Welcome friends. Excited about this new home. Ready to get going!

Though I’ve been in politics for a long time, my journey fighting the “red wave” over the past year changed my understanding of the work that needs to get done to defeat MAGA, tell our inspiring story more effectively, and ensure that freedom and democracy prevail.

Basically I came to understand that our politics was changing and I had to change with it. It led me to conclude that my old organization, NDN, which I founded back in 1996, was no longer the right vehicle for me. It did a lot of good over a long period of time, and we built a remarkable community there. As I discuss in my recent interview with Ron Brownstein in the Atlantic, I feel like we are entering a new political era in America, one that requires new strategies and approaches. NDN was built for a different era, and it had a different mission. I needed to do something new, organize my work in new ways. So here I am. With all of you.

I am calling it Hopium Chronicles because I want this to be a journey guided by hope and optimism, of belief in ourselves, in love of country and a clear understanding of the nature of the conflict we are in. I have become convinced that part of Greater MAGA’s strategy is to intentionally poison our discourse with negative sentiment every day. They want us to feel bad about America, our democracy, our leaders, our institutions, our success, each other, ourselves. We cannot let them do that any more. While they talk American down every day, we need to talk it up. While they spread lies, we respond with truth and data. Hopium is a rejection of the darkness they are trying to spread. It is a way of standing up for our great country and its remarkable people. It is the key to how we win.

By subscribing to Hopium Chronicles you will get be able to participate in all this work. Paid subscribers will get more time with me and my merry friends, provide funding for this critical work, and be able to connect with other members of the community to compare notes, devise strategies and plot victories. You will get at least one discussion with me every week and paid subscriber only content. Founding Members will become early major investors in ensuring this new project can become what we all want it to be. If it all goes right we can become a powerful learning community, of people wanting to become more effective defenders of democracy and everything that has made America great. All in all I am really excited about this powerful platform Substack has built and am ready to get going!

There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about our politics now. Democrats had a very good election in 2022, our third good election in a row. President Biden has been a good President, and America is far better off today. The Democratic Party is strong, our rising generation of leaders is ready and our grassroots is bigger and more effective then its ever been. Putin has stumbled in Ukraine, and the climate package passed by Congress last year has dramatically accelerated the global pace of decarbonization.

But we also know that MAGA remains too much of a threat, and we have a lot of work to do. This place and our community of proud patriots and info warriors is going to be about doing that work, bravely, passionately, successfully. A few of the things we will be working on in the coming months:

  • working to make sure the economy stays strong, President Biden’s big 3 bills survive GOP sabotage, and the war in Ukraine is successful

  • more effectively telling our story, and winning the big economic argument with the right

  • finding new ways to get louder and counter the right’s information superiority

  • exploring strategies for expanding our coalition, get to 55% in national elections

We will also be spending time with important leaders of our party and the broader pro-democracy community. I will be showcasing some of the remarkable groups and people I’ve met during my journey over the past year. And we will be picking a few really important candidates to raise money for and hang out with.

So let’s get going. I have some idea how this is all going to go but I hope all of you will not be shy and help me turn this into a place where you love hanging out, do some good, share some Hopium, and together defeat MAGA and ensure that freedom and democracy prevail, here and everywhere.

Excitingly yours, Simon

Washington, DC - March 7, 2023

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Expert commentary from a 30-year veteran of US politics. Here at Hopium we work on strategies to defeat MAGA, tell our story more effectively, and ensure freedom and democracy prevail. Expect sharp analysis, live events, and all sorts of Hopium!


Veteran Political Analyst, Strategist and Commentator. 2 Presidential campaigns (incl Clinton War Room), senior roles at DNC, DCCC, NDN. One of the only ones who got 2022 right. On Substack at Hopium Chronciles.