because that is exactly who they are in their black, shriveled hearts, whether or not they admit it, whether or not they are proud of it.

In their vacant minds, the end justifies the means. So what is the grandiose wonderland in their fever dreams that could possibly justify such abhorrent behavior? Is it the hegemony of the white race, the Christian religion, and the wealthy few -- the exclusion of everyone else, all those heathens and nonbelievers? Or is it simply the fear of losing their dominant role, their phony status of superiority, their feeling of self-esteem?

Put another way, the great schism in our politics boils down to weak, petty individuals, just like Trump, who can't face themselves -- who they really are underneath all that outward bluster and indignation. As a shallow defense mechanism, they shamelessly project their psychological failings onto the rest of us. We become the impediment to the ultimate realization of their noble aspirations. We become the "other," the enemy.

The "healing and unity" they hypocritically preach about is on them not us. If they can't find it within themselves to mature and to admit they were duped by the "Big Lie," the world with all its other, more serious problems will move on, as it must. Inevitably, the short-lived Trump political movement will become just another obscure footnote in history as all his belly-aching malcontents gradually die out. By now, even their own kids are probably laughing at them or feeling ashamed, as they should.

Time marches on. Except for future academics or perhaps the occasional college sophomore searching for something weird to fill in an overdue term paper, who will ever remember or even care what all the fuss was about?

alis volat's picture
alis volat 2 years 18 weeks ago

Welcome home from Opposite World, we had a rough trip and visit there, but we are back here in a place "lit" with LEDs instead of gaslight.

Something President Biden said in his excellent speech was that he would level with us. I feel that he will try to do that. He makes mistakes, he learns, he grows. He is really good at "adulting".

And what did VP Harris say after exiting the limo? She was headed down the street and said something to the effect that she was walking to work. Just a bit later, there she was in the Senate working.

I have stood on the Capitol steps (legally), sat in the Senate gallery, visited The Archives and the monuments. Can a city have gravitas? The usual power buzzing around DC is palpable. Things are so different these pandemic days. So kudos to the inauguration organizers; visually it had a stark beauty. The music, poem, and tribute were all loving, elegant, and moving.

President Biden talked about there being enough of us to bring about the unity needed to repair what isn't working, help each other, and get moving. Exactly! The percentage that doesn't join in will be experiencing the future we build regardless. Are MAGA tears good for anything? How can we monetize them?

stopgap's picture
stopgap 2 years 18 weeks ago

Amen! Deepspace. “Self-deluded” being the key phrase. There had to be more than 30,573 lies though…but who could count’em all?

Legend 2 years 18 weeks ago

Trump pardoned another Campaign Manager, Steve Bannon. He did not pardon the others that are tied into the fraud charges with Bannon. He pardoned several other crooks. But, he did not pardon any of his storm terrorists that he had attack the Capitol Building. They face years in prison. Ruined lives. They were nothing but pawns to him. Sacrificed for his own ego. Hope that they dig a lot deeper into this. Several of his Campaign Staffers were organizers of the insurrection. More will come out. Don Jr and Rudy were just as guilty of inciting the insurrection. None of the family or Rudy got pardons.

The 4 years that I literally counted down every day is finally over. Trumpsters will slowly realize how stupid they were. In some cases, very slowly.

cuz's picture
cuz 2 years 18 weeks ago

Thom, I was wondering how you would handle your blog on inauguration day.

Yesterday was the "out with the old and in with the new" day and instead of rejoicing and embracing the complete democratic control of Congress, you revert to the same old anti-republican rhetoric you have been pumping out for years. It's like you are caught in a time warp.

Your dire multiple predictions of Trump refusing to leave the White House and thousands of heavily armed white people storming state capitols all over the country, dominating the unarmed military presence, and totally destroying Washington DC fell flat on its face.

Instead, once again America was treated to Portland, and Seattle being looted and burned including federal property and of all places, the DNC headquarters just because a few radical leftist groups were unhappy over Biden actually winning the election. WTF?

Deciphering your column, I can only conclude you fall out of the 74 million people that were unhappy over President Trump leaving office and the 80 million people that were enjoying watching the New President Biden being inaugurated, and instead, you choose to join the few hundred violent anarchists that are just generally unhappy with everything in general.

That last group, be they on the left or right, should immediately seek professional counseling.

Thom, you are better than that. Cleansing breaths, it is long past time to unwind and embrace the big win.

Legend 2 years 18 weeks ago

Why are your posts always so negative and telling Thom what he should do?

SueN's picture
SueN 2 years 18 weeks ago

I haven't seen today's blog yet, but since Thom did some blogs over new year and is now doing 7 articles days a week, and the newsletter is only 5 days a week and not holidays, I have a backlog of blogs to upload, most of which date from before the inauguration.

So don't be surprised to see some with pre-inauguration tones and blame Thom. If you don't subscribe to Medium.com, you can check the day of publication over at HartmannReport if you are interested.

cuz's picture
cuz 2 years 18 weeks ago

Thank you, Sue, I will do that. Beating a dead horse does nothing to improve the state of the country. Time to look forward to better things and stop the divisiveness that has plagued the country for the last twelve years.

vetinla's picture
vetinla 2 years 18 weeks ago

Let's all hope the Biden/Harris admin. can deliver some benefits the workers really need, like peace, healthcare, green jobs, to name but a few. Most of all, we the people need truth about who and what this nation is, and how it treats most of the globe in its persuit of ever increasing wealth.

Admitting we're an empire would be a good start.

900+ military bases around the globe, and we're supposed to fear China and Russia, or whoever is the villian of the day is.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Never one to shy away from the truth, Thom Hartmann’s collected works are inspiring, wise, and compelling. His work lights the way to a better America."
Van Jones, cofounder of RebuildTheDream.com and author of The Green Collar Economy
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a creative thinker and committed small-d democrat. He has dealt with a wide range of topics throughout his life, and this book provides an excellent cross section. The Thom Hartmann Reader will make people both angry and motivated to act."
Dean Baker, economist and author of Plunder and Blunder, False Profits, and Taking Economics Seriously