Nov 11 • 23M

America's Road Ahead: 1980 or 1984

It's Knives Out and Game of Thrones

74
66
 
0:00
-22:48
Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

Sasha Stone
The podcast version of Sasha Stone's Substack essays.
Episode details
66 comments

Joe Biden had a smile on his face the morning after the midterms. That’s the look of someone who just escaped total disaster. At least for now.

The lesson they were all supposed to get with one decisive red wave never arrived. That is bad news for them. Or maybe it’s bad news for all of us who are much more worried about America at the hands of the Democrats.

For weeks, they parroted the mantra, again and again, politicians and media pundits, not to mention the blue-check army on Twitter, “Election Deniers,” were coming for your Democracy. We would never have a fair election again. President Obama heralded a new Gestapo who would kill people on the streets, jail journalists, and turn America into an authoritarian state.

All I could think was, we’re already halfway there, pal. It isn’t the Republicans we have to fear. They are traditionalists. It’s the Democrats who have amassed such an extraordinary amount of power by now and want to tear the country down to the studs and reimagine it as a woke utopia; even “Election Deniers” sounds like a better plan than keeping them in office.

“Election Denier” was cleverly tied to “The Big Lie” to make Trump supporters seem like a Nazi army. They’d been making that case for six long years. But the fascism we were promised never arrived. Even January 6th was not evidence of fascism, although try telling that to people who seem not to understand what the word even means. It’s useful, that’s all.

Writes Barton Swaim:

The term “denier” is an allusion to Holocaust denial. In the 1990s, activists and pundits exercised about global warming, or what is now called climate change, began calling their adversaries “deniers.” Those “deniers” included many people who accepted the reality of global temperature change but rejected the proposed remedies. Nonetheless, in an effort to delegitimize their views, their “denialism” was tacitly associated with a form of demented bigotry.

January 6th gave them what they needed to keep dehumanizing and demonizing half the country. Never let a crisis go to waste.

But even that wouldn’t have scared voters toward a historically failing president. They got their Deus ex machina in the form of an attack on Paul Pelosi delivered days before the midterms. It was a sketchy story involving a mentally ill nudist hippie transformed miraculously into a January 6th monster. Now, they had violence to attach to January 6th, “Election Deniers,” The Big Lie, and Trump.

“Vote for the side that won’t hit you with a hammer,” said Bill Maher.

The polls weren’t wrong, as it turns out. They reflected on what the election would have looked like if everyone had voted on Election Day. But there isn’t an Election Day anymore. There is an Election Season, at least for the Democrats.

Gone were the problems with enthusiasm and turnout. They didn’t even need candidates. They just needed to convince the hive mind to vote early, vote often, and vote blue.

The Dobbs decision was enough to push out those early votes, handing the win to Fetterman long before Election Day, just like they handed the win to Biden in Pennsylvania long before Election Day. Those five rallies a day Trump was doing meant he could only inspire some voters, but how could he ever catch up, especially if he was encouraging his supporters to wait until November 3rd?

They hid Fetterman like they hid Biden, all to bank those early votes. No doubt they had a lot of money to play with, operatives to drive around collecting ballots. We’ll have to wait and see just how much of 2020 informed 2022 when it came to voting. They have built for themselves a well-oiled machine, and if or until those laws change, the GOP will have to play along.

Florida did better because they did vote early. They banked the votes. The red wave began and ended there. Now, it isn’t the Democrats who learned the hard lesson. It’s the Republicans. Now they know.

The Democrats have another advantage coming out of 2020 - a compliant, obedient propaganda delivery device in the mainstream media. Fox News beats them in cable news ratings, but their narrative is everywhere. It’s on the wire services and local news outlets. They push the “official story.” It’s so ubiquitous it’s like elevator music. You barely notice.

Tucker Carlson is one of the few who noticed their outsize share of voice since consolidating their power in 2020.

The midterms were also supposed to be a referendum on Biden, but now it looks like they were a referendum on Trump. But know this: had the election been on Election Day in Pennsylvania, Dr. Oz would have won it, just as Trump would have won it in 2020.

Either way, though, Trump is implicated, which is why the Never Trumpers are probably celebrating now. The Lincoln Project is probably over the moon. Liz Cheney is clinking glasses somewhere with Hillary Clinton, maybe Rachel Maddow.

Politics is a dirty game, and it isn’t personal. But with Trump, it is, and it’s easy to see why. He got screwed. There is no other way to look at it. He was destroyed by a government that didn’t want him in power. When he protested, they went after everything he had. They raided Mar-a-Lago, impeached him twice, and they held a prime-time show trial. None of that had any impact. But these losses mean time’s probably up for Trump and the GOP.

But the GOP can’t win without MAGA. Going too hard on him might make them losers in the end, anyway. They have to find a way to unite both factions of the party like the Democrats did. If they do, we might be headed for 1980. If they don’t, it’s 1984.

If it’s 1984…

Before Elon Musk bought Twitter, it was starting to feel like we were already living 1984. At least now, there is someone at the head of a major Big Tech platform who believes in the fundamental principles of free speech. But the Biden administration and the Democrats became Joseph McCarthy in 1954. It is fear-mongering, but it is also reaching the highest levels of government:

It’s only 1984 if the government involves itself by enforcing the ideology of the Left, which it seems like they’re inching toward. In 1984, citizens are afraid of one another, afraid of saying the wrong thing because every time they turned around, there is a Children Spy ready to report on them.

Twitter is nothing but the “two minutes of hate.” Unfortunately, the mainstream media feeds off of and amplifies the mercurial hysteria that drives the site’s content.

Because the Left generally defines itself as forever oppressed, they must always paint the side with far less power than they have as their biggest threat. Any ideological non-compliance is the end of the world for them. You’re not allowed to have your own opinion because they define that opinion as “harm.” You have one choice: comply or else.

That is, if you want to participate in the world the Left has built for itself, the one that wants all of the bad dissenters to go away.

Social media helped build a similar world to 1984, with an “inside” and an “outside.” In 2020, our government, working to remove the sitting President of the United States, felt emboldened to micromanage Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube to censor messaging that might hurt Joe Biden.

But worse, the new economy has been moved entirely online, with banks and credit, shopping, employment, our entire history, our data is all available for corporate overlords to investigate, if they want, and ban the non-compliant.

Who is allowed into the “inside” world will depend on ideological compliance at the hands of the Left and the Democrats if they are allowed to remain in power? Just like in 1984, the working class majority exists “outside.” Orwell called them the Proles:

Orwell’s Proles aren’t just the white working class that Trump appealed to; they are also the forgotten working class the Left pretends to care about. Crime doesn’t exist in big cities at all. Now we’re stuck with the ineffectual Kathy Hochul to ensure nothing is done about it.

You must watch the video from the day George Floyd was killed to see people living outside the Left’s bubble in a community they supposedly cared about. It was Memorial Day. We had all been trapped in our homes, missing birthdays, weddings, graduations, and funerals. We were standing six feet apart outside of grocery stores. We were wearing hazmat suits. But at Cup Foods on that fateful day, they were living their lives, not a single one of them wearing a mask:

The Summer of 2020 was only partly about the Black community fighting for their rights and safety and protesting a traumatic death at the hands of police. They’d had enough, and that was understandable.

It was also the first time a major news event was dramatically reinterpreted to win an election for the Democrats. While at first, it seemed to me that it was just to win the election for Biden. That was bad enough. But it hasn’t stopped. This is the new normal. The media overall has become a propaganda arm for the state.

They were able to memory-hole almost completely any news of the ongoing violence ravaging cities, and they did the same thing throughout 2021 as crimes and murders spiked. They did the same thing with Asian hate crimes perpetrated by non-whites. And every time there is a major shooting or act of violence, if the perp is not white, down the memory hole it goes.

Even if the stories are covered on local news or occasionally on network news, they never become big enough to drive policy where the Democrats are concerned.

Reporters were not allowed to cover what had happened in the wake of the riots and protests. You would be called a racist if you did. Not a single Democrat mentioned either the destruction, the violence against police officers, or the wrecked buildings during their national convention, and somehow that was okay with everyone. By contrast, Trump memorialized David Dorn, the slain police officer from the Summer of protests at the Republican convention. It was a stark contrast of two realities in two Americas.

When Michael Tracy wrote this piece of investigative journalism, it was shocking to see someone cut through the noise like that and be brave enough to tell this story.

If It’s 1980…

In 1976, America was moving in a Conservative direction, but Nixon was forced to resign after the Watergate scandal. Had the Democrats found a more Conservative leader to elect, they might have held onto power. Instead, they went with Jimmy Carter, who was much more an echo of their past than a big step forward into their future.

The problem back then was not unlike the problems today - inflation, an energy crisis, global instability, and even a threat of nukes from Russia. Malaise was the word. But what Americans needed was someone to rescue them from despair.

As tempting as it is to keep torturing them with Trump — trust me, I know how much they have that coming — but to save this country will require someone who can offer the public a more steady path like Ronald Reagan did in 1980.

At best, Trump can only serve one term before a brand new election cycle is upon us. At the very least, we need a leader who can serve two terms, bring in a new coalition and help pull the country out of the grips of madness.

And that leader just gave the kind of speech that can take him all the way.