Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
The Deep State Meets the Honey Badger
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The Deep State Meets the Honey Badger

Steve Bannon is Yet Another American Hero, Courtesy of the Authoritarian Left
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“Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.” - George Orwell, 1984

Rick Wilson thinks he’s won - throw Steve Bannon in Federal Prison on July 1st; that’s one less mover and shaker in MAGA world. A party, a celebration, as yet another scalp is claimed to lay at the feet of the wealthy libs who pay him the big bucks to go Trump hunting.

Four months is a long time to take out one of the most important voices in the MAGA movement. That people like Rick Wilson are celebrating tells you everything you need to know about the opposition, not to mention the people running this country.

They don’t believe in democracy, not really. They believe in rigging elections, jailing their opponents, silencing dissent, and forcing voters to be represented by people who are nowhere near up to the job.

We saw the Lincoln Project as knights in shining armor riding in to protect my demographic of unmarried career women from Trump. Save us, we cried, as we paypal-ed fat donations to ease our fragile nerves. We spared no expense to rid our otherwise pristine village of that toxic masculinity and virulent racism.

I began my journey toward Conservatives by listening to guys like Rick Wilson. I read his book, Running Against the Devil. I wrote about and praised him for being smarter than the Democrats. I listened to Charlie Sykes at the Bulwark and made friends with Joe Walsh on Twitter. Even just that, I had my friends screaming at me: how could I be friends with racists?

But you see, that was the problem. They weren’t. They seemed like good people to me, and that made me wonder what else I didn’t know, how many other people I falsely believed were “racists.”

So afraid of being labeled “racists,” the Never Trump Conservatives went mostly quiet in the summer of 2020. They went along with the lies and gaslighting sold to us, and at some point, they even stopped talking about the violence on the streets. They knew it would hurt Joe Biden’s chances, so they shut down what I came to them for—the truth.

By then, I was sick of the lies my former side told the people and told ourselves. We just decided to depart from reality and began believing our own false narratives we relied on to maintain our cred as the “good guys” fighting the good fight.

And that made me head further to the Right to find people who weren’t afraid of telling it like it really was, not like we were all pretending it should be all to ensure the Democrats prevailed in November.

Sooner or later, I was bound to find my way to Steve Bannon. He first popped up on my radar after the 2016 election. Who is THAT guy, I wondered, and how did he just outsmart the most powerful political party in history? And why didn’t I see it coming?

I followed the directive of my side to paint him as a “far-right fascist” and “white supremacist.” I wrote this in February of 2017:

We cast Bannon as the Dark Lord and created a version of him that explained just how he managed to pull off the election of the century. We certainly weren’t going to face the truth about Hillary Clinton or how the government had enriched itself for decades at the expense of the people. Oh no, it had to be that Bannon was the bad guy.

But Bannon had a strategy that the Democrats did not. They were outsmarted by him, and rather than admit that, they’ve gone all the way to throwing him in jail. Here is Bannon’s strategy to beat the Deep State.

I spent the four years Trump was in power trying to find the smoking gun that proved Bannon was who they said he was. I watched his movies, I even read the book Biosphere 2 about a utopian survival experiment where a group of scientists tried to live inside of a sealed cocoon for a year but messed things up so badly Steve Bannon had to come in and clean it up.

I watched his debate with David Frum and was surprised to find Bannon nothing like the monster as described. This should have been an easy softball down the middle for Frum, but Bannon got the better of him.

He was engaging and won over the crowd. I remember Rick Wilson said once that when you hear the word “globalist,” it means “The Jews.” Bannon, Nigel Farage, and other populists were, therefore, “Jew haters.” But when I listened to Bannon, whether in the debate or anywhere else, he was strong on America’s Judao-Christian roots, so not a Jew hater at all.

It would take me a while to understand Bannon’s real objective. I would have to read The Fourth Turning and try to see the future the way Bannon saw it when he first read the book. He could see where we were headed, and he wanted to help guide the ship through the coming storm.

It goes something like this: every 80 years, a major transformative period will tear down everything that came before and allow new generations to build the country. World War II and the Great Depression were the last Fourth Turning. Before that, there was the Civil War. Before that, there was the Revolution. What drives change are the generations and what shapes them depending on the events they’re born into.

The Cold Civil War we’re battling now is over who will have the keys to the kingdom now that Western civilization has migrated online, and we’re less about geographical borders and more about ideological alignment, like in 1984.

We’re at war for two different futures for America. One in the hands of the globalists and elites, where censorship of the internet and harnessing the power of AI and our virtual spaces can control the entire world. It will be a utopia that eradicates all the bad things, like fossil fuels and offensive language, to sacrifice freedom for a utopian society that leaves no marginalized person behind. Or, you know, like 1984.

The other future is the one Steve Bannon and Trump want. America First. Secure the borders, become energy independent, and take care of the abandoned working class that has no real place in the other America now. And prevent the flood of migrants that will only increase with climate change, rendering large parts of the world uninhabitable.

It is the choice between totalitarianism and freedom. It’s Winston Smith at the end of 1984 imagining loving Big Brother as akin to a bullet in the brain.

As a former Super Lib, I would never have been able to understand the Fourth Turning. I would have seen what so many of them see now—that this is Germany of the 1930s, and Hilter is on the march. They see proof of that everywhere, especially with the recent elections in Europe and the war in Ukraine. But every Fourth Turning is different. According to the book’s author, Neil Howe, we won't be through this one until around 2030.

Trump is the ultimate “Gray Champion” of the Fourth Turning, a member of the Boomer generation who is breaking the system that will need to collapse completely and then be rebuilt. Jordan Peterson reflects on why Trump is such a threat and what it means to lose faith in our institutions.

MAGA Ascendant

It’s easy to see who the real villains are here. They are the ones who want to control thought and speech. They are the citizens of Oceania, easily manipulated into two minutes of hate by Big Brother. They just want their safety cocoon, and everyone else can be tossed into a gulag for all they care.

They have claimed the word “democracy” as though it belongs only to them.

But by now, The Lincoln Project and #TheResistance are like old neon signs on the outskirts of Vegas, symbols of what once was but can never be again. We got rid of Trump, after all, and what did we have to show for it except more misery? More despair. Things didn’t get better. They got worse, and all the while, the Democrats could do nothing but cry about how democracy was threatening their democracy.

Getting rid of Trump wasn’t enough, was it? Everyone had to be prosecuted, punished, demonized, attacked, banished, and jailed just for associating with Trump. They’ve gone full-blown “off with their heads.”

And now, they’ve finally come for the Honey Badger himself, Steve Bannon.

The Honey Badger video now has over 100 million views.

Of course, Bannon would rather go to jail than capitulate to the Deep State. Haven’t they been paying attention? If they knew Bannon, really knew him, they’d know he’d remain defiant in the face of their tyranny:

They continue to lie to themselves that they are being prosecuted and jailed for real crimes, and all of this is above board, totally normal, and the only way democracy can survive.

Follow the Dark Money

The MAGA movement and all American citizens who aren’t part of the ruling class, who don’t have the deep pockets the Democrats do, can’t possibly compete in any election if there isn’t ground game mobilization. That is why Bannon is such a threat. He is bringing the people together to inspire them to get involved and have a chance at winning elections now bought and paid for by the dark money the Democrats used to decry.

This is the kind of dark money MAGA is up against.

They are taking out Bannon because they can. They have no checks on their power. They know how influential he is, just as they knew how influential Tucker Carlson was. That’s their game. They can’t beat them with ideas or better candidates. They can only beat them by silencing them.

But this is as big of a mistake as prosecuting and convicting Trump. Guys like Rick Wilson aren’t reading the room. They’re reading X and that has thrown them off of their game. All this will do is turn Bannon into a martyr — a David standing up to Goliath.

January 6th and the Big Lie

At the heart of the case against Steve Bannon is the real “Big Lie,” that Trump and Bannon were planning or helping to incite the attack on the Capitol. They believe both were part of a planned “insurrection,” which isn’t true.

But to know that, you’d have to have been listening to the War Room like I was, ground zero for Stop the Steal. The last thing they would have wanted was a violent riot. It stopped Trump’s efforts to debate the 2020 election in the Senate and gave absolute power to the Democrats for the foreseeable future.

That is what they wanted - a Reichstag Fire event that they could use to go to war on their own citizens. However, questions remain, such as what the FBI knew and when they knew it. Why did they leave the Capitol unprotected?

The January 6th committee also kept important information from the public, facts that would exonerate Trump, like the clip of Nancy Pelosi admitting it was on her to protect the Capitol.

Here are Real Clear Politics’ Tom Bevan, Carl Cannon, and Andrew Walworth discussing it:

Trump is not entirely blameless, but what else do you do when you watch the FBI work with social media to censor the Hunter Biden laptop? That alone seems to be the smoking gun that proves they rigged the 2020 election.

But I didn’t need Steve Bannon or Trump or anyone in MAGA world to tell me the election was rigged. I saw it as a Democrat and Biden voter. I could sense unseen hands manipulating the media narrative, changing laws, gaslighting us, and by the end of it, I felt sure we’d never have a fair election again, and I’m still not sure we ever will.

Trump is not a lawyer or a politician. He’s an outsider who makes up the rules as he goes along, but whether the people want him to represent them or not is what our Republic is supposed to be about. It’s not up to the Democrats to decide that for us.

But of course, we repeatedly encounter the same problem: that truth no longer matters to the Left.

Does it matter that Julie Kelly’s Substack just published an explosive report of just how and why they left the Capitol unprotected? Is anyone ever going to tell the American people what really happened that day? No. Because they do not have to. They have chosen an alternate reality and have no real use for the truth.

If there was hope…

Once again, we return to 1984, written 75 years ago, right about the time of the last Fourth Turning. Orwell writes:

Rick Wilson can celebrate all he wants, but he must be smart enough to know he might have won the battle but won’t win the war. Even if Biden somehow wins in 2024, MAGA is still on the rise, and the Empire is still in collapse.

At the beginning of every episode of The War Room, Bannon says, “Ask yourself, what is my task and what is my purpose? If that answer is to save my country, then this country will be saved.”

Like Trump, Bannon is not dangerous because of who he is or what he says. He’s dangerous because he leads an army of newly awakened citizens who are inspired enough by him to use their collective voice to take back the country they love. And that is what democracy looks like.

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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