Monday, May 5, 2008

Thom Hartmann

UPDATE 2008-may-05

Hartmann's shows podcast links have changed

Thom Hartmann national show
Hartmann local Portland, OR show

Thom Hartmann (wikipedia bio) is a progressive talk show host from the "radical middle". Hartmann IMHO is the MOST INSIGHTFUL person in the MSM. To me, he sons other Air America talk shows, USNWR editorialists, & any of the few TV commentators that are actually worthwhile such as Jack Cafferty or Lou Dobbs.

Hartmann has a historian's perspective when discussing issues. I have a feeling that many current events are similar to events in history, but since no one alive had a grandparents alive during the historical time frame, we never learn from the mistakes in the past. Hartmann is one of the few people very aware of history. For instance he talks about the middle class is not a normal thing historically, but an anomaly that has only happened a few times in history, and if not protected, will disappear again.

Hartmann has an interesting perspective about the difference in worldviews between progressives & conservatives. Progressives believe that people are fundamentally good, and the purpose of government in addition to defense & policing, is to provide a safety net or "backstop" for people. Conservatives believe that people are fundamentally evil, the purpose of government is only for defense & police, and that control of society should be left to a few elite since the evil masses can't be trusted to run the society. Hartmann uses quotes from 200+ year old philosophers on both the progressive & conservative sides to justify his interesting theory.

Hartmann has articles & podcast mp3 file of his talk shows on his site. Check it out sometime, your brain will thank you.

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