Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Ronna McDaniel Wouldn't Deliver Enough Hate for MSNBC
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Ronna McDaniel Wouldn't Deliver Enough Hate for MSNBC

If the hate goes, so do the viewers...
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A chill went down my spine in 2020 when I realized what I’d been participating in for the four years Trump was in power. I didn’t go along with all of it. I defended Melania Trump when Twitter slut-shamed her. I defended Sarah Huckabee Sanders when the Good People of the Left mocked her makeup. But I went along with enough that, at some point, I overdosed on hate.

I always thought we were the good guys and that we didn’t engage in bullying, harassment, abuse, and dehumanizing. Don’t the lawn signs count for anything? Hate has no harbor here? No human being is illegal? Practice kindness?

I was the kind of person who woke up with NPR and spent the afternoon with Terry Gross and Fresh Air, then All Things Considered in the afternoon. I read the New York Times at least once a day. It made me feel smart and well-informed.

I hadn’t been involved in politics much before the 2016 election. That was when I started watching MSNBC. Rachel Maddow was the North Star for the Democratic base, older unmarried women like me, the Oprah generation, who had been living our best lives for decades. All that was missing was our first female president, which we were supposed to get in 2016.

Well, hell hath no fury like a Hillary Clinton voter scorned. I shared in the upset, the rage, the trauma, the sadness. I couldn’t believe we’d come so far only to see it all crash and burn, especially with the Trump win - the man who tormented us for an entire year with mean tweets and bullying taunts at his rallies.

Rachel Maddow was the salve to our wounds. She gave us the real story on Trump, the Russian stooge who had been co-opted by Vladimir Putin and was now in the White House. Every night, it was another sordid tale of dossiers, prostitutes, golden showers, and spies.

It was all so lurid, and we were so newly puritanical. We hadn’t lost our minds with Me Too yet, but suddenly, we were very offended by womanizing men who did very bad things while they were married, I mean, except Bill Clinton of course.

Maddow didn’t pull from the usual headlines. She always had a deeper take, an opening monologue that was fascinating. We were all hooked, watching our Trump show every night. It was unpredictable. It was dramatic. It was impossible to look away.

I bought the Russia lie hook, line, and sinker. I read every book on Putin. I was glued to the Mueller hearings. I was convinced a “far-right fascist” was now in charge of the United States. We were all one movement by then, the #resistance. The Trump hate was like a thick fog that blanketed our utopia. It seeped into everything, from the Oscars to late-night comedy, advertising, music, and social media.

Our collective hatred was just something we all lived with. He was a force of evil, and nothing would be right in our world until he was gone.

But then came 2020, the year everything changed. It especially changed for me. By the end of it, I would have to force myself to vote for Joe Biden because every instinct I had was telling me I should vote for Trump. Biden was the wrong choice, and there was danger ahead. Trump wasn’t perfect, but he was taking a brave stand against the rising fanaticism on the Left.

Finding my way out of the bubble of the Left wasn’t easy. I only did it out of sheer desperation. The hatred I was seeing on my side got to me. I had to find my way out and try to understand what was really going on. Were they really that evil? Were they racists?

I especially couldn’t go along with the mandated hatred and dehumanization of Trump and MAGA. Yet, once I began humanizing them, treating them like people, and interacting with them on social media, I became a pariah, too. That thick fog of hatred was what tied us all together. If the fog lifted for one of us, we were shut out.

The biggest surprise came when I finally did spend time with Trump supporters. I am not the first person to tell a story like this. That’s because so many of us were lied to by people like Rachel Maddow, Hillary Clinton, and later, Joe Biden. We were conditioned to hate an entire group of people based on our own accusations against them.

Trump supporters are generally kind-hearted, supportive, open-minded people. Not all of them, of course, but the version the media sells of them and of Trump does not exist. That’s why their efforts to take him down keep failing. They aren’t fighting the real guy.

What we were engaged in felt a lot like moments in history where dehumanization took hold and caused otherwise decent people to behave like monsters. Like the Jim Crow South:

Like Nazi Germany.

While it’s true that Trump supporters aren’t being lynched or sent off to concentration camps, they were terrorized at rallies, spit on, beaten up, and, in rare cases, actually murdered. All of this was not only justified but encouraged.

Hatred held by one dominant group against another group is what has destroyed the once-mighty Democratic Party. It is casual hatred, the banality of evil, sold to them every single day by voices they trust.

Rachel Maddow is Scared

Rachel Maddow reportedly signed a three-year contract worth $30 million per year that will end in 2024. What exactly are they paying her for? She only gets about 2 million or so viewers, which is nothing compared to your average YouTube video.

They’re paying her to keep the hate and dehumanization campaign alive and well. Her viewers not only expect it from her, they need it from her. That has been her role since 2016, to make the “preachy women” James Carville talked about feel better. Hate sells.

But Ronna McDaniel presented a problem. She isn’t a mouth-breathing tyrant. She can’t be mocked like Marjorie Taylor-Greene or Lauren Boebert. She is soft-spoken, moderate, and decent. She was way too middle of the road for Trump and MAGA. She was a team player, no doubt, and also an establishment Conservative.

The problem? She didn’t spew hate and throw Trump under the bus. That was the line for Rachel Maddow and those Good People at MSNBC.

They couldn’t put a human face to those they have treated like threats to our democracy on a good day, human garbage on most other days. She has to be willing to sell hate or sorry, Ronna, we’re going to throw a massive temper tantrum and demand the bosses fire you.

Unless she’s fully on board the hate train, she might risk humanizing Trump and his supporters. And maybe that would help him win. All they have is the lie that Trump is the greatest threat to our democracy. And if the hate goes away, so do the viewers.

So, the hate machine revved up. Here’s Biden whore Stephen Colbert tearing into McDaniel just days before hosting the Biden fundraiser in New York.

They have been trying to explain it away, pretend it didn’t happen, or worse, rationalize it by saying their integrity was at stake.

But come on, who are they kidding? They messed up, and the public noticed. Rachel Maddow, once confident and secure, suddenly looked desperate and scared. Why scared? Because the only thing preventing her audience from seeing her as a liar and a fraud is their willingness to go along with a delusion about the 2020 election.

They think it’s clever and useful to keep calling Trump supporters “Election Deniers” because it sounds like “Holocaust Denier” and “Climate Change Denier,” but really, it just makes them look even more ridiculous.

I’m not sure they really get it; how bad all of this was for them to be so afraid of Ronna McDaniel, like the elephant that’s afraid of the mouse.

Or, to quote John Nolte at Breitbart:

To begin with, we now know that both NBC and MSNBC are so poisoned by hyper-politicization that the staff can’t even handle Mitt Romney in heels.

Better still, we now know that the left-wing lunatic anchors are fully in charge of that asylum.

If you had told me ten years ago that this could be allowed to happen at NBC News  — especially over a squish like Ronna McDaniel — I never would’ve believed a corporate news outlet would be this willing to lay out its bias and intolerance in such a blatant fashion. Talk about 100 percent validation for people like myself who have spent decades sounding the alarm about these irredeemable news outlets.

I’m having a good day.

Here is Glenn Greenwald:

Trump stands alone.

What Americans love about Trump is something the idiots at MSNBC will never get. Trump has no former presidents standing with him. But at a time when trust in institutions is breaking down, and Americans actively hate the politicians in power, along with the media, this is an advantage for Trump.

By contrast, the Democrats couldn’t look more swampy if they tried, rolling into New York City with a motorcade and all of their fancy celebrity guests in attendance. It’s exactly the wrong move for this moment.

Meanwhile, Trump is seen attending the funeral of a fallen police officer. Trump embarrasses the people at the top just by doing what a president should - by going where he is needed and lifting the spirits of ordinary Americans, especially police officers and first responders.

Biden shows Americans every day how little he cares about them. He couldn’t be bothered to fly to Maryland to visit the collapsed bridge, a catastrophic disaster for the city, but somehow, he found the time to party with Bill and Barack. Not a good look.

Batya Ungar-Sargon on Megyn Kelly:

No one on my former side believed me when I said there was kindness and compassion in the MAGA movement. But for me, when things started to spiral in the Summer of 2020 and I could not make sense of how my perception was starting to shift, I found a way toward what looked like light.

It wasn’t that I found a tribe or a political movement, it was simply that I found people who weren’t defined by hatred. And there was no way I could go back toward the darkness.

It isn’t so much that all you need is love. Really, all you need is humanity.

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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. Sashastone.substack.com