Oct 24 • 21M

The Democrats Are Out of Touch and Out of Time

The pendulum is swinging. The country is in chaos. Their empire is collapsing.

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Sasha Stone
The podcast version of Sasha Stone's Substack essays.
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The look on Joy Behar’s face said it all. Confusion, befuddlement, and an ever so slight hint of anger. She was reacting to a recent poll from the New York Times that showed only 8% of Americans were worried about the “The State of democracy” heading into the midterms.

She understood people were worried about putting food on the table, she said, but expecting the Republicans to clean up the mess was crazy. They weren’t going to fix the economy. Her pivot said it all. It was never about the threat to Democracy and always about the fear of the GOP taking back power.

No sensible person actually believes that Democracy will end on November 8th if the GOP takes the House and the Senate. Even Joy Behar doesn’t believe that. They just want to fight with everything they have. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have much. They think if they can somehow deflect against the obvious failures of the Biden administration, they can eke out a win.

The Democrats should be very worried that their main message is something just 11% of their own voters care about. That means they are neglecting the majority. Is it any wonder the GOP has taken such a strong lead in the generic congressional ballot?

The Democrats and the Left overall are stuck inside a bubble of their own making. They have spent the last two years purging dissent, forcing journalists to abandon objectivity to give them the headlines they demand, even going so far as bully editors and publishers to fire any reporters who don’t parrot the talking points of the Biden administration.

Just look at how bad it was for Dasha Burns to report honestly on John Fetterman’s obvious problems speaking in normal sentences. His wife demanded an apology from the journalist just doing her job. The public beatdown sent a strong message to other journalists. Don’t you dare report the truth, or we’ll punish you?

Every journalist is under the watchful eye of the coalition online that believes they can negotiate the truth they want. They all must worry about how Twitter will react to every story they write. The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman started out trying to report objectively on Trump. But she was bullied mercilessly and called the worst names imaginable throughout Trump’s term. Eventually, she gave in. Now, she is as much of an anti-Trump journalist as the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin.

The media could only cover for Biden for so long. Once we all saw the bodies falling off airplanes in Afghanistan, 13 dead soldiers, and a humanitarian crisis in its wake, what else could it be but blatant incompetence? Now it appears to have destabilized the global order. It was something Americans could see in powerful images the media couldn’t cover up. Now, they can’t hide rising food prices, gas prices, and crime on the streets.

The truth that no one wants to really admit is that Biden was never meant to be the president at all. That was their first mistake. He didn’t campaign to win. He didn’t stand in the rain as Bill Clinton did in 1992 to convince voters to choose him. He didn’t do five rallies a day like Trump had done in the lead-up to 2020. He was just a blur, an echo of the past under Obama.

But the Democrats have paid the price for the 2020 election. If Trump’s failures had been the cause for his loss, the Democrats would not have had to spend $1 billion, manipulate the media narrative, take a $400 million money dump from Mark Zuckerberg to “collect” ballots, gaslight the American people for months, and use COVID as the excuse to change election laws in key swing states. That Biden still barely won was proof enough that the four-year-long slow-moving coup had worked. The administrative state took Trump, the outsider, out of power and installed Biden, the insider.

All Biden had to do was not be crazy, help Americans through the pandemic and get us all talking to each other again. Maybe, they thought, he would have the guts to be a bulwark against the madness that has all but consumed the Left.

People like Joy Behar do not live in the real world. The more people like her instruct the Biden administration on what to focus on, the worse off the Democrats will be. That’s because she, like so many of the most influential voices on the Left, exists inside the bubble that has mostly been cultivated online over the past decade and on social media.

I was with the Democrats in 2008 when Barack Obama built his coalition on Twitter. It was all so new, so forward-thinking. As the internet became the central hub for media and activism, objective news became a thing of the past. In its place, opinion. Blogs. It became less about what was happening and more about positioning.

For Democrats, this all seemed great at first. We all came together as keyboard warriors to help Obama win his second term. Every day we worked with bloggers and journalists to dig up dirt on Mitt Romney, take the crumbs the Obama operatives dropped into our cage and run with them. We became experts at distorting the truth, all in the name of our righteous cause. Our new America. Our new frontier, where marginalized groups were all represented.

Whether it was “Binders of Women” or “Please proceed, governor,” we learned how to capture and win the narrative. That led to powerful voices in cable news, people like Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. They were sharp. They were young. They were serious and taken seriously. We listened to them. We trusted them. We never figured they would ever tell us something that wasn’t true.

That influenced how the media covered the election and influenced public opinion. When Obama won in 2012, after the Right had spent an extraordinary amount of money, that was a sign that the coalition online was in the driver’s seat, controlling the media narrative every day.

The method we’d all employed that worked so well on Romney didn’t work on Trump. He turned out to be mostly Teflon to the attacks, largely due to Trump's strong Twitter game. 2016 was a shock to a coalition that believed they had the upper hand and could control the narrative.

That we could not defeat Trump in 2016 was the existential crisis, not Trump himself. For a political party, a cultural movement, the Obama coalition had migrated all of their energy online, and had become a very big small town. An algorithm shift on Twitter just as Trump was taking office meant the most engaged tweets rose to the top of everyone’s feed. That, along with Trump’s tweets sent the content machine spiraling every day, and led the Democrats and the Left toward an unstoppable moral panic.

This was uncharted territory for our country, and maybe our species. - human behavior at the hands of complex algorithms that were keeping us addicted and at each other’s throats every second of every day. What could possibly go wrong? Except everything. Here we are on the brink of nuclear war, something everyone feared under Trump, and all of that is due to the rising insanity on Twitter driving our leaders towards a hot war. We always knew the Fourth Turning would be bad. We just didn’t know how bad.

The closest comparison would be Salem Village in 1692, where an isolated community of Puritans under constant threat by the weather, smallpox, and warring Native Americans fighting for their territory, believed that the Devil had ridden into Salem and was afflicting members of its community. First came the mass hysteria, then came the mass formation.

It is not surprising that the two points of hysteria on the Left circled around sex crimes and racism, two things Trump was accused of that he survived. Because he could not be destroyed, the Left began to eat its own.

First came the Me Too movement which saw some 200 men fired or removed from their jobs. High-profile Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Kamala Harris pushed out Al Franken with no due process.

But that was nothing compared to what would happen in the Summer of 2020. As a generation raised on Critical Theory and the strident new social justice rules of Tumblr grew up into adults, they were ready to destroy and conquer the white male Patriarchy alongside the Black Lives Matter protesters. Suddenly, anyone could be called a racist just for saying the wrong thing, sending the wrong email, writing the wrong headline, or wearing the wrong clothes.

It wasn’t just race or racism, as it turns out. Because America is still dominated by a white majority, many could not become part of the Great Awokening. While skin color is rigid and binary, gender is apparently an expression that can change. If you identify somehow as “queer” you have protective status. Imagine young people trying to make sense of all of this, that the Left now wants children to be taught while growing up that they can’t escape their skin color, but they can decide their gender.

And of course, the corporations have hopped aboard, hoping the younger generations will imprint on them.

From Microsoft:

It all sounds so welcoming and heartfelt, but those of us who have been viciously attacked by the intersectional community know that these labels are both a way of identifying themselves as part of the protected groups online, but they are also weapons that they use to force others to go along with their ideology. There is no choice in the matter. Comply or else.

There is no way out of the mess we’re in on the Left. We made this bed. We have to lie in it. The college students and even those attending public schools are all being indoctrinated to become modern-day baby soldiers fighting to transform America into something that looks like 1984. Even with Biden in power, they are still in a protesting state of mind. Everything we saw in 2020 will come roaring back the minute one thing goes wrong for them.

The only way we get to 1984 is if we all become members of virtual America which isn’t America at all. It is a global sprawl that separates people into ideologically-driven hive minds. We must all find a way to rage against the machine before we are swept away by algorithms.

But voters can and should vote them all out of power now while there’s still time to rescue America from the grips of fundamentalism. The Democrats are lost. Without a major wake-up call, they won’t be getting a grip any time soon.

The GOP candidates might not be perfect, and they might not even represent your values, but they at least believe in the American dream. They believe in the founding principles of a country based on opportunity.

The Democrats have never really understood the problem with any of it. They have placated a movement that has led them to their own destruction. America continues to fracture, not Left or Right, not Blue or Red but real-life America vs. America online.

America is an idea. But it’s also a place. It’s a country with borders and states, neighborhoods and communities, cities and towns, churches, parks, schools, highways, factories, and restaurants. We sometimes forget, those of us who live our lives online, that this America exists too. And it is this America that is about to vote with its feet.