You are such a good writer, Matt Taibbi. AS a total Hillary wonk and asshole Democrat in 2016 (I do have my reasons, climate change is the main one) something fundamental has shattered this year. I'm not sure when it happened, when I left one room and entered another - now I can't unsee it. I don't want Trump again in 2020 but I also don't think the left, as at exists today, what it is, what it represents, should not be allowed to take power either. Censorship, puritanism, fear - that's all on the left. Journalists will not tell the truth about anything now for fear of being fired. I just saw an entire community of linguists -- LINGUISTS! Coming together to target one of them who referred in the past to some skepticism on subjects of race and rape. We've lost our minds. I've been a democrat all of my life but whatever is going on with us - we need brave voices to confront it. Thanks for being one of those.

Expand full comment

When Candidate Obama visited Nt Rushmore in 2008, CNN called the monument majestic.

When Michelle visited Mt Rushmore in 2013 she called it a great sight, and CNN reported her statement objectively.

When Candidate Bernie Sanders visited Mt Rushmore in 2016, CNN again called the monument majestic.

When Trump visited Mt Rushmore yesterday, it had become, according to the CNN reporter, “a monument to two slaveholders, built on stolen Indian land.”

See how things work?

Expand full comment

The last honest man in America. Thanks for taking the gloves off Matt.

I’m a man of the left whose never really got any goose bumps when they raised the flag or played the anthem, but I’ve found myself defending America to many wealthy white liberal friends who are dripping in the spoils of the American Dream. If I’m the most patriotic person in my circle, we are in deep shit.

My white guilted friends will defend any crime or lie in the name of racial justice. Just don’t ask them to do anything except cheer on the madness and confess their white privilege.

Whatever short term political benefit that might come from letting the radicalized left run roughshod over the ideals, however aspirational, of America, will be more than negated by the grave harm being done to the nation’s history and free speech. To say nothing of the backlash soon to come from the half of America and the police being demonized as racists on every organ of the mainstream press. This backlash will make the Trump era seem like lovely walk through ignorant bliss.

Tucker Carlson is the number one watched show and earned the highest rating ever for a news host last month. And the only corporations that will advertise on his show are My Pillow and some silly office chair spine healers. That should tell you everything you need to know about the disconnect between elites and the masses scared shitless watching this cultural riot insisting everything is up for grabs.

Thanks Matt for using your platform to call bullshit on this madness. You are a national treasure.

Expand full comment

Honestly Matt, keep going. You speak for a lot of us right now. Dont let them silence you.

Expand full comment

*VERY LONG POST* Here is a true story of just how toxic and insidious this ship of fools has become. Its no longer a situation that will die down so we can have a national conversation about real or perceived harms, real objectives and even more real solutions.

I am a GenXr. My niece is a millennial In her mid 30s and ER nurse in a major NYC hospital. She has 2 boys, the oldest is nearly 4 the other almost 2. Their father is Haitian. They All live together in a stable very middle class Town in northern NJ. She was raised in a close knit middle/upper middle class family. She and her peers grew up in the time of trophies for all, a tidal wave of cultural diversity, PC rhetoric and “teach to the test”education. This kid NEVER cracked a book. Ok she read 2, some Zane novel and the Diary of Anne Frank because i bribed her. Her first career goal was to become a welder.

Eventually she decided to get a degree in nursing and with “help” succeeded and is amazing At her job.

Suddenly when BLM movement started this woman who i love became a radical loot, burn, tear it down, rabid system hater. She took the boys to protest marches. Racism is the cause of all ills. No wait its police brutality. No no its slavery. No its trans-rights, immigrants, Trump, corporations. Around mid June she, her partner, a friend of the family And i started talking about the rioting. R and i were having a conversation and i was asking how he felt. Did he feel that he was targeted by police, or discriminated against in employment etc. his answer? Sometimes, i suppose. He seemed to think it was mostly on the individual but that there were some questions as to the targeting of black men by police. I asked him for his ideas about change. My niece said if she wasnt pregnant she would be out there looting and setting fires too.

As days went on and the topic came up she decided that since the 2 of us dont agree we should no longer discuss it. I agreed. I didnt realize she meant that i wasnt allowed to discuss it anywhere anytime in any venue

She posted on IG things that represented her view. I dont have FB and recently dropped off Twitter. I check Insta a couple of times a week mostly to see local stuff and hockey related nonsense. Occasionally i post a pic usually of the boys or some quote or idea that resonates - two nites ago it was something from Thomas Sowell.

A friend stopped by my house yesterday to see how im holding up. I was confused. I told her “im fine why?” She proceeded to tell me i have basically been kicked out of my family.

this post was representative of everything i have posted about Recent events except on Twitter where i felt myself getting down in the ooze with the rest of the tyrannical socialist deckhands. Shes not on Twitter and wouldnt have seen any of those angry posts.

The point is - what has happened in my family is happening to the country. Agree or be cancelled but if you relent its still not enough because if you’re white (without bi-racial kids) or a cop you are part of the system You are a racist. You have white privilege and must beg forgiveness for your color renounce your history, culture and ur very existence. wrongs(???). No matter how logical or fact-based the response. You are an oppressor and you, everything you think, read, and know, every bit of american AND world history must be destroyed. Meet the new boss.

I read the manifesto White Fragility and i can honestly say i have not seen a book that better exemplifies the liberal takeover of the American public and private education system paired w the “everything you say do and feel is completely appropriate because someone made you feel that way” Style of parenting. If you do not validate me i will throw a temper tantrum and since you don't want to feel guilty for working to give me everything I want or need (except a good kick in the ass) or for NOT giving me everything i want, you will agree to anything or I WILL CANCEL YOU.

It is a steaming pile of shit.

Combine with the deepLy infected Political boil that has taken 2+ generations to burst Open. we failed to lance it during Bush 1, then again Clinton prologue, Bush 2 and YES even Obama 1 (i think we’ll see the Mrs in the next administration) so we are left with societal gangrene.

I keep asking what we can do instead of ruminating and venting - i wish someone could give me an answer. Ive lost my family and as i sit here on Independence Day i cant help but wonder who and what they’ll come for next. How many families are experiencing something similar.

Im open to listen and learn but I will not apologize for the color of my skin, my education or opinions. I will lose everything before that happens. Patrick Henry had it right.

*If it matters My sister and i are Cuban and grew up in a low income household headed by my widowed mom.

Expand full comment

Your writing is honestly worth more than what I pay for it.

Expand full comment

I feel slightly less crazy after reading your articles - thank you.

Expand full comment

A "hurricane of stupidity" is exactly what this feels like. Brother, I hope that your decision to open up a revenue stream that can't be taken from you in retribution for speaking plainly will be enough to carry you through what's probably coming your way.

I have a hope for honest, brave efforts like yours. The hope is that a sustained effort over time will reach enough lemmings to stall and scatter this butt-ugly stampede.

Expand full comment

So rather than have to admit any responsibility or take any blame for the rise of Trump, the elites have decided to delegate down the blame to us "white racists" across the country. They've decided they have to "destroy the village (country) in order to save it." These people have gone dangerously insane, and I honestly have no idea what to do about it.

Expand full comment

To my utter horror, it's becoming increasingly clear all this insanity has an ulterior motive, which is the elimination of the Constitution. I dismissed the idea for a long time, but the evidence is unmistakable as I see more and more people calling for exactly that. None of them seem to have considered who would compose the replacement.

One idiot told me just today that the fact the Constitution has been amended 27 times is sufficient proof it's out-of-date and an abysmal failure.

We now have several generations who are barely conversant with the idea that if something useful isn't working properly you fix it. Instead, they're conditioned by decades of "free-market" propaganda that if it doesn't work the way you want it to you just throw it out and buy something new. "Cancel culture", it seems to me, might more correctly be called "throwaway culture", and the media, both corporate and social, are manipulating it for all their worth.

I'll just ask people to consider how well the events cited in this essay fit into that concept, starting with the idea that all statues are evil. Couple it with the abysmal lack of real history education that's characterized curricula since even I was in school 60 years ago, and that's only gotten worse thanks to 40 years of education reform, and it's a recipe for disaster.

Expand full comment

I reiterate what I have often said: "I do not always agree with Matt Taibbi, but he is the last great 'journalist' of our time." You see through everything and spare nobody. Kudos.

Expand full comment

I've been feeling like we're in the midst of the Salem Witch trials, everyone afraid to call out the lethal hysteria. Thank you for doing so.

Expand full comment

I know it’s a hot topic, and it might hit a chord, but I’ll chime in on the Democrat versus Republican, Trump bs Biden back and forth going on here, and how it relates to the current social movements.

What does it mean to be rich? By way of anecdote, I have one friend that makes 100k a year and has never held a job in his life. He has seven figures in real property and equities from his parents and lives off of the rent collected from the property and has all the free time in the world. If he liquidated his wealth, he would have five to ten million dollars and pay no more than twenty percent in taxes on it. My other friend has less than 100k in the bank, has 350k in student loans, works 80 hours a week at a hospital as a doctor, and makes around 300k. Contrary to public opinion, his job is not secure, and he doesn’t have much free time. He pays more than half of his money to taxes and after rent and student loans are factored in, he has very little money left over.

The traditional right wing justification for the above scenario is risk. My first friend assumed the risk (or his parents did) and not only is he entitled to the profits associated with the investment, but he should be taxed less as well, whereas my other friend is just an employee that doesn’t invest and so he should carry a higher tax load.In the Reagan era, pre-globalization, there were- perhaps- arguments to justify this disparity. (I won’t go into them). In the current era, where the federal F****ing reserve is bailing out not just equities, but junk bonds, there is absolutely no justification for this anymore. This is especially true in the context of neoliberalism where there is an infinite supply of rich foreigners (who got rich as a result of the US outsourcing manufacturing) willing to pay a premium for property in the United States because their countries are so corrupt and they know the US is a safe haven.

What am I getting at? Rich people- really rich people- have passive income that does not involve the exchange of time to acquire it and enough capital that they can consume well above the median level of consumption without having to work (whether they choose to work or not is a different matter). Money is a claim on labor. Being rich means you can claim a lot of labor without having to labor.

Before globalization, there was a correlation between a high wage drone and someone that could acquire wealth because incomes were stable. If you worked at IBM, GM, GE, etc and made six figures, you would expect to do so for forty years. That’s out the window now, but the assumptions of the tax code remain.

So if you are rich, what do you want? You want four things: 1) property laws that prohibit the state or third parties from taking your property, 2) you want passive income taxed less than active income, 3) you want a regulatory apparatus that can disable your competitor from competing with you, 4) you want a surplus of labor (globalization anyone?) so that wages can remain low (and you definitely want to make sure labor can’t organize to demand more) and 5) you want the government to bail you out if things go south.

If you can get these five things, it ensures that you and your progeny do not have to work and can consume a lot of resources.

I think every reasonable person agrees that the first factor should be provided by any just society. The other factors is where the problems come in. Which political party is responsible for facilitating these factors? Republicans of all stripes give the rich item 2. Rhinos support all five, but the Republican Party is t split in a meaningful way. Post-Trump the majority of the Republican Party is against items 3 and 4. The Democrats, which are under total control of the neoliberals, give the rich items 3 and 4. The entire political class has given them 5 (Bush, Obama, Trump, etc) has bailed them out.

So the question is what’s more important to rich people? Paying more taxes or having access to cheap labor and regulatory control (of an every increasing government)?

These are the top ten richest people:

1) Jeff Bezos- Democrat

2) Bill Gates- Democrat

3) Warren Buffett- Democrat

4) Larry Ellison- Probably Democrat

5) Marc Zuckerberg- Democrat

6-8 Waltons- Probably Republican (good chance this has changed)

9) Steve Ballmer- Probably Democrat

10) Larry Paige- Democrat

There’s a reason that the three richest people and the majority of the rest of the rich are Democrats. They value a labor surplus and a large regulatory state that they control more than a lower tax burden. Certainly, their ideal candidate is Mitt Romney or another traditional Rhino because such a candidate would be for the lower taxes and sustaining the labor surplus (as to regulatory capture, he or she wouldn’t be as aggressive as Democrats, but it would still be good enough). This is why so many Republicans hate Trump, including George Wills (a father of so called modern conservatism).

Donald Trump is not a nice guy. Donald Trump bailed out the rich (like Obama and Bush). Donald Trump does not care about the working class. However, Donald Trump knows that this situation with exporting the entirety of our manufacturing and industrial capabilities is a long term suicide for the country, even if the rest of the uber rich benefit tremendously in the short term. If it isn’t apparent why it’s suicide or why it’s bad for the country, look at what happen with COVID-19 and medical supplies. If the United States loses the world reserve currency status, you can be sure that China and other countries, if they have the manufacturing capabilities, will appropriate all foreign wealth in their countries at that time. This interferes with Trump’s goals of establishing his own dynasty. That’s it. I truly believe the others don’t care what happens when they die (because the appropriation is likely 30-50 years out), and it’s possible some believe they can work with whatever Chinese oligarchy emerges at that time (not a chance). That’s the difference between Trump and the rest of the establishment political class and that’s a very big deal with beneficial collateral benefits for working people (more on this below).

Regarding BLM: how many Amazon fulfillment centers did they burn down? 0. How many Wall Street Banks did they burn down? Zero. How many military contractors did they even protest? 0. How many Hollywood propagandists did they protest (or attack)? 0.

They attacked working class neighborhoods by and large, with poor and working class blacks and whites being the casualty and their leadership has received hundreds of millions of dollars from the major corporate interests. If that doesn’t show demonstrate, what’s going on with this movement, let me put a cherry on it: they went to Beverly Hills to conduct a nominal protest, where most of their liberal elite supporters live and they were violently thrown out by police in an hour. For me, that just sums it up. Oh and another thing, the super rich real estate guys and gals are going to pick up marquis real estate on pennies for the dollar in some areas where these protests happen, especially when Biden wins and we get full blown neoliberal globalization again (which is going to make it even harder for normal people to live in the liveable parts of this country).

One final point in this diatribe: there was a man named Alexander De Tocqueville who wrote a book on America in the early nineteenth century. (To understand the man’s credibility, in said book he predicted that Russia and the United States would be global superpowers in the middle of the twentieth century.) In that book, he provided many reasons why in his estimation the United States would succeed and two critical ones are as follows: 1) the system prohibited the formation of dynastic wealth (this was before corporations) and 2) Americans focused on practical education not theoretical education.

There isn’t any politician with a meaningful chance of power in this country that is going to address dynastic wealth, and with what the federal reserve is doing, this is going to become a very serious problem. The rich are literally being bailed out with printed dollars as everyone else gets the shaft. But If Donald Trump brings back manufacturing, there’s a chance we can have a middle class again and a population focused on practical pursuits.

Right wing and left wing elites believe that the only path to prosperity should be through the University system, particularly the Ivy League system, and then working for established financial and corporate institutions. That is never going to be the path for real social mobility for a meaningful number of people. Extreme outliers aside, (and even those outliers are usually from parents that had stable public sector jobs or were small business people, look it up), the path to social mobility was and always will be doing the jobs the rich don’t want to do, doing them well, and then the next generation-maybe- can have a real opportunity at attending university. Replacing manufacturing with 200k liberal arts (or even STEM degrees) is a path to failure, not success.

And on that note, I invite you to look what the one of the most conservative justice (Scalia) in American history had to say on why he doesn’t hire clerks from elite schools, and what the most liberal judge in history (still on the bench) had to say about how she (Ginsburg) felt about teaching at a state university. These people hate ordinary people and they always will. You can put a red color on them or a blue color on them: they don’t like the working class or the children of the working class. They constructed a system that benefits the children of the rich as an inherent matter and they have imposed it as the only way to be upwardly mobile and the result has been a social catastrophe for a myriad of reasons.

Expand full comment

The country is in very serious trouble and I fear it is impossible to address the situation by political means.

We have become a fascist system, but not as the term is conventionally understood.

The power of the state has merged with large institutions (mainly corporate) and at the complete expense of the rest of the population.

The left is governed by neoliberalism, which basically means that no restrictions can be placed on aggregated capital to exploit the economies of totalitarian countries, such as China, and being enabled to do so by American resources (including the military).

The right is governed by neoconservativism, which is nothing more than initiating and maintaining quasi-sustainable long term conflicts in countries where the conflict can’t turn nuclear with the only purpose of sustaining the profits of the military security complex.

The casualty of these doctrines has been the vast majority of the private sector work force of the entire country and the public sector work of half the country (mainly those in red states).

All that is left is the financial sector (doing very well at the expense of everything else), a battered private sector working (that is lying to itself that the norms of the pre-globalized economy still exist), a temporarily insulated public sector in blue states (whose constituents don’t understand how fortunate they are, as they compare themselves to baby boomer era corporate employees and the apex of the financial sector), and the military security complex.

(The above described remnants of the American economy can only sustain themselves as long as the US dollar retains world reserve status, once that goes, it all goes.)

Donald Trump was opposed because even though he hasn’t delivered on most of his promises, the mere fact that he dared diagnose and discuss many of the real problems facing the American economy, which is primarily due to globalization, was a threat the elites can’t handle.

The facts are simple: labor has been decimated by globalization and a tax code that favors investment and rent collecting income over work income, and more nefariously, whatever battered remnants of the private sector that still remains is subsidizing its demise by sustaining globalization with its tax dollars.

Any attempt to address the issues facing the American working class is going to be opposed viciously by both parties. We’ve bailed out the rich two times now and the working class received the shaft. A bail out of this kind is neither capitalist or socialist. It’s fascist.

Expand full comment

Matt, your description of the insanity is great. But overall, this posting misses the mark a bit.

I get that you hate Trump. But you have to give him at least this: he has genuinely gone very hard on China, and this is a very big reason--probably the biggest--why corporate America and its establishment backers are gunning so hard for him. It's also why they've made sure Bernie never had a shot.

The "experts" hysterically claimed that Trump's trade war would bring down the world economy, but instead XI blinked and, before COVID hit, we had the best economy in at least half a century. He's gone hard against Chinese tech companies for spying; he's pounded China for concealing the outbreak of COVID 19; he's condemned the treatment of Hong Kong and pushed for Magnitsky-style individual sanctions while ending Hong Kong's preferential customs treatment; he used the Pacific fleet to push back on Chinese encroachments in the South China Sea; he's very recently threatened to delist Chinese companies trading here. And he's made it clear that if reelected, he'll do more.

Biden will reverse all this. Cui Buono? The largest corporations and their backers in the political establishment who have gotten filthy rich on China.

Think about all these mega-corporations issuing all their pious statements of support for BLM, while not saying a word about the repression of Hong Kong and the recent laws allowing for secret trials in kangaroo courts there, the concentration camps for the Uighurs, organ harvesting from political prisoners, on and on.

You of all people should see the scam here, Matt. And exposing this scam reveals another huge point of potential agreement between the left and right in this country. Helping people find that common ground is how you can use your awesome talents to save the country.

Expand full comment

Good god, this is a phenomenal piece of writing. Thank you.

Expand full comment