New "With Democrats Things Get Better" Now - Ready for Viewing and Discussion (3/21/23)
This new recording from Tuesday, March 21st includes new data, analysis and a lively community discussion. Enjoy!
Friends, if you didn’t join us earlier today for the live presentation, I hope you will watch this new “With Democrats Things Get Better” we just released (above or on my YouTube channel). So much of my own thinking and commentary flows from the data, arguments and insights from With Dems. Consider it a Hopium Chronicles orientation presentation - your homework assignment for the week. And as it is new and updated each time I show it so even if you saw it a few months ago it’ll be fresh, full of new insights and data. It is a living presentation, new with each monthly showing.
If you enjoy With Dems please consider sharing it with your networks and encourage people to join us here at Hopium Chronicles. The water is warm, and the community lively, passionate, loud and informed!
This presentation was originally called “Patriotism and Optimism,” and was built from an essay I wrote in June, 2017, “The Case for Optimism: Rejecting Trump’s Poisonous Pessimism.” As you will see, this essay and that early deck were where I first really started exploring what we are now calling Hopium:
But it is the premise of this essay that while America has very real challenges, somehow the positive side of the nation’s balance sheet — and there is a lot there — has been recklessly ignored in our national discourse. It is my contention that contrary to the claims of our President, America hasn’t lost its greatness, and that by many historical measures there has never been a better time in all of America history to be alive. Certainly better than the Great Depression, or when we held millions of slaves in cruel bondage, or when kids worked and didn’t go to school, or before there was a minimum wage or a social safety net, or when little black kids and little white kids couldn’t drink from the same water fountain, or when hundreds of thousands were dying in Vietnam, or a Cold War could lead to nuclear annihilation at any moment? Or when sky high interest rates prevented us from buying homes, or women couldn’t vote or work or pursue their dreams, or when OPEC decided to punish America, forcing us to wait in lines for hours just to buy gas? Or especially, my Republican friends, when Ronald Reagan was President and the unemployment rate never dipped below 5.3?
Which brings us to Trump. So much of what he is doing flows from the argument that America isn’t managing this new age of globalization well but being defeated by it. It is the rationale behind stripping health care from tens of millions, dismantling common sense environmental regulations, and getting out of the Paris climate deal and TPP; behind his harsh new immigration enforcement and criminal justice policies; behind his dancing with dictators and distancing himself from democracies. And of course, the data above suggests that this argument — the entire rationale for Trump’s Presidency — just isn’t true. Not even close. Things are far better than he says, or perhaps, understands.
As I write in my welcome message, part of the reason I created Hopium Chronicles is that I’ve become convinced a central strategy of Greater MAGA is to pump unending negative sentiment into our discourse. Trump and his allies want us to feel bad about America, our democracy, our institutions, our leaders, ourselves, each other. This poisonous pessimism is who they are, their central reason for being, and we need to learn how to better counter it. That’s why we are here - to (counter and) defeat MAGA, tell our story more effectively and ensure freedom and democracy prevail. This presentation is a comprehensive effort to help us tell our story more effectively.
Hope you enjoy it. It’s among the most important things I’ve ever done. And let’s talk about it here in the comments section, below. Anxious to get your feedback - Simon