Discover more from Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Fear and Loathing in a Collapsing Nation
Shame is the Weapon. "Goodness," the currency.
Sarah Silverman finally took the red pill. That doesn’t mean she became a Republican, by the way. It just means she glimpsed all at once the absurdity of the Left’s dead end. I was there months ago. I sympathize with her and with anyone who feels adrift and politically homeless, falling out of a party and a movement that has LOST ITS MIND.
The utopia under Obama was the high point for the American left. He came to office on the heels of the Wall Street meltdown and subsequent bailout, which was the ignition point for the two populist movements that would simmer in America and finally explode in 2016, eight years later, putting Trump in power.
I was a faithful Democrat, high on possibility - loving riding the moral high ground, believing we were the decent side, the good side, the side that stood up for everyone. We cared about the climate, about human rights and were progressive in our ideas about technology and new media. We dove into this bright new future with our beautiful perfect family at the apex of it. We raised our children to be “good” liberals because we were “good” liberals because Obama and his family were “good” liberals and they defined who we all wanted to be. We had the ideal leader for our movement and no matter what else happened, like the Tea Party rising up to take congress and cripple his agenda, like ongoing wars in the Middle East, like a whole country fracturing in two, we had the greatest President our country has ever known.
My daughter went to an extremely progressive elementary school and her fifth grade class took a trip to DC Obama’s first year. It felt like visiting a holy site. We even encountered Joe Biden randomly one day and he greeted our class. The children burst into tears afterwards, knowing that something truly special had happened. Something almost magical. My love for Obama carried over to my love for Hillary and I fought like a good warrior, like a “good” liberal all through 2016. After Trump won, even though I’d been among the few who had predicted it, I spent an entire year laying on the couch drinking a bottle of wine every night. I thought that was the end of everything. In a sense, it was. It was the end of a beautiful illusion.
Our utopia under Obama was not real. We made the world the way we wanted, hoped it would be, but not the way it actually was. Utopias never succeed because sooner or later human frailty destroys them.
utopias are especially vulnerable when a social theory based on collective ownership, communal work, authoritarian rule, and a command-and-control economy collides with our natural-born desire for autonomy, individual freedom, and choice. Moreover, the natural differences in ability, interests, and preferences within any group of people leads to inequalities of outcomes and imperfect living and working conditions that utopias committed to equality of outcome cannot tolerate.
Successful religions last not because they are based on utopias but because they are not. They are instead based on human frailty. There aren’t many lessons in the old texts of Christianity or Judaism or Buddhism that don’t address the same problems all of us struggle with today. Judge not lest ye be judged is a prime example, but there are others. No fundamental truth about our country right now can be gotten from inside the utopian bubble of the Left. They are programmed to go along with the shared doctrine and that has to mean denying actual reality.
Breaking it apart as Trump did was the existential threat. He wasn’t threatening Democracy. He was a threat to the Utopian vision for the country most of us accepted as reality. Trump was the voice for those the Left would not see, did not believe existed except as a punchline to a joke. We thought we had the upper hand and we could not live with it when we lost. We are still acting like we lost and that we are being persecuted when it fact, we won and we are the ones doing the persecuting.
We were used to the country and its culture being our domain so who was this strange, offensive, rule-breaking creature? Wait, that’s the guy from Celebrity Apprentice, how did HE become president? That is the question we should have asked but didn’t. We blamed everything and everyone without ever once looking at ourselves. We paid attention only to our own echo chamber. No wonder we were so traumatized when he took power.
We still have not gotten the message. We don’t really care about the message. We only care about shoring up what has been lost, regaining what we had, remaking our utopia where people like Trump and those who support him do not exist at all and if they do we don’t have to see them or hear them or make policy for them. So much of it is about Obama, not Biden, not even the Democrats but about preserving the Obama coalition and the direction he wanted to take the country before Trump grabbed the steering wheel.
That means that everything has to be about race because the Obama vs. Trump war is about race. Everything and everyone is “white supremacy” because that is what we’ve convinced ourselves Trump is. Everything and everyone is a racist unless they become antiracist, unless they disavow their “whiteness” and work every day to erase it. Imagine being a kid growing up inside the toxic cult the Left has become and looking at yourself and worrying that you have been, through no fault of your own, born a white male. And now you see a massive cultural wave that is demonizing you based on skin color, which is bizarre and immoral but it is the threat to the Utopia: whiteness.
When I saw the Left had become a cult I ran for the nearest exit. It wasn’t easy. I still get the old “what happened to you” refrain from people who have never crawled out of the protective bubble to see what life might be like outside of it. It is not unlike the failed experiment of Biosphere II where a group of scientists tried to live in a self-sustaining bubble in the middle of the Arizona dessert. They wanted it to be their utopian vision of not needing anything from the outside world but at some point they began starving and losing oxygen. They’d made mistakes. Sooner or later they became tribal and suspicious of one another and eventually it all collapsed - and guess who was called in to put it all back together? None other than Stephen K. Bannon.
Now that Trump has gone the fear has gotten even worse and so have the punishments enacted by mob rule online. If Twitter gets mad someone has to get fired.
We can’t see ourselves clearly on the Left because we are in a protective cocoon. Our news protects us. Our film and television programming protects us. Our corporate overlords pander to us to protect us and make sure we keep buying stuff. If one tiny thing offends even one person it’s tossed out. Speech is violence. Being in the presence of someone with a different opinion is actual harm. Reading To Kill a Mockingbird is dangerous. If anything threatens us we obliterate it. In high schools all over the country graduates are being taught the nonsense of the Left such that if they ever traveled to some foreign country they’d have to explain why they were not allowed to read of Mice and Men, one of the greatest books ever written. We used to pride ourselves in our American grit, raising our young to be tough and resilient. Not anymore. It is the world that must change to protect them.
While we’ve always been in a protective bubble in America overall (remember how shocked people were after 9/11 that other people in other countries wanted to kill us?) but especially so on the Left and especially so in the years Obama was in office. By now, though, with Biden in office it has become a visible joke to anyone with a critically thinking brain, but especially to other countries who are watching the collapse of American liberalism at the hands of the Left, for goodness sake. France is horrified. The UK is horrified because now the “woke religion” has hit their shores and is just as bad. Witch hangings also jumped continents.
And the Chinese? Well, they even have a word for it: Baizuo.
From Open Democracy on what the term means:
The question has received more than 400 answers from Zhihu users, which include some of the most representative perceptions of the 'white left'. Although the emphasis varies, baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”.
It is hard to argue with that definition, and it’s hard not to see things as spinning wildly out of control in the hands of Democrats. To me, it seems like the narratives put in place for the last four years and especially 2020 weren’t true to begin with but now the Democrats have no choice but to perpetuate the myths that scared the country and put them in power. What other option do they have?
The Chinese government is smart enough to see the Baizuo is weakening this country, and they took their best shot at a recent meeting. Because the Democrats see racism in every book, every building, every TV show, every movie, even The Bachelor - the World’s Dumbest TV show - because they have taken power on the idea that this country is systemically racist, rotten to its core and in need of a complete overhaul, they had no defense when called out by China:
Finally, after being thoroughly humiliated by the Chinese government (and deservedly so) the Biden administration is at last taking a stand on China’s treatment of the Muslim Uyghurs.
The China blunder was a massive power play for them and a losing moment for the US, where it took another country to call us out on our hypocrisy and our bullshit. Biden would have to continue to insist America was systemically racist, rotten to her core and we were in no position to lecture China on genocide. But don’t worry because Biden is covered by MSNBC and CNN and the New York Times which funnel their positive stories through Twitter which then trickle down as actual reality. Nothing to see here, move along.
The Democrats have such an easy ride with the press covering for them at every turn, and that will hold for a while. They didn’t come to power, it seems clear now, to undo what Trump did. They came power to reclaim the ideological high ground from Trump. To finish what Obama could not because he had a red congress.
But it also feels a little like LBJ - making bold moves in the wake of Kennedy but ultimately in charge of a party he too could not control, as the Vietnam war, the Civil Rights and feminist movements blew up in his face. It was so bad he didn’t even seek re-election. Biden now has to deal with the crisis at the border, which is not stabilizing and was so bad Biden called a media blackout. Ongoing protests on the streets that are increasingly violent by “Antifa,” a group Biden doesn’t recognize, and of course, how the Democratic states have dealt with COVID, specifically with schools and businesses. Biden can’t confront these dilemmas without admitting that Democrats, on a few key issues, had it completely wrong and made things much worse. He will have to confront the mass hysteria on the Left. He can’t do that and he won’t. There is a good chance in a year America will look not that much different than it did throughout 2020.
The Democrats simply aren’t taking care of the country the way they should be in a time of crisis, despite the stimulus bill that so many are praising. I personally am not against bold social programs but I find them suspect if they are based on the phony narratives the Left foisted upon the American people, with the media happily playing along. For instance, pretending that we couldn’t have opened schools sooner, dealing with the hypocrisy over lockdowns, masks and protests, going along with “cancel culture” and pretending everything is normal. Everything is not normal. Something is very very wrong.
The schools in particular has been catastrophic for the Democrats. As with all things the press continues to cover for them but you are always going to have Florida’s Ron DeSantis saying he had schools open all year and he had Disney World open all year and the end result wasn’t all that different from California’s, and in fact has a much better unemployment rate.
Now we have a Biden-fueled, full blown crisis at the border. the Democrats arrogantly and viciously attacked Trump’s border policies - sending the message far and wide that our arms were welcome. Now we have children dying in rivers, desperate families believing Biden said it was okay to come. Now Democrats are scrambling and the media is pivoting and it’s all a huge disaster. COVID? What COVID? Our kids are still stuck at home while they’re cramming migrant children into cages, yes cages. So where are all of my friends screaming about “concentration camps?” Nowhere. They are nowhere. They have to keep quiet and blame Trump.
It is a much bigger problem than Democrats, at least as the media portrays them, have no clue about. Trump’s “America First” program was part of a larger global movement that is seeking to close borders and become independent of the broader global economy. Brexit is another, and there is a movement in France doing the same thing. The press call it a “far right” movement against immigrants. This is only going to get worse in the coming years. The Democrats are in power. They have to figure it out now. It doesn’t look like they have it well in hand, not even a little bit.
For me, it’s time to let go of the Obama era and in so doing let go of the desire to bring it back. I don’t think it’s a good path for Democrats. I think it is a path to destruction. We can, however, remember the words of William Wordsworth who wrote:
What though the radiance
which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass,
of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
I don’t know where we go from here, but I suspect politicians like Andrew Yang and maybe Ron DeSantis are closer to being able to govern all people rather than focusing only on those who commit to the doctrine of a fading and failing utopia.