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Thom Hartmann: How To Handle Trump

Ralph talks to progressive broadcaster, Thom Hartmann, about how to respond to a malignant narcissist, who also happens to be the President of the United States.

Thom Hartmann is live daily from noon-3 PM ET on commercial radio stations all across the United States, on nonprofit stations via the Pacifica Network, and on channel 127 of the Sirius XM Satellite radio network. Talkers Magazine ranks Mr. Hartmann as the #1 progressive talk show host in America. He is also a four-time Project Censored– award-winning and New York Times best-selling author of 24 books in print, including The Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America. His latest is The Hidden History of Guns and the Second Amendment.

“To go back to what they taught me in psychotherapy school, when confronted with a bully, kick him in the nuts. I really think this is what the Democrats need to be doing. They need to be going at Donald Trump with everything they have, and just calling him a racist is nowhere near enough. He’s also a criminal. He’s also a thief, and has been throughout his life. He’s a rapist. And that’s fairly well documented. These are words that really need to be attached to him, particularly if he’s going to do things like telling the four women – the so-called ‘Squad,’ to go back to the countries they came from. And it was clear he was talking to all four of them. And he and Lindsey Graham are going to call them communists and all this kind of crap. It’s really time to bring the war into his face. ” Thom Hartmann, host of The Thom Hartmann Program


RALPH NADER RADIO HOUR EP 280 TRANSCRIPT (Right click to download)


  1. Mark Hughes says:

    Good podcast. When Hartmann & Ralph were talking about the Republican Party primary candidates being afraid of Trump pillorying them, the way I look at it is the GOP deserves every ounce of Trump. Since Nixon’s southern strategy (as they pointed out), this party has allied themselves with, well, the Deplorables. Basically with southern Fascists, which 40+ years ago was a superfluous term. The GOP went to bed with dogs, now they got fleas. I have no sympathy for the them. While the countless failures of the Clinton Democrats opened the door specifically for this game show host with a raccoon on his head, the fact is the Republicans created this kind of political Frankenstein long ago by embracing buffoons like Rush Limbaugh and Christian hypocrites like Mark Sanford in addition to their fascist voting base. Not to mention revering those like Strom Thurmond & Jesse Helms. This was destined to happen, they deserve every bit of this.

    If Trump ends up declining any and all debates with the Democratic candidate, as Hartmann predicts, AND he gets elected anyway, then the office of President then becomes a tyrant in an official sense and, outside of an Electoral College or Supreme Court intervention, becomes a mandated one as well. Then we’ll all be 2 minutes to midnight for a true Nazi ideologue to come about.

    • mishka says:

      Not only requires flash, even when enabled, it displays unsecured site, and after displaying 3 images, it indicates “loading” without any content. After 5 minutes I had to close the window.

  2. Bruce K. says:

    Right now, I think that the best Democratic candidate to face Trump would be Elizabeth Warren. She knows the issues better than anyone on either side of the debate and she is articulate, on point and can think very quickly on her feet. I was for Bernie Sanders, and still support him, but I think Warren could repeatedly nail and pummel Trump with a “Reaganesque” strategy of “there you go again Mr. Trump” you are wrong, or you are makiing things up, or you are going off-point. She knows how to appeal to the midwesterners like the stern Mom persona, and the coasts with her command of the facts and her well thought-out plans.

    What I don’t think helps of changes anything are these constant name-calling of Trump as fascist, racist, rapist, and all the others. The more you make him the villain, the more attention he gets and the more appealing he is. Stab him in his competence. Stab him in his appointments. There are tons of books out there that explain how Trump has been hacking at government by the appointment of incompetents. Stab him in his lies and hypocrisies … “health care so good it will make your head spin, it will be better, less expensive and cover everyone” – no. Go back and look at the companies he said will maintain jobs in the US and show the reality of that. It just takes fact after fact and a command of them and the guts to speak out. Warren is better at that than even Bernie Sanders.

    Hearing Hartmann talking about the role of the VP candidate, it seemed immediately apparent to me that Kamala Harris is not running for President, she is trying to appeal to someone to choose her as VP. I don’t think this is the way to go. I look at both Warren and Biden and see one person who is not a team player and who viciously, pointlessly and invalidly attacked another Democrat, Joe Biden, and Joe Biden who just sat there like a spaced out zombie and did not react. Of the two I think Biden was more appropriate, but Biden cannot do that with Trump. Both Biden and Harris disqualified themselves to me in that exchange – though I will vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is in the general.

    • Joseph says:

      Ha ha, bring Warren on she won’t have a chance against Trump…Keep America Great…

      • Bruce K. says:

        > Keep America Great…

        Seems to mean you do not know any more about the facts, history or issues than Trump … and worse, do not want to find out. You just want entertainment value that validates your poison view of the world.

        I happen to think it would be very easy for Warren to hack Trump down to his tiny view of the world and expose his ignorance on the facts. Maybe read Michael Lewis’ “The Fifth Risk” to find out what you do not want to know about Trump, but that would ruin your reality sooner than Trump will.

  3. Anon Moose says:

    Proud 8channer here, we’re not all nasty racists. 8ch has a federated forum structure where each forum has its own owner, free to moderate how they please, and the website itself is staunchly committed to free speech. Due to these things, while 8ch does indeed have a few Nazi echo chambers, it ALSO has places where these imbeciles get strong pushback, including one of the best forums for Leftist politics discussion on the whole internet. The great thing about anonymous discussion forums is that with identity gone and all the logical fallacies that predicate on it, debate becomes solely focused on the quality of the arguments presented. Those not particularly internet-savvy have made out image boards as a spooky boogeyman since their inception, but if you have skin thick enough to handle the banter you can have some very rewarding conversations on them.

    • Bruce K. says:

      It is at least somewhat true that one is known by the company they keep or where they invest their energies. No one who is not a “nasty racist” has skin thick enough to make conversation with the people, and I use the term loosely, on these kinds of sites, and they have invaded and poisoned most other discussion on other websites. It is clear these types of people are throwbacks to those who do not understand and cannot accept the idea civilization, yet who civilization has protected and allowed to survive and prosper under itself. What kind of people are blind to this idea, and do they really deserve to be preserved and protected. After the Civil War instead of breaking up the Confederacy as the Allies did with Germany and Japan after, this organization was allowed to survive and even prosper until it is now a threat. Even after WWII and all that happened we still have fascists who never learned, and on the other side fools who think that good triumphs over evil without hard work.

      > ALSO has places where these imbeciles get strong pushback

      The rule on these websites is that anyone not towing the line is attacked by the regulars, and that statement is reversed in their minds … anyone who gets strong pushback is treated as an imbecile.

  4. Bruce K. says:

    I went to the website “” and the first thing they demand without displaying ANYTHING, is that I enable Flash. Why can’t they either present their information without forcing people to look at it with a known insecure app, or provide a non-Flash website.

    Here is the security section of the Wikipedia page on Flash:

    Adobe security bulletins and advisories announce security updates, but Adobe Flash Player release notes do not disclose the security issues addressed when a release closes security holes, making it difficult to evaluate the urgency of a particular update. A version test page allows the user to check if the latest version is installed, and uninstallers may be used to ensure that old-version plugins have been uninstalled from all installed browsers.

    In February 2010, Adobe officially apologized[139] for not fixing a known vulnerability for over a year. In June 2010 Adobe announced a “critical vulnerability” in recent versions, saying there are reports that this vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild against both Adobe Flash Player, and Adobe Reader and Acrobat.[140][141] Later, in October 2010, Adobe announced[142] another critical vulnerability, this time also affecting Android-based mobile devices. Android users have been recommended to disable Flash or make it only on demand.[143] Subsequent security vulnerabilities also exposed Android users, such as the two critical vulnerabilities published in February 2013[144] or the four critical vulnerabilities published in March 2013,[145] all of which could lead to arbitrary code execution.

    Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report[146] states that a remote code execution in Adobe Reader and Flash Player[147] was the second most attacked vulnerability in 2009. The same report also recommended using browser extensions to disable Flash Player usage on untrusted websites. McAfee predicted that Adobe software, especially Reader and Flash, would be primary target for attacks in 2010.[148] Adobe applications had become, at least at some point, the most popular client-software targets for attackers during the last quarter of 2009.[149] The Kaspersky Security Network published statistics for the third quarter of 2012 showing that 47.5% of its users were affected by one or more critical vulnerabilities.[150] The report also highlighted that “Flash Player vulnerabilities enable cybercriminals to bypass security systems integrated into the application.”[150]

    Steve Jobs criticized the security of Flash Player, noting that “Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009”.[151] Adobe responded by pointing out that “the Symantec Global Internet Threat Report for 2009, found that Flash Player had the second lowest number of vulnerabilities of all Internet technologies listed (which included both web plug-ins and browsers).”[152][153]

    April 7, 2016, Adobe released a Flash Player patch for a zero-day memory corruption vulnerability CVE-2016-1019 that could be used to deliver malware via the Magnitude exploit kit. The vulnerability could be exploited for remote code execution.[154][155]

  5. Afdal Shahanshah says:

    “That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.”
    –George Orwell

    “Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary.”
    –Karl Marx

    If I was listening correctly, I guess Thom’s claim is that the 2nd amendment is no longer relevant because slavery is gone? Too bad we replaced slaves with wage slaves. Does a worker have the choice to refuse working for a capitalist? Perhaps Thom should acquaint himself with the incredibly violent anti-labor history of the United States, such as the Battle of Blair Mountain and the Ludlow Massacre. Does he think this kind of violence is gone forever? Have a look at how Rome and other empires in history turned their outward violence inward on their populace when their empires became unmanageable to get a sense of what Americans have in store in the near future.

    • Skro35 says:

      You were not listening correctly. He said the second amendment is no longer relevant since we instituted a standing army after the War of 1812. the Second Amendment was written so that we would avoid a standing federal army in peace time.

      • Afdal Shahanshah says:

        Ah thanks Steve, because those state militias never managed to organize themselves into an effective replacement for a standing army? I had to re-listen to his explanation a couple times to fully grasp it. Well I guess the 2nd is indeed anachronistic by the Founding Fathers’ intentions. Arguments from intent aren’t always good at addressing current social conditions though. The Founding Fathers after all were almost in lock-step with their suspicion of or outright hostility towards democracy.

        At the end of the day I find myself increasingly disturbed by liberal appeals to disarm the populace as we we enter a world of increasing political instability. The cops still have weapons and aren’t afraid to use them (whether they’re guns or clubs). Some attempts at gun control are also becoming increasingly futile as machining techniques improve. People like Thom always talk about regulating automatics vs. semi-automatics as if such a task was easy for instance, but with a considerable number of gun types the actual mechanical difference between automatic and semi-automatic is trivial. Even worse, home 3D printing means it is increasingly becoming possible for people to simply make their own guns. When this djinni is finally fully out of its bottle the idea of meaningful gun regulation will be a pipe dream, in the same way that the internet has made copyright enforcement utterly futile. We’re going to have to figure out how to live in a world where access to deadly weapons is within everyone’s grasp eventually, whether we like it or not.

  6. - Terry says:

    Dear Ralph, They Rule is a great idea and would be an interesting model applied to Ireland. My uneducated guess is the same corpos you rail against with unerring eloquence crop up this side of the pond. Unfortunately the website cited hasn’t been updated since 2007 but the poor man does sound heavily burdened as it is. Perhaps for the sake of reach he could delegate? Sincerely, Terry.

    • Bruce K. says:

      Kind of begs the question as to why Hartmann cited that website … some active and engaged progressive.

  7. Don Harris says:

    Again you pointed out the failure of the media to provide real news and information.

    And again i will offer a way to do something about it.

    Just 10% of presidential election cycle voters investing 100 dollars would total over 1 billion dollars.

    So if you, Ralph, would join with others like Thom Hartmann and form a non-profit corporation selling shares for 100 dollars each we could raise 1 billion dollars to buy up media and form your own conglomerate that provides the news and information we currently lack.

    These shares could only be bought by American citizens and no one person can own more than ten shares. These shares could only be sold for 100 dollars (the investors would be investing in the idea, not investing to make money).

    When compared to the cost of supporting hundreds or thousands of candidates over the next ten or twenty years proposing legislation to allegedly solve the problem at some point in the distant future this plan is a bargain that could produce results by the time the 2020 votes are cast if we start now.

    So come on, Ralph. Mobilize the 1% you keep talking about to raise 100 million get this started now.

    Pointing out the problem is important. Now start pointing out and working on a solution that is viable and available now.

  8. Donald Klepack says:

    Thom Hartmman and you are very smart so surprised you did not mention the Squad. The only way a Democrat can win is to harshly criticize the squad. Like Bill Clinton criticized Sister Soldier

  9. tz says:

    You and Thom managed to explain why Trump will win in an epic landslide.

    Thom mentioned Trump being accused of Rape. What about president Billy Jeff? Screech all you want about the EPA, but they poisoned two river systems, one for the Navajo nation, and Flint happened under Obama. Health care? After “If you like your plan and doctor, you can keep them, and pay $2.5k less!” lies no one believes anything Democrats say. And GITMO is still open. Obama had the “kill list”. Obama built the kid cages. He bailed out the billionaire banksters and NO ONE went to prison. He managed to get Quadaffi removed causing more chaos. And Democrats either cheered or ignored. There’s also Epstine and the Clinton Foundation and what they did to Haiti. And it appears Obama was the only one doing collusion and corrupt acts with the FBI.

    To summarize the candidates for 2020 on that side: “We want to take your health care plan away and give Illegal Aliens full benefits in a Cadillac plan for free!”.

    Also see Tim Pool’s “Timcast”. He is center-left but engages all sides. There are may Democrats that see this terrible trainwreck coming for their side and are trying to stand and yell “stop!”.

    It would be easy to beat Trump, but you have to play on his field. He has introduced tariffs which is causing disruption but bringing jobs back, as is his renegotiation of NAFTA. He could be attacked on letting too many H1-B workers in unvetted but Silly Valley would attack anyone that would cut their indentured servants. A candidate would have to attack both Silicon Valley and Wall Street, but all are in bed with both. All want to continue the quagmire wars. And want open borders.

    There is much more I can say, but all is clear outside the blue bubble. Having no jobs, they don’t care about accusations of racism or sexism especially when Democrats are more guilty. It’s the Economy Stupid!, but your side is stupid!. And the shift to the bizarre total commie (cuba venezuela) socialist left is also a loser.

    Also do not think the polls are anywhere near right. One can disapprove of Trump and still vote for him. That is what happened with Hillary, who either ignored or actively drove voters away, and was a terrible candidate, but it was “her turn”.

    • zt says:

      Not understanding your all-over-the-place rambling. But still…

      1) Ralph/Thom have never stated that Bill Clinton didn’t rape anyone.
      2) Flint water crisis was something long in the making, preceding Obama. Ralph/Thom have never stated that Obama wasn’t responsible to the people of Flint.
      3) Every president essentially has a ‘kill list’ going back decades.
      4) Obama did in fact bail out the bankers, but that was bailout #2. GWB, a Republican, did the first bailout. And BTW, the crash of ’08 was on GWB and Bill Clinton.
      5) These ‘kid cages’ have existed longer than Obama although he is responsible for his role in it.
      6) Clinton/Haiti is not so much different than GWB/Iraq or Trump/Afghanistan.
      7) Re “free health care”, it isn’t free. It’s paid for with our tax dollars. A civilized healthcare system, which we don’t have, is never free in the truest sense to the people The system we have now is one that’s not so much free as it’s a boondoggle for insurance companies, Big Pharma, hospitals and doctors. They’re outright making massive money off it. The only way a more socialized (i.e., civilized) healthcare system won’t work in America isn’t due to actual obstruction or impossibility, it’s flat-out corruption that prevents it.
      8) Playing Trump’s game to beat Trump, get real.
      9) Whatever jobs Trump is bringing back is more than negated by others leaving (GM, Harley Davidson, Carrier, et al).
      10) Renegotiating NAFTA won’t fix America. NAFTA at its core was a disaster for working people. “Renegotiating” something inherently destructive is a ridiculous concept.
      11) You people on the right need to stop obsessing over borders, immigrants and the like. They’re going to come in droves whether you like it or not. Why? Because 1) their home countries are disaster areas, in many cases the fault of American intervention, and 2) American employers demand them (construction, home care, elder care, slaughterhouses, farm labour).
      12) Quit with this “Democrats are worse than Republicans” crap. That lesser evilism is working less and less. This is what people like you have in common with Democrats.
      13) “your side is stupid!” OK now whatever rambling you began with has now devolved into a warped kind of hormonal hysteria.
      14) People like you don’t know what socialism vs. communism is (they’re different) outside of what McCarthyism has propagandized you with, so quit commenting on what you know nothing about.
      15) Trump was and still is a terrible candidate. The difference is some of us have the guts to either vote Third Party or stay home, thereby not participating in this political circus every few years. But you keep on doing what you do and you’ll always get what you ask for.

      Quit putting all of America’s ills on Obama for gods’ sake. He was horrible but stop with this lesser-evil garbage. Grow up.

  10. Val Escher says:

    Ironic that Thom Hartmann mentions in the interview that he religiously watches Rachel Maddow and says she’s the only one who’s still doing investigative journalism, when she’s been the number one Russiagater and has implied that having anything to do with Russia makes one’s politics suspect. On several occasions she has implied that Americans, including Jill Stein, who attended the 10th Anniversary celebratory dinner for the RT network held in Moscow in December 2015 were doing Putin’s bidding, knowingly or otherwise. Hartmann, having had a tv show on RT, was himself at that dinner …
    Maddow has spent over two years covering Russiagate in minute detail, ignoring essentially all other issues that might be of importance to the public.

    • Afdal Shahanshah says:

      Yeah, it’s pretty baffling to hear nominally-intelligent people gets their news from straight propaganda on the regular. I think Ralph’s penchant to get his news from the “big” rags like WashPo and NYT may have influenced his own lack of pushback whenever Russiagate is brought up by his guests. Rachel Maddow has been every bit as bad as Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity over the last several years. She is a completely shameless propagandist putting on a theater.

  11. Jonah Gallegos says:

    I wish you guys would have included a conversation around third party candidate’s. Tom is all about the duopoly. I think that by itself would make a great program. Love your show!

    • Mark Hughes says:

      I for one would like to hear Ralph/Steve/David speak with Howie Hawkins. But regarding elections more specifically, the next time RNRH has a constitutional scholar on the show I’d like to hear an in-depth discussion of Electors. The Constitution does in fact mention them but, surprise, doesn’t exactly define them. Who are they? How are they appointed? What are the qualifications? Are there any qualifications outside of being a child? Stuff like that. Because the past few elections we’ve seen the EC overturn the will of the people, the 2016 election is an example that’s not ancient history. Yet we know nothing about them.

  12. Thom Hartman, give us more of your brilliance, sincerity, and urgency only. Please leave out any suggestion of violence as in your opening reply to Ralph’s question, “How should we handle Trump?” You replied, “Kick him in the nuts.” It is clear that you were echoing Chump’s “Grab ’em by their womanhood.” Nevertheless, the right won’t see it that way but rather as an incitement of their violence and threats of it.

    Love you brother of justice, equality, and care.

    • Mark Hughes says:

      I think Thom was on point here. As one who experienced bullying in school, ‘kicking them in the nuts’ is indeed the only way to deal with them. They’re not open to discussion, they lack any and every ability to reason, they’re indeed Deplorables. I don’t advocate violence but I’m also not a pacifist either. I realize that might make no sense but as one who’s seen southern right-wingers up close and personal I can assure you 100% that the only language they understand is force. They’re neanderthals and irredeemable.

  13. Linda says:

    I was married to a malignant narcissist. Thats why I fought so hard against him. I knew how bad he’d be. He’s even outstripped my expectations, however. But, there’s nothing you can do to improve things. He has to be removed before things get better. Anything else is futile. I completely disagree with Nancy Pelosi on this point. Short and sweet, he’s completely insane and has no reality other than himself. Only what happens to him is important. He shouldn’t be in charge of a dog pound.

  14. Andrew Miller says:

    Christine Todd Whitman was in charge of EPA under Bush 2, not Reagan

  15. Mary Niesluchowska says:

    Excellent podcast. But I’m wondering after all the great analysis he gave and his daily schedule, he says he watches MSNBC because it’s the only one that does investigative reporting. Really??? We have Rachel “All Russia, All the Time” Maddow who continues this perspective even after the Mueller Report debunked it all. We also have its anti-Bernie bias and tacit support for candidates approved and chosen by the system and the DNC. He certainly doesn’t get his information from MSNBC or any other media controlled by the corporate state so why is he watching it? So disappointing.

  16. Billy says:

    On the Independent News Links page of the Project Censored site, there’s a listing for the World Socialist Website ( The article “Democrat Elizabeth Warren enters US presidential race” by Patrick Martin is published on, and was read on their podcast.

    The challenge before Ralph is to take on the factual information in their work generally, and in that article specifically. To ignore the arguments and facts they put forth on a daily basis, is to join the rest of “alternative” media. Is Ralph the successor to Eugene Debs’ legacy, as was often alluded to in campaign speeches?

    We see where Hedges has chosen to stand on Lenin in his recent Truthdig column. Where does Ralph stand these days? Is it with the workers of the world?

    As for Hartmann, what Lakoffian narrative rewrite would he put on the article “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joins House Democrats in vote for Trump war budget”?