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Ralph welcomes Washington Post columnist, Dana Milbank, who draws a direct line from Newt Gingrich’s ascendency to Speaker of the House in 1994 to the January 6th insurrection in his book “The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five Year Crack-Up of the Republican Party.” Plus, a new Capitol Hill Citizen is out!

Dana Milbank is a political columnist for The Washington Post, whose work is syndicated nationally. He has also been a contributor to CNN and MSNBC, and he is the author of the books Homo PoliticusTears of a Clown, and O Is for Obama. His latest book is The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five Year Crack-Up of the Republican Party.


The whole philosophy of Trumpism is to frighten the white, largely male, largely non-college-educated Americans and to frighten them into thinking they are going to be replaced. That they are going to be pushed aside, marginalized, and even made to disappear by immigrants and by racial minorities…. They’re voting in extraordinarily high numbers, and that’s because they are motivated by fear.

Dana Milbank, author of The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five Year Crack-Up of the Republican Party


I think the important question is less, “Is Trump in control of the party?” than, “Is Trumpism in control of the party?” Because whether it’s Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis, I don’t think it matters that much. If DeSantis is following the same politics of white nationalism and mass disinformation that we’ve seen from Trump, they’re just continuing to go in that same direction.

Dana Milbank, author of The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five Year Crack-Up of the Republican Party


Remember, Trump started an election fraud commission that amounted to nothing. But the “Big Lie” of 2020/2021 that has gripped the party right now is rooted in all of those other lies, the constant attacks on the truth, the constant attacks on the media, and this conditioning to distrust everything.

Dana Milbank, author of The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five Year Crack-Up of the Republican Party


One thing that is missing is any rebuttal by the Democrats [to dirty Republican tactics]… And that’s because the Democrats are very bad at rebuttals, and they’re very bad at slogans and nicknames. The mass media…would repeat in 2016—verbatim— the slanderous epithets that Donald Trump hurled against his opponents. Republican and Democrat, alike…But they never ask the accused to rebut— sort of an unfair practice in journalism.

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 444 Transcript (Right click to download)


  1. Don Harris says:

    It is both amusing and distressing when people that buy into the Real Big Lie talk about other people buying into Trump’s Big Lie.

    The Real Big Lie is that the Deathocrats and Republikillers are opposition parties in a two party duopoly. There is only one Big Money Party with two divisions to create the illusion of a choice. It is similar to major league baseball. The American and National leagues are technically two separate leagues, but both are controlled by MLB.

    The Deathocrats and Republikillers are technically two separate parties, but both are controlled by Big Money.

    You talk about how Trump supporters cannot be reached yet you seem to be just as unreachable when it comes to the Real Big Lie and how citizens can fight back by demanding small donor candidates and enforcing that demand with their votes.

    If you won’t allow yourself to be reached by me, then at least try listening to yourself as you have said many times that politicians want our votes more than big money.

    The only way to find out if your claim about politicians is true is for citizens to demand small donor candidates and enforce that demand with their votes.

    The vast majority of citizens will be voting in 2022 in congressional and senate races that were decided in the primaries or will not vote because the election was already decided in the primaries or they see no point in choosing between two Big Money candidates.

    Just 10 % of voters in 2022 made up of citizens that would not be voting or would be voting for a big money candidate that cannot win the general election (Democrat voters in districts gerrymandered for Republikillers, Republican voters in districts gerrymandered for Deathocrats) using a write in vote to register a vote against the Big Money candidates would create and demonstrate the demand for small donor candidates and change the dynamic of the false choice between big money candidates in 2024.

    It’s your choice, Ralph. The Big Lie or the Big Try.

    If you want to inspire more citizen activists you will need a reason to make them active. Ignoring those citizens that are trying to be active by putting your theory on politicians into action will not accomplish the goal of making more citizens active.

    • Wendyyona NooN says:

      I believe Trump has been studiously watching CARL ROVE. Rove used to enter the Room 4 ARGUMENT
      with A WHEEL TRAY OF index cards. Of
      Course, 80% were blanks.

  2. Dale West says:

    Former South Dakota Governor William Janklow successfully used repetitive outrageous lies, racism, red-baiting and frivolous law suits to destroy the media & political opponents like US Senator George McGovern. Janklow’s tactics effectively destroyed the Democratic party in South Dakota which frequently seems to be a critical test bed/incubator for the national Republican party agenda.

  3. John Puma says:

    Re the implication that ONLY the GOP is responsible for US “criminal wars of aggression” in your continued effort to protect the Democratic Party: you have conveniently “forgotten,” roughly chronologically,
    1) Yugoslavia
    2) WJ Clinton’s slavish perpetuation of the Bush-I sanctions on Iraq – the resultant deaths of a half-million children having been deemed “worth it” by his Sec. State
    3) Afghanistan war for which the Dem congressional caucus recorded ONE vote of opposition
    3a) Establishment of drone warfare as world’s MOST effective (if maximally cowardly) terrorist recruitment “tool” … created by Nobel Peace Laureate, Obumma
    4) Libya (“inspired” by HR Clinton), actuated by Nobel Peace Laureate, as immediate above
    5) Syria, see Nobel Peace Prize Laureate #3a), above
    6) NO resistance nor discussion of “plausibly deniable” assistance to medieval monarchy of Saudi Arabia for its genocidal war in Yemen
    7) recent restarting of the destruction of Somalia
    8) ditto Ethiopia
    9) 2014 Maidan coup (same Nobel Laureate) as prelude to successful payoff (Feb’22) of constant provocation of Russia — after its 30 years of repeated and clear warning to halt NATO expansion, including totally ignoring of a draft treaty submitted by Russia in Dec 2021 that outlined its security concerns and requirements
    10) duplication of the provocation program of #9 by Speaker Pelosi who decided to up the ante for Obumma’s “pivot to Asia” by giving China a sharp, political poke in the eye.

    Please don’t insult your non-MAGA listener(s) as the mindless fools you imply the MAGAs to be!

    Apparently you need to be reminded that merely, and almost continuously, reveling in the easily seen, well documented faults of Republicans does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to deal effectively with the Democrats … and only gives them cover to continue as if you’ve given them a rosy vote of confidence.

    • Skro35 says:

      Who are you referring to?

      • John Puma says:

        To Skro35: You can address my comment of Sept 11, 6:15 am to: Ralph Nader Radio Hour, Dept of Policy and Programming.

        Ditto this comment: When will the Ralph Nader Radio Hour assess the advisability of THE media outlet of the US Capital, the Washington Post, being owned by a person with other business interests operating with contracts from the CIA, worth twice as much (last time publicly reported) as the price he paid for the Post? (I realize that the RNRH program having had 2 WaPo columnists in the last for editions[???], means that this assessment has very little possibility of being made!)

        I was surprised and delighted to hear that Michael Hudson will be on the show next week. If it was a result of my suggestion (or even if NOT) … consider now inviting onto the show Chris Hedges to counter the inconsequential, at best, Mr Milbank.

  4. Erica Arborea says:

    Hello Ralph,

    Please look up the meaning of “hoi polloi” — and thanks

  5. Elizabeth Axtell says:

    No where in this discussion with Dana Milbank, was there any mention of the increasing number of American voters registering as independents. In my state of North Carolina, the number of voters registered as independents (unaffiliated) is larger than the number of democratic registered voters and the number of republican registered voters. I am an unaffiliated registered voter.

  6. Judy Jensvold says:

    I appreciate much of Dana Milbank pointed out, but I think he is wrong on why there is fear (or as he also termed it “paranoia”) of replacement among non-college educated white males. Dane Milbank is ignoring some facts that illustrate why their fear is not irrational and is not paranoia and, sadly, why they can be misled by MAGA lies.

    #1 Native workers in a number of fields have seen themselves or their children replaced by immigrant labor since the 1970s. Philip Cafaro writes in his book, “How Many is Too Many? The Progressive Argument for Reducing Immigration into the U.S.,” that about 3 decades ago the construction industry in Colorado was almost all native born workers. By 2015 immigrant workers ranged from 50% to 70% of the total construction workforce in northern Colorado. That is just one actual, experienced replacement that native-born workers in the construction industry have lived or are living.

    #2 The gospel of the political parties and pundits for a long time was how Democrats would benefit by gaining the huge number of votes they were going to get from the growing Latino population. One idea, not adopted, after Romney lost in 2012 was that the GOP should be more diverse. It was said the Democrat’s diversity gave them a lock on the Latino vote. Then after the 2020 election the political and pundit class expressed surprise that Latinos are not a unified voter bloc! They are Cubans as well as Venezuelan or Mexicans, and so forth.They all did not vote Democratic! So, for some time the message of the politicians and the media was the given that Latinos voters would indeed replace white voters as they died or were increasingly outnumbered in some congressional districts.

  7. Don Harris says:

    Your recent blog on is very disappointing as it is based on the Real Big Lie mentioned in my previous comment. It really should be called

    The Deathocrats do not want to win in November. Their ineptitude is by design as it is their job to provide a false alternative to the Republikillers in a good cop/ bad cop routine designed to manipulate their bases while both halves of the one Big Money Party work together for the big money interests instead of ordinary citizens.

    You repeat that Deathocrats need to start returning calls from the citizen community yet you still have not made good on your statement on Washington Journal (10-24-2-018) that you would have me on the Radio Hour to discuss One Demand or at least responded to my calls for an in-depth discussion with you on this approach to getting big money out of our political process by organizing citizens to demand small donor candidates and enforce that demand with their votes.

    If citizens keep voting for big money candidates we will keep getting big money legislators.

    Replacing big money Republikillers with big money Deathocrats does nothing to remove the plutocrats and oligarchs from “being in full charge of our state and federal governments”.

    And it’s not climate violence- it’s the War on Habitat.