Discover more from Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
What Democrats and Big Media Do Not Get About Trump and Trump Supporters
And didn't even bother trying
My “friend” just wrote me the following on Twitter, “I think the pandemic has gotten to you. I am sending this as a wellness check and I hope you get better soon.” He isn’t the only one. For me, stepping outside the ideology on the left has been like leaving Scientology. When you stop spouting the doctrine people think there is something wrong with you.
But I feel like the left is in real trouble - the main reason being a lack of self-awareness about why what they have done and how they see themselves has led to the rise of Trump and will eventually lead to a loss of power.
Right around the time that Twitter had a fit that sent the New York Times editorial staff scrambling, awash in flop sweat, in fear that they had done damage to their subscriber based and/or their reputations in publishing a Tom Cotton essay called “send in the troops” I began to see that there was something very very wrong with the left. For me it was like suddenly realizing I was in my own Truman Show. I thought, wait a second, we are telling the New York Times to give us the news we want rather than the truth.
What was the truth? That a majority of Americans, by 58%, were scared enough the night the protests broke out to agree that sending in the military was the right thing to do. But no, Twitter cried, that’s racist to even think that. It’s racists to even suggest that this uprising was in any way destructive or violent. The only people who should be blamed are the cops. The deadly evil cops. Anyone stepping outside that mandate is to be FIRED, yes, it got that bad.
All at once that was when I saw the gaslighting that would continue up until Election Day. CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times - all of them were giving news their readers wanted so as not to upset them. Or maybe they too were part of the activist culture and forgot they were also supposed to be journalists. Either way, once you see it you can’t unsee it.
For me, I just wanted to know the truth and now I knew for sure I wasn’t getting it.
So I set out to find it. I had already been reading the Never Trump conservatives and had already gotten a good idea of what conservatism actually is, rather than what I’d grown up believing. But that wasn’t enough because they stopped short of talking about the problems of the left, of which there were many. Those folks over at the Dispatch kind of, sort of got there but even that wasn’t enough. Ditto Sam Harris and Andrew Sullivan. Critics of the left who hate Trump are never going to explain why Trump was and remains popular.
No, to get that I had to immerse myself in Trump world. That meant following Trump supporters on Twitter. Listening to podcasts that advocate for Trump - like Dan Bongino in the extreme but also Ben Shapiro, who wasn’t a Trump supporter but eventually found his way there because, to quote him directly, the left had lost its f*cking mind.
I also watched Fox News - not just Fox but Tucker Carlson and occasionally Hannity. I even watched Mark Levin. My brain is built to want to know things. If I thought I was being told the truth I would not have needed to venture forth but I was not being told the truth, not in any way, shape or form.
That’s because, as we now know, the left is frozen in a forever state of safetyism - the need to be protected FROM the truth. Protected from things that are offensive. If they can continue to perpetuate this utopian ideology maybe it can become true after all. And every utopia needs a Devil - so Trump and anyone who voted for him or supported him for any reason was considered evil. And I mean evil the way the Puritans in Salem Village thought of evil - as a crippling force that sent them into waves of mass hysteria.
So when I see the New York Times or any other outlet on the left trying to “explain” why Trump was popular enough to get 70 million votes I want to sit them down and explain it to them - not that they’ll listen or believe. This is a case where people will eventually have to be shown, even after the election results that should have shocked them out of their stupor.
They can’t explain it because they can’t see it. The New York Times can’t even handle a single Tom Cotton essay - do you think they would ever, in any way, be ready for the truth about Trump World? Not a chance.
So what did I learn? Well, let’s start with Trump’s last minute flurry of rallies. His supporters love him passionately, which is no surprise. It doesn’t come from cult-like hatred, as the left believes. This isn’t Jonestown - although I’m sure given the right circumstances Trump would convince them in a similar fashion, though so could Obama to be fair. Every time Trump would arrive in the big blue Air Force One his fans would eagerly await his approach. He’d come off the plane to the same song every time, “I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.” He would be holding a handful of red MAGA hats that he would toss into the crowd.
He was their warrior, their survivor - the guy who fought off non-stop attacks from Day One that called his win illegitimate (Democrats still haven’t learned the lesson not to be hypocrites as they watch the Trump side make this same claim now because losing is hard), vicious, unfiltered hatred spewed on a daily basis on Twitter to not just Trump but all of his supporters about everything from his hands to his hair to his weight to his golf game - comparing his body to Obama’s, while at the same time pretending that they care about fat shaming. As if.
They watched the impeachment hearings, the Kavanaugh hearings and then they watched him falter at first with COVID but then be blamed for “murdering” 200,000 people. That is the going the ideology bleated out from the likes of Chris Hayes. But will they call leaders of France and Italy and India murderers too even though COVID is spiking there? Even though people died in the hallways in Italy because there weren’t enough beds? No and no and NO. Because there was and remains a double standard when it comes to Trump and no one will ever see it nor admit it.
Here is why Trump was popular: because in the eight years of Obama’s presidency a good portion of the country began to hate the “virtue signaling” left. I know because I lived inside of it as an Obama supporter. I remember how, even before he got elected, my side of the aisle was striving to be “good” all of the time. Good in what we ate, what we drove, how we spoke so as not to offend anyone. No plastic straws, no big gas guzzling trucks. Drive a Prius! Then you are “good.” Recycle then you are “good.” Breastfeed then you are “good.” We defined ourselves by how we lived as “good” people which eventually turned towards pointing the finger at others to tell them that they weren’t good.
Regardless of whether you believe these things will reverse climate change or not (they won’t) it became a war of “good” and “bad.” A holy war, if you will.
A lot of this stems from the notion that people alienated from Obama and the Democrats were racists because Obama was black. Probably more than that - although no doubt there will always be a segment of white supremacists in this country - it was about hating being called a racist for not supporting Obama. It just got worse from there to the bizarre point we find ourselves in now.
Trump’s support was gained in large part by people who had been consistently alienated by the left - which has only intensified while Trump was in office. That is why he gained in voters for 2020 than in 2016.
What people don’t seem to understand or can’t understand - because we’re the “good” side so how can be hated is that hatred of the left is growing and Trump was their only option because he was the only person who had the guts to stand up to the non-stop accusations and survive. Imagine the pent up frustration of living in a country that is demanding you speak, live, eat a certain way, and if you don’t you are a hateful racist or homophobe or transphobe. Our ideology had to be their ideology or they would be demonized. So here comes Trump who will say anything, eat anything, drive anything and there was not a thing anyone could do about it. To them, that is god-like.
As Obama defied conservatives in his rise to power, bringing the ACA and making gay marriage the law of the land, and standing up for women’s rights - so too did Trump defy what became of the Obama era, as it began to intensify into a fundamentalist religion. By now, it wasn’t just Trump supporters or conservatives the left was alienating, it was people ON the left. They had to keep it quiet of course because this was full blown cancel culture free speech oppression time.
Remember, 60% of people polled said they were afraid to say what they really thought online. 60%. College campuses became Salem-like hotbeds of fear and paranoia where people like Ben Shapiro - an Orthodox Jew - were called white supremacists and mobs formed and protested to prevent him from speaking. Why, you might ask, were the side that calls themselves liberal suddenly in the business of suppressing and oppressing speech? Because that is what the left has become.
But the problem with truth is that it’s a slippery sucker. It wants to be free. Voices began to become more prominent - they were voices that opposed the left and supported Trump because Trump was the only person fighting against “cancel culture” or “critical race theory” or the obvious and visible hypocrisy on the left.
More and more people began to seek out those voices critical of the left - Ben Shapiro being one of them, which is why his podcast is consistently in the top ten and lately in the top five at iTunes. And it’s why Tucker Carlson’s show is the highest rated cable news show in history. And it’s why Trump got 70 million votes.
So it wasn’t only Trump supporters who began listening to Shapiro - I personally know a lot of people who started only because there was nowhere else to go - no one would be honest about what was happening except people on the right, those verboten voices like Shapiro’s:
To understand Trump’s appeal one has to confront what has become of the left. And be honest about it. Sadly, there aren’t a lot of people openly criticizing them because they have to find a way out and usually there is only one path.
What remains shocking to me is how this story is simply not covered in major news outlets. Do they not see it? Are they afraid for their jobs if they report it? The New York Times has conservatives but not Trump supporters writing op-eds. Can you imagine? Why even have an op-ed section? Why would anyone care if they are always getting only one side of the story.
The problem for the press and the left is that anyone who spends time in Trump world sees the disconnect between the Trump the left portrays and the real guy. They also see the blatant and unchecked hypocrisy when it comes to covering COVID, for instance, contact tracing all Trump supporters and then calling his rallies super spreaders, while completely ignoring the people who protested, or who celebrate even now in the streets. I can promise you they will not be contact tracing them.
Joe Biden is not like the “radical left” - at least he never has been. The question for many will be whether or not he can hold the line or whether he will be swallowed whole. Either way, unless things change I see this as a pendulum swinging right. Without Joe Biden as the frontrunner in 2024, Kamala Harris as the potential future for America. Now pair her with AOC and Nancy Pelosi and you can see how things are about to really change and change fast.
I think the left needs more than one lesson, to quote Citizen Kane. And they’re going to get more than one lesson. The first step is awareness. Get out of your bubble and look at the whole country — without a doubt your social media feed is telling you only what it thinks you want to hear. The more time spent off of it, the better.
The one thing that is absolutely true: most people have no clue that there is even a world outside the bubble of the left. This is why I’m not getting too comfortable with the idea of environmental regulations, for instance. Whatever power we have now is temporary.