GasLit Nation: Is America headed for civil war?

May 4, 2023


With political violence on the rise in America, along with disinformation, mainstream propaganda and the consolidation of media under conservative ownership, the scapegoating of LGBTQ+ people, women, and nonwhite people, and the weaponization of government in several Republican-led states, are we headed towards a civil war?

In this week’s episode, Andrea interviews Jeff Sharlet, the author of the new book Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War. Sharlet is also the author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, that launched the must-watch Netflix series of the same name, that takes viewers into the dark heart of corruption known as the National Prayer Breakfast, and how it’s used as a tool for the extreme religious right to consolidate power. In Undertow, Sharlet takes readers on a cross-country roadtrip to show how we’re in a slow-motion civil war, and provides ways to confront this dangerous crossroads, including lessons from Civil Rights leader and artist Harry Belafonte.

Sharlet is the New York Times best-selling author or editor of eight books. His writing and photography have appeared in many publications, including Vanity Fair, for which he is a contributing editor; the New York Times MagazineGQEsquireHarper’s; and VQR, for which he is an editor at large. He currently teaches the art of writing as a professor at Dartmouth College. In our bonus episode, out later this week for Patreon subscribers at the Truth-teller level or higher, Sharlet takes the Gaslit Nation Self-Care Q&A to share what art, music, books, and documentaries and other cultural resources that he recommends to help process the times we live in. We will share a free excerpt of that for all listeners wherever you get your podcasts. 

GasLit Nation: SCOTUS Corruption and the Tennessee Revolution

April 12, 2023


It’s been a busy week for nazis, neo-confederates, and crimelords – and for the people fighting them! We start out this week by discussing the ProPublica article on corrupt SCOTUS justice Clarence Thomas and his Hitler swag loving backer, Harlan Crow. Sarah gives a lot of background into their relationship, including 1) allegations of sex trafficking by Crow’s brother and his ties to a client of Jeffrey Epstein 2) Thomas’s ties to GOP sex trafficking and blackmail cases in the 1980s including the Franklin Scandal 3) the combination of bribes and blackmail GOP elites use to keep their judges and reps in line 4) and how the media exposed Thomas’s corrupt relationships long ago, but officials refused to act!

Then we discuss the heartening news out of Tennessee, where representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson refused to accept their expulsion on baseless grounds, shone a light into the Tennessee legislature’s corruption, gave fuel to a national protest movement, and got reinstated into office with a global platform. We discuss the protests and large voter turnouts in gerrymandered hostage states like Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and how this may indicate a bigger anti-authoritarian movement in America to come.

Then Andrea details what was in those classified documents found on a Minecraft Discord server (seriously), what they mean for Russia’s war on Ukraine, and what Ukraine still needs to win the war: the global democratic alliance must make up its mind if it wants Ukraine to win the war, then give Ukraine what it keeps asking for to win the war: ATACMS (long range missiles) and F-16s.

GasLit Nation: The fascists are fighting… each other

April 9, 2023


Need a laugh? American fascists Elon Musk and Matt Taibbi are fighting each other over on Twitter. Meanwhile, in Russia, the fascists are fighting each other, including the recent bombing of a Russian propagandist in a cafe owned by Prighozin, the founder of the Wagner Group, Russian mercenaries named after Hitler’s favorite composer. We know there’s a lot of horror to discuss in America right now — the KKK political lynching in Tennessee, the Texas court ruling against the abortion pill, a possible Trump indictment out of Georgia, and more. We will discuss all of that and more in next week’s episode. For now, we’re tracking the escalating civil war among Russia’s ruling elites and what it means for the war in Ukraine, Putin’s fate, and how China may be playing a role.

GasLit Nation: Trump Indictment Special

April 5, 2023


Fifty years after he was first investigated by the Department of Justice, Donald Trump has finally been indicted…for a crime for which the statute of limitations may have run out. On Tuesday, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg announced 34 charges of falsifying business records in 2017. It is possible there are extenuating circumstances that make the case still timely – we will have to see. Regardless of what transpires, it does not change the big picture: Trump is guilty of a multitude of atrocities against the American people and he and his backers pose a clear and present danger.

We review the details of the Stormy Daniels case and the other crimes for which he should be charged, among them, sedition, abuse of the pardon power, obstruction of justice, rape, election interference, racketeering, and much, much more – and we note the terrible precedent it sets that crimes affecting national security and public safety (like, say, fomenting a violent coup!) go unpunished, opening the door for a successor to commit them. We discuss the media’s continued role as a PR outlet for Trump and the loss of publicly available archives that make it easier for the public to forget his other crimes. We also break down why Bragg was the first prosecutor to finally indict him when so many others – Mueller, Garland, Comey, Vance, etc – have failed, and speculate on what will happen in other state and local investigations. There is a LOT to unpack in this episode so be sure to tune in!

For our bonus episode, available to subscribers at the Truth-Teller level and higher, we answer questions from our Patreon subscribers on secessionist movements, the media outlets stoking civil war, whether Trump poses a flight risk, how 1980s militias and crime cults shape today’s politics, and much more! We have another bonus dropping later this week so make sure to sign up. Patreon members now have the opportunity to win a free copy of our upcoming graphic novel Dictatorship – It’s Easier Than You Think! We will be giving away one copy each month to a subscriber selected at random.

Gaslit Nation is a 100% independent podcast made possible by listener support. If you like us, please spread the word, as we are shadowbanned on Musk’s Twitter and often cannot even post links to our own show! Happy indictment day!

GasLit Nation: The Save Democracy Challenge

February 28, 2023


Dictators and aspiring tyrants want us to be demoralized, to be bullied psychologically into submission. Bullies are always surprised when people resist and fight back. The 2022 Midterms were a historic time of fighting back: the first major elections since the violent attempted overthrow of our democracy. People showed up and organized in record numbers, denying Trump’s Big Lie and the America First fascist movement the victories they needed to steal the electoral college in 2024. Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are all protected by elected public servants who believe in democracy, and that’s thanks to voters and organizers who refused to be intimidated. In this week’s special episode, we highlight four Gaslit Nation listeners who worked hard to protect our democracy in the midterms, some volunteering as far as Ukraine.

In this inspiring conversation, you’ll meet Dr. Nicole Speer, a recently elected member of the Boulder City Council who manages a brain imaging research facility at the University of Colorado. She shares her story of running for office and how others can do the same. You’ll also hear from Hugh Stempfley of Illinois who trained as an election judge alongside his grandson, and shares their story of two generations on the frontlines of protecting our democracy. Jed Holtzman of San Francisco is active in his community advocating for policies and other actions to urgently protect our civilization from man-made climate change and his advice on why text-banking is a great way to pitch in, even if you only have an hour to spare. And finally, you’ll meet entrepreneur Isaac Flanagan who left his comfortable home in Colorado to bring desperately needed humanitarian supplies to the frontlines of Russia’s genocidal invasion of Ukraine, even while helping get out the vote in the U.S. midterm by calling voters in a California swing House district. We thank everyone who helped get out the vote in these and all elections. Our democracy depends on you, even though it shouldn’t. Thank you to everyone who works hard to protect our democracy and shows why we always say: grassroots power is the most reliable power we have left.

In our bonus episode, available to subscribers at the Truth-teller level and higher, we cover the International Criminal Court at The Hague that just indicted war criminal Putin — an arrest notice that makes Putin a wanted man in well over 100 countries. We also touch on the potential Trump indictment which noticeably isn’t coming from the DOJ. We also answer questions submitted by our listeners at the Democracy Defender level and higher. Thank you to everyone who supports the show and keeps our civic-action community and independent journalism going. We couldn’t make this show without you!