Jun 30, 2022 • 19M

The Season Finale of Catch Trump if You Can

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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
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If there is one thing I learned watching the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial it’s this: you can’t just hear one side of the story.

Because of social media, apparently, convictions in the Court of Opinion have now replaced due process and the presumption of innocence. Had Depp never sued Heard, we would never have known Heard was the abuser.

The January 6th hearings look a lot more like the show trials in the Soviet Union under Stalin. Witnesses would only be called if they backed up the accusations made against various prisoners of course. They would be found guilty, of course, because dissent was not allowed, nor was a fair defense.

The point of show trials was to intimidate anyone who might consider thinking for themselves or seeing Stalin in a negative light. In our country now, journalists are expected to go along with whatever the state tells them is true. If they step out of line they will be viciously bullied on Twitter, forced to apologize or, in some cases, fired.

The same team that tried to impeach Trump after January 6th are back in the Season Finale, this time to drive the DOJ towards criminal charges against Trump. It’s like holding a hearing to find out whether Johnny Depp was guilty or not but only presenting Amber Heard’s side. Those of us who watched the whole trial know the evidence presented destroyed Heard’s case.

Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony is somewhat reminiscent of Amber Heard’s. It is sincere but overly dramatic. She’s pretty, with a husky voice, and definitely someone most people would want to believe. But of course, her story is starting to fall apart.

You might wonder why would she risk her career to lie under oath? Why would Heard have done it? In Heard’s case, she believed she was going to win the trial because in the wake of the Me Too era, there was no such thing as a defense against an accusation of abuse or rape. For Hutchins, she essentially had no career left. Trump would not hire her after he left office. Her resume wasn’t going to get her much work. Ah, but to be a star witness for the Left she’ll get the Liz Cheney treatment. She’ll get a golden ticket into the land of the special people, the ruling class, MSNBC. She might even make the cover of TIME.

She’s a hero now. She can go on Rachel Maddow’s show. She will be praised to the high heavens by people like Rob Reiner and Stephen Colbert. Hey, even Barbra Streisand is out there singing her praises. This, as opposed to starting out her political career as Mark Meadows’ aide. She would be tainted forever. Now, she’s a star.

The media and the public, however, need for it to be true, just as they needed Amber Heard’s story to be true because they serve a much larger narrative. But some of us need more than that. We need the truth. The January 6th committee has never been about the truth.

For four years, the Left, the Never Trump Republicans, and the mainstream media have been actively attempting to undo the results of the 2016 election that put Trump in power for four years. It wasn’t just his slim victory, it was the kinds of people who supported him. They pretended it was about “white racist trash” but really? Wasn’t it just about their refusal to adopt the ideology of Obama’s America? A fast-moving social justice movement that was changing almost everything?

Never before in the history of this country has a president been under attack by so many forces at once from Day One, with not just the largest protests in American history, but protests abroad. A “resistance” that aligned social media, the richest people in the world, corporate America, Hollywood, Big Tech, the Democrats, and the Never Trumpers all to discredit, destroy and remove a sitting president.

Why isn’t anyone talking about it?

At the time, those of us in the “resistance” believed we were stopping the fascist takeover of America by a guy who looked a lot like Hitler. We were afraid. The fear was so overwhelming that two major mass hysteria events gripped the country for the four years Trump was in power. For a country that valued decency above all else, careful language adopted and mandated to prove that decency, a guy like Trump who says whatever he wants to say, was as dangerous as the Devil riding into Salem in 1692.

By the time the 2020 election rolled around, the “resistance” formed a “cabal” that used every resource in its massive war chest to bring down Trump and install Biden -manipulating the news narrative, burying the Hunter Biden story, blaming every COVID death on Trump, even wanting the economy to crash because that is the one surefire way to bring down a one-term President. The protests and riots of 2020 were in reaction to Trump - the worse they got, the worse it made him look, or so they believed.

I had been the most strident and loyal Hillary supporter, a well-known blue-check on Twitter. I was also one of the first Biden supporters early in 2019. Here is a picture of me at an early fundraiser on May 8th, 2019:

I was heavily involved in politics, to my own detriment. I genuinely believed Biden could have beaten Trump fair and square. It wasn’t until the Summer of 2020 that I realized the media was manipulating the narrative to ensure Trump’s loss. It started with the Tom Cotton essay debacle at the New York Times. During the protests, I kept urging the Democrats to try to stop the violence because I thought it would make them look bad and put Trump in power. It was completely ignored by the media, memory-holed by the blue-checks on Twitter. It basically didn’t happen.

It was such a red-pill moment for me. I guess I always thought journalists would still get the story no matter what. But that summer, and that year, the media became part of the “resistance” and that was that. Two years later, they still behave like activists and mouthpieces for the Democrats. I trusted all of them. Now I can’t trust any of them.

For all of their talk about “Democracy Itself,” they don’t seem to believe that everyone has a right to fight for what they care about in this country, even if it disgusts the ruling class. That is what Democracy is.

Democracy is not a massive influx of $400 million from Mark Zuckerberg to close the enthusiasm gap by hiring operatives to drive around and collect ballots. It is not the largest political alliance in American history dragging Biden over the finish line. That Trump still won the bellwether states of Iowa, Ohio, and Florida is proof enough he probably would have won without the mail-in ballots.

By the end of all of it, Trump was pissed, and his supporters were pissed. It all felt like a dirty rigged game to them. Meanwhile, the media and the Democrats pretended it had all gone normally, like nothing at all was wrong in any of it. For some of us, it was a pulling back of the curtain to reveal the old man pulling the strings.

Does that mean he should have called the election “fraudulent”? No. But Democrats did that for four years straight after Trump won. The only difference is the class of people involved and yes, January 6th.

But here we are in 2022 and Trump’s presence is more alive than ever. It’s as if he never even lost the election.

You’d never really know Biden even won except when you look at the latest polls, which tell us just how bad it’s all going. Otherwise, given the nonstop Trump obsession, you could almost convince yourself that Trump was still in power.

Maybe if Joe Biden’s exit from Afghanistan hadn’t been a legacy-ruining catastrophe, maybe if they’d figured out sooner how to bring back the economy, maybe if the lockdown hadn’t wreaked so much havoc on the minds of young children, maybe if the crisis at the border hadn’t exploded, maybe if Putin hadn’t invaded Ukraine, maybe if a social justice revolution hadn’t overtaken the Left like Invasion of the Body Snatchers — they wouldn’t have to bring back Trump for the Season Finale of Catch Trump if You Can.

It’s hard to endure days like yesterday when the media swells with certainty, dragging out the likes of Carl Bernstein, John Dean, and all of the once-respected journalists. None of them can actually bring down Trump because, as I’ve said prior, they aren’t doing battle with the real Trump. They are doing battle with their own creation of him, the character they wrote, the character they sell to the American people every day.

I know because I did the work they never did. I watched every single one of Trump’s rallies, all five a day, up to the election. I got to know actual Trump supporters. I was able to see just how distorted the media narrative was - and trust me, I am not alone in this.

I came of age when Bill Clinton was the one being chased by the Right. They dug into everything from his past and watched every move he made. In the end, they could only get him on something he SAID. Here, Bill Clinton lied about an affair with Monica Lewinsky under oath. They impeached him. He survived it. The public soured on the Republicans after that, which helped drive negative sentiment towards the George W. Bush presidency. But even that was a stronger case than what they have on Trump.

While in office, and even now, Trump has never been charged with anything he’s actually done, only things he has said. Whether he said them in the White House, he said them on Twitter, or he said them in press briefings - most people didn’t hear them firsthand. They heard them through the media’s cherry-picking of the things he said.

“Decent people on both sides” turned out to be a cherry-picked lie. “Tell the Proud Boys to stand back and stand by” was misinterpreted as a call to violence. Something Trump said transfixed the nation, or at least half of it, as proof to who he was. But that wasn’t who he was or who he is.

Hacking Hillary’s emails - something he said.
First impeachment — something he said.
Second impeachment — something he said.
January 6th — something he said.

Because they can’t arrive at criminal charges on something Trump said, which is covered under the First Amendment, they now have brought up something someone said about something someone said.

They are hoping to charge Trump with “seditious conspiracy” or “obstruction of justice?”

Here are two examples of those charges:

  1. Richard Nixon would have been charged with obstruction of justice, but he resigned instead. Nixon was on tape saying he could find hush money to silence a witness. John Dean’s testimony was backed up by recorded evidence.

  2. Seditious Conspiracy — I wrote about that in-depth here, but the short answer is that it has been used in the past to punish anti-Americans, namely Puerto Rican Communists who opened fire in the Capitol to fight for their independence. This was in 1954, right at the height of the Red Scare. White Supremacists have been charged as well in the past for threats to overtake the government. Trump was the sitting President at the time of January 6th, so technically it couldn’t have been a coup — if anything, it was an attempt to stop the peaceful transfer of power.

It isn’t that everything Trump did was right on January 6th, or that it wasn’t irresponsible of him to deny the election results and hold a rally. It’s the lie that Trump knew about and was somehow connected to the riot.

It makes no sense. Trump had convinced Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to argue his case against the election results in the Senate. They were doing that. Trump gave a speech, then said to march “peacefully” to the Capitol.

At the same time, there were Proud Boys who did plan to bust into the Capitol. There are people on video telling supporters to go into the Capitol. They have video evidence of that. Are they FBI informants? Who knows? No one in the media will ever ask. They write it off the same way they did everything else since 2020. They give you the narrative they want to be true.

I have no doubt that “hearing” is persuasive to those watching. They are a living, breathing extension of what it’s like to be on Twitter. The problem is that they are preaching to the choir. They are making an already hysterical group of people more hysterical. The pressure is mounting on Merrick Garland to charge Trump with something. I think he’s too smart to do that. He knows there is no THERE there. Trump is covered by the First Amendment.

Ben Shapiro lays out the best analysis of the testimony and January 6th overall. He graduated from Harvard Law so he knows his stuff. He’s also more objective when it comes to Trump than most on the Right, and is a DeSantis guy. That’s the unintended consequence of this mess for the Democrats. They have put all of their eggs in the Trump basket, for six long years. And they’re about to get blown out by a massive red wave.

There are a couple of journalists who are asking hard questions but not many. They are 100% in the tank, with zero critical thinking on any of it. It is then left to those outside the mainstream to do the job journalists no longer will:

Very few journalists this time around, not even the usually reliable Bari Weiss, were prepared to do the hard work of giving Trump the benefit of the doubt on this obviously flimsy testimony. They believe what she said because they put a picture in their minds and once they saw that picture they believed it was true. That is why a proper defense matters, as Megyn Kelly points out so well.

We need a better investigation of January 6th, one that isn’t the season finale of Catch Trump if you Can.

At this point, I no longer care who runs or wins the presidency. What I want back is truth in art, in science, and in journalism. We can survive having a corrupt government, plenty of countries do. But when we lose touch with the truth, there is no coming back from that.