Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
A New Year, a New Hope

A New Year, a New Hope

And Thank You

Two years ago, I started this Substack to find a path out of the madness that had overtaken the Left. The madness was everywhere. People were getting fired right and left, mostly left, for saying words they weren’t supposed to say. There was a sudden climate of fear that was crippling nearly every institution of power, most especially the one I work in: Hollywood.

The fear was that there were racists and rapists everywhere and in everything. Sex and race became two major mass hysteria events in this country after the election of Donald Trump in 2016. To Trump supporters, his win was nothing less than a miracle. A smart strategy involving a few key swing states to bring in a slim Electoral College victory, mainly with the help of Facebook’s micro-targeting.

To the Left, to the establishment especially, it was the Devil Himself, riding into Salem Village one freezing winter in 1692. He was the Man in the Long Black Coat. He was, to them, the only kind of evil they knew. He was everything they feared wrapped up in a single man: white, male, heterosexual, and mocking them openly. No one could look away. He was and remains too charismatic to ignore.

For a while I thought Trump had so offended them that he really was the existential crisis they kept insisting had happened to our country. It wasn’t until the Al Franken witch hunt, then the Kavanaugh swarm, that I realized something was very very wrong with the Left. I was seeing it every day on Twitter too. People were being purged, exiled, fired, shunned, attacked, canceled, unpersoned everywhere. It was once accused, forever guilty.

I began to put on the brakes on my own website when it came to this hysteria. It had hit the Oscar race hard, driving conspiracy theories about certain films being racist and Hollywood being sexist. It wouldn’t completely upend the industry until the Summer of 2020. Now, they’re seeing just how bad things have become since no one wants to watch the movies anymore.

The midterms of 2022 was proof enough that whatever power they put in place in 2020 to win that election, they were still relying on. It certainly wasn’t the candidates who were barely there. No, it was a well-oiled machine - a fascist-like system that aligned every major institution of power to support the Democrats. All because they feared Trump and his supporters winning a single election. Early, mail-in voting, ballot harvesting, billions in donations. They caught a lucky break with abortion driving Gen-Z to the polls.

But it was still more than that. There was still media manipulation driving one narrative about the “Big Lie,” The “insurrection” and “violent extremism.” Watching them put the pieces in place again, subvert the truth again, lie to the public again made me feel sick.

But then Elon Musk bought Twitter. And suddenly, the clouds parted. It felt like some kind of miracle.

The blue checks still dominate the app, of course, and still bully journalists into silence and compliance. We’re not out of the woods yet. But there is hope. There is something. One person - a very wealthy person - is willing to take the heat. Musk is taking much incoming for this.

There he is, John Blumenthal - World’s Dumbest Man who wrote the op-ed, Op-Ed: I bought a Tesla to help the environment. Now, I'm embarrassed to drive it . My own eyes water with second-hand embarrassment reading his piece. It starts this way:

The [Tesla] was impractical, but it had sentimental value. My environmental activist friends were not impressed by my assiduous urban composting, LED bulb installations and energy-saving appliances. I needed to do more to diminish my carbon footprint. The icebergs were melting, my friends said, and at least one polar bear was wandering around homeless and hungry because of me.

Then, after Musk buys Twitter, our pearl-clutching, couch-fainting idiot writes:

Because of the recent revelation of Elon Musk’s political views — all of which I abhor — I’m starting to worry about what sort of political statement the car is making. Will people see me as a symbol of right-wing environmentalism, a living oxymoron?

When people ask me why I left the Left, I always flip it back around and say, how can you stand being part of the Left now? This guy never cared about the climate or the environment. He cared about his image. He wanted the pats on the back from his peers. For the Left, virtue signaling is more important than even reducing your carbon footprint. Not everyone on the Left, of course, but the loudest among them.

And he closes it this way:

I don’t know whether to sell, but I do know that I’m just not as comfortable driving it anymore.

It’s a beautifully designed car with no carbon emission, and initially, I was proud of owning it and being seen driving a vehicle that displayed my concern for the environment. But I’m a liberal, and if Musk’s politics don’t change radically for the better, driving a Tesla will become, at least for me, as hypocritical and untenable as driving a gas guzzler was.

It would be brilliant satire if it weren’t actually happening. This guy wrote that with a straight face, awash in liberal guilt for daring to drive a Tesla. You can’t make it up.

I want you to stop and think about what this op-ed actually is. It is a typical struggle session. It’s one I encounter almost every day, sometimes in the comment section here. THINK LIKE WE DO OR ELSE. Someone once said to me on my own website, “I went to Sasha Stone’s Substack and it was just Fox News talking points so I don’t know if I want to read her work anymore.”

They can’t stand that one bee has strayed from the hive, from the established order of things. They can’t stand someone like Musk humanizing the Right, thinking the Babylon Bee is funny and opening his heart to the exiled. They, we, must renounce Trump and his supporters — agree with their hysteria and false narrative, or we too are the bad people, the extremists.

I can’t stand what the Left has become. I could never be a part of that kind of thinking. I could never be someone who thinks John Blumenthal is an admirable person. To me, he looks like a frightened child of Salem Village, wondering what will happen when they come after him, when they try to destroy his business all for the crime of thinking for himself and standing apart.

A Long Drive

I finally made it to Brooklyn. It was a long drive for a short visit. Just enough time to watch Top Gun Maverick, have some Chinese food then it was off again, the long lonely road across the country. My daughter had the flu so we couldn’t do much. But it was nice to see her. It was worth the drive. It made my whole year.

Then I began my long drive back, this time more South by Southwest. Everywhere I look there are pieces of our American past. The Revolutionary War. The Civil War. World War II. The Vietnam War. There are monuments everywhere. All of that happened to America the place, not America online.

We’ve had uprisings, riots, and protests throughout our history and we had many in the Trump years. No doubt it was terrifying to the members of Congress when the Trump supporters breached — and were allowed in — to the Capitol. But the media spun the narrative into something else.

One of the best finds for me this year has been Sharyl Attkisson’s site. She writes her 11 Trends and Hard Truths for this past year. Of January 6th:

This event stands out as as one of the most outrageous of our time in terms of how it’s prosecuted by government officials. There are clearly political motivations and double standards in play, with what seems to be an obvious plan in advance to controversialize anyone who turned out to support Donald Trump and question the 2020 election. The apparent goal? To neutralize these people and anyone else who dared to think of questioning elections of supporting Trump.

The media narrative around January 6th, and around Trump himself, has turned into one endless crisis to scare voters. Why would they give it up? It works so well for them, just like the Reichstag Fire worked for the Nazis and the apartment bombings worked for Putin. Scaring the public about what they most fear is effective if you want to control them and pretend only you can protect them from danger.

Are We Headed for Civil War?

In my long drive back home I am listening to a 36-hour audiobook on the Civil War.

The Civil War was worth dying for. There was no other way the South was letting go of slavery. It wasn’t just about their wealth and prosperity with slave labor. It was a point of pride for them. That’s why it resonated for centuries later in the South, why Jim Crow laws were put in place, and how they created a criminal class and prevented the upward mobility of the newly freed slaves. They dehumanized them in unforgivable ways.

It isn’t that there wasn’t and isn’t systemic racism in this country. It is a stain on our otherwise admirable history. There is no way to justify it in retrospect. Everything about it was horrific. The heroes were those willing to put it on the line and fight, and die, to end it. It was also about the future - the expansion of the country and whether slavery would be included.

As humanity migrates online, this war, our war, is also about territory and the going ideology in the new virtual world. With Artificial Intelligence already having too much control over our lives, whole generations are coming of age online, and capturing their eyeballs, their minds as young as possible became a top priority. I guess that’s why we’re seeing the New “Woke” Doctrine pushed on the young. That’s what the Left wants, to have the new frontier online under their complete control - their ideology and their new religion.

What do the populists, the dissidents, the independents, and the Republicans want? They want a country that is more free, and they want to stop this country becoming part of a global world order — the “great Reset.” They want to stop the creation of a 1984-Super-State based on Marxist ideology. Everything Orwell wrote about is what they would need to do going forward. Erase history, change language, force compliance, punish dissent and above all, you have to believe it to your bones - you have to love Big Brother.

But can this be stopped? Would people be willing to die for that? I’m not so sure.

The Left are the ones who fear Civil War because they genuinely believe, and have been told, that a White Supremacist new Confederacy wants to overthrow the US government and install a White Nationalist Empire. Or something.

But it’s all a lie. There are racists, “White Supremacists” and “violent extremists” in this country but the populists aren’t defined by those ideologies, no matter what the media says. The Left are the ones who feel their way of life is being threatened. They are the side trying to hold onto the past. They can’t let go of their utopia.

Trump and his MAGA movement cut into the Black and Hispanic vote the Democrats once claimed. Maybe that is what threatens them the most. And if they think Trump is threatening, they should get a look at Ron DeSantis. He too has a broad coalition that is not driven by “White Rage.”

The war isn’t going to come from the Right. It will come from the Left if the Right ever manages to take power again. They want you to believe it’s about Trump. But it never was. It’s about them. It’s about their vision for the future.

A New Hope

Things were looking desperate until Elon Musk bought Twitter. Then, almost overnight, it felt like a giant weight had been lifted. The bird was freed. The truth about the FBI’s involvement in helping to drive the government’s narrative - to subvert the First Amendment using Big Tech as a filter, was finally exposed.

As Matt Taibbi wrote:

Sometime in the last decade, many people — I was one — began to feel robbed of their sense of normalcy by something we couldn’t define. Increasingly glued to our phones, we saw that the version of the world that was spat out at us from them seemed distorted. The public’s reactions to various news events seemed off-kilter, being either way too intense, not intense enough, or simply unbelievable. You’d read that seemingly everyone in the world was in agreement that a certain thing was true, except it seemed ridiculous to you, which put you in an awkward place with friends, family, others. Should you say something? Are you the crazy one?

I can’t have been the only person to have struggled psychologically during this time. This is why these Twitter files have been such a balm. This is the reality they stole from us! It’s repulsive, horrifying, and dystopian, a gruesome history of a world run by anti-people, but I’ll take it any day over the vile and insulting facsimile of truth they’ve been selling. Personally, once I saw that these lurid files could be used as a road map back to something like reality — I wasn’t sure until this week — I relaxed for the first time in probably seven or eight years.

Something like reality. I agree. We can survive almost anything but, as I’ve written so many times in the past two years, we can’t survive losing our access to the truth.

There is hope in Musk. There is hope in Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, Michael Schellenberger, Lee Fang, and all of those willing to dive into the Twitter files and expose the truth, no matter if the media ignores it or not.

But they will go after Musk hard. He now has a target on his back. You can see it starting with the media doing their part to drive the narrative that Musk’s free thinking will destroy Tesla. That is how they keep everyone under their thumbs, especially people at the top.

Writes Attkisson:

Elon Musk's Twitter takeover. I rank this as the single most important development when it comes to censorship and the government/industry’s grip on our information. It is sad that it took a scorned billionaire-- remember Musk was notably left out of Biden Administration invites on car and green energy discussions because he apparently doesn’t blindly support organized labor/labor unions-- to do the job that the media, elected officials, and intel agencies all failed to do: expose censorship, corruption, and election interference within a top Big Tech company. Though one of the biggest stories of our time, it is still widely ignored or slanted by the news media, which is opting for stories about how bad it is for Musk to be running Twitter rather than the previous government-corporate minders.

I have to believe that Musk’s revolutionary act will inspire others to take those kinds of risks, let the darts and daggers fly, to help us save our future.

Here is what I know: I drove through a bomb cyclone and it covered my car with thick salt and mud. I knew eventually, the rain would come and wash it all away. And so it did. That’s what I keep hoping for now. A cleansing, healing rain.

I spent most of my life turning to art - books, movies, comedy — to sort out the truths people couldn’t talk about. I’ve watched all of that disappear in the past few years. In its place, dogma that demands we all think exactly the same way.

I don’t know where all of this ends up but for the first time, as we head into 2023, I have hope. I can see a fork in the road and two possible visions for the future. Hope - fleeting though it may be. Hope, the thing with feathers that perches on the soul. Hope, like a rainbow. Hope, like a miracle. Hope, like the rain.

Finally, thank you, dear readers, for your kind words of support, your friendship and your generosity. I don’t know where I’d be without you.

Happy New Year.

Little Rock, Arkansas 6:41 am

Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Essays on politics and culture from Sasha Stone's Substack. A former Democrat and Leftist who escaped the bubble to get to know the other side of the country and to take a more critical look at the left.