Ahead of Midterms, Trump Pardons Two More Conservative Heroes

Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard via ZUMA

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This isn’t especially important, but just for the record:

President Donald Trump on Tuesday pardoned a pair of ranchers convicted of arson on federal lands where they had grazing rights for their cattle, a case that aggravated long-simmering tensions over land use in the Western U.S.

I don’t know or care whether Dwight and Steven Hammond were unfairly sentenced. What I do know is that their case eventually led to the Bundy brothers taking over the Malheur wildlife refuge headquarters in Oregon, becoming a cause célèbre among the “sovereign citizens” and other assorted militia nutballs out here in the West. These folks were all being oppressed by The Man—and the Hammonds in particular were oppressed by Barack Obama—so pardoning them is a politically useful stunt.

Trump appears to be on the lookout for people he can pardon as a way of firing up his base. Who’s next? I’ll put my money on some white cop who was convicted of shooting a black guy. That’s assuming any exist, of course.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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