Saturday, May 21, 2016

What Rightwingers & Libertarians Mean When They Use The Words "Freedom" & "Liberty" (Thom Hartmann Rant #9)

The following is an excerpt from the 5/19/2016 airing of the Thom Hartmann Radio Program (edited for brevity and clarity by me). Thom briefly shares his thoughts on the abuse and misappropriation of words in the English language (prompted by a remark from a caller... which I have excised).

Thom: The words that I think are most abused are "freedom" and "liberty". These are words that have been appropriated by the Far Right to mean, basically, the freedom and liberty of the billionaire class... to do whatever they damn well please. [While] the rest of us are free to die like dogs in the gutter. If lose our jobs, if we lose our health insurance [there should be no social safety net programs there to help us]. I'm aghast at how these words have been appropriated by the [Right and by] Libertarians.

Taxing rich people to pay for government programs that benefit us all represents a "morally untenable position". Yes, people in the middle class (as well as those who qualify as the working poor) pay taxes, but much of the burden falls on the wealthy. Boo-hoo for them. That they make a majority of the money and therefore pay the majority of the taxes is so sad. They (rich folks) need the freedom to do with "their money" as they please.

Large corporations also need the freedom and liberty to pay low wages or export jobs to low wage countries (and import goods manufactured in these countries sans tariffs). Which is why the Koch brothers founded the Cato Institute (originally the Charles Koch Foundation) and consider themselves to be Libertarian (OST #61).

But the truth is that, if you "pull up libertarianism's floorboards, look beneath the surface... you'll start to get a sense of its purpose". Which is to serve the interests of the billionaire class. (The True History of Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda).

This is something that Libertarianism and the modern Republican party have in common... freedom and liberty for the rich man... and serfdom for the poor man ("right to contract" in Conservative doublespeak).

SWTD Tags: Libertarianism, Thom Hartmann.

DSB #44


  1. Liberty and freedom. I prefer, and will continue to assign Webster's definition to them. Not the twisted definition Hartman (a dude I never listen to) apparently believes the majority of conservatives and Libertarians assign to the concepts.

    1. Thom Hartmann is absolutely correct. Many Conservatives and Libertarians DO define Liberty and Freedom as he states. As for RN, I've read much on his blog that suggests he does not share their view. Although (as far as I know), he plans on voting for that fraud Gary Johnson. Gary is someone who aligns himself with the far Right. And (by his words and actions) has proven he is opposed to poor people voting. Because it diminishes the freedom and liberty of those in the wealthy class.

  2. A vote for any third party candidate is the same as not voting at all. A third party candidate will never win the presidency.

    1. Gary Johnson knows he can't get elected. The only reason he runs is because he believes he can influence the conversation. His goal? More "freedom" and "liberty" (as defined by Thom Hartmann in my post).

  3. Perhaps, perhaps not. I will continue to accept the proper definition of the concepts regardless.

    My hope is an independent party springs up that pulls many voted from Drumpf. He represents the greatest current threat to our democratic republic. Perhaps to the world in general.

    As for whom I might cast my vote. It will most definitely not be Drumpf. Beyond that? Leaving my options open for now. One clue, I will vote for the candidate that is not HRC yet who represents the best opportunity for spoiling the Drumpf bid. There is more but I leave that for you to "toy" with.


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