Nov 9 • 25M

Will the Real "Election Deniers" Please Stand Up?

It's Time for a Mea Culpa from Democrats

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Sasha Stone
The podcast version of Sasha Stone's Substack essays.
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[Apologies for the audio - it was raining pretty hard here and the power kept cutting off]

“We had to do something [in Bush v. Gore], because countries were laughing at us. France was laughing at us.”
Antonin Scalia, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

I grew up in the 1980s thinking my vote didn’t matter. I became an “election denier” because that is what the Democrats have always been. I grew up with cynicism and mild hatred of the government. My childhood was spent living through the last time the Democrats took a major fall, from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan with Watergate and Carter in between.

Democrats felt hopeless until Bill Clinton came along in 1992. He was the first Democrat to serve two full terms since FDR. But by 1999, the cynicism was back because Bill Clinton had been impeached, the party humiliated, and our last best hope hung on the Vice President, Al Gore, the man with no charisma to speak of.

I was one of those angry Democrats in 2000 who watched the Supreme Court stop counting ballots that handed the presidency to George W. Bush. We weren’t thinking about the reasons Gore might have lost, like gun control. We blamed the Court, and we blamed Florida. We blamed Ralph Nader. We blamed everyone but ourselves.

The Supreme Court was corrupt, we believed. So were all of those operatives in the GOP that rigged the election for Bush. A rigged election would result in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If only the Supreme Court hadn’t “selected” Bush.

I remember Oliver Stone’s film Nixon, his best, which suggested that Nixon had JFK assassinated so he could one day rise. And rise he did. To Stone, though, that caused the Vietnam war and all the ravages that followed. That is some election-denying. Nixon himself had believed that the 1960 election had been rigged. After all, he and Trump are still the only two people to have won Florida, Iowa, and Ohio and lost the presidency. Nixon chose not to object to any of it. Trump chose to fight.

Back then, the Left felt Nixon’s win was so destructive that it ended everything for them: their optimism and their counter-culture revolution. Warren Beatty made the film Shampoo to suggest that they were all involved in silly narcissistic games before Nixon won and the world ended. They all blamed Nixon for Vietnam. But they also resented him for ending the 1960s for good.

Coming out of the 2000 election, our main complaint was that Gore gave in too easily and quickly. Many of us thought he should have dug his heels in and fought harder and that we all should have been more insistent in objecting. That’s another word for protests. We didn’t because we were still burned from the landslide loss in 1972, blamed on the the Left’s anti-war protests.

Some protests started around that time, like against the World Trade Organization. But it wouldn’t be until the $700 billion bailout that a whole protest movement would rise, Occupy Wall Street on the Left, and eventually, the Tea Party would form on the Right. Something was happening that would only grow as more people got online and were more connected than ever before.

By 2016, we were again in a protesting state of mind, and we believed America belonged not to Trump, not to his supporters. But to us.

Anyone who pretends like we accepted Trump’s win is lying. There has never been an elected president with that many forces working together to take him out of office. Never. There have never been worldwide protests against the election of a US president. There have never been the kinds of violent protests we had in this country over an elected president.

We didn’t hold “not my president” rallies and pay investigators to see if Russians had hacked voting machines. We never had nervous breakdowns, we never had so many marches. Clearly, we all viewed Trump’s win as an invasion of a foreign entity, or a virus, that had to be immediately purged.

We did not accept him as the legitimate president. We were ELECTION DENIERS.

From The Hill:

“According to data from the latest Harvard-Harris poll provided exclusively to The Hill, 68 percent of voters said Democrats have not accepted that Trump won fairly and is a legitimate president.

That figure includes 69 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of independents and 65 percent of Democrats.”

One of the reasons Kari Lake is such a strong candidate is that she comes from the media and has no problem calling them out on their hypocrisy and their double standard:

It was much bigger than a violent riot at the Capitol and lawsuits by Trump and his supporters who insisted there was “widespread fraud.” No, the FBI was involved when the establishment got in on it. The media was on board. And by 2020, they were willing to crash the economy to ensure Trump was brought down.

We were now not only of a protesting state of mind, but of a revolutionary state of mind. We called Trump an “existential threat” because waves of mass hysteria consumed us for the four years he was in office. The Me Too movement and, eventually, the Black Lives Matter movement would lead to witch hunts, and mass firings, and a climate of fear.

We all believed that all we had to do was get rid of Trump, and everything would return to normal.

If you take the largest protests in American history under the four years Trump was in power and then think about the Summer of 2020, you can see how the Left of this country was ready for Civil War just to take Trump out of power.

The weird thing was that they could not paint the Trump supporters as equally violent. The Proud Boys showed up; there were sometimes brawls. They would be armed and forming a kind of citizen army to protect property, like Kyle Rittenhouse. But they weren’t violent the same way the Left had become. They weren’t burning buildings or assaulting police officers.

In fact, if anything, they prided themselves on being non-violent. That is why January 6th was so out of character for them. Even a large protest in DC that day was out of character for them. It meant a lot to have their collective voices heard.

I’d been, out of curiosity, following the Stop the Steal movement on The War Room podcast. I knew what they were planning to do. They wanted to have Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz debate how the election laws had been suddenly altered, using COVID as the pretext.

Trump supporters were watching his speech, not planning to bust into the Capitol and stop the count, certainly not to overthrow the government. That is its own “big lie,” and it’s ugly. These are patriots who love their country. The last thing they would want to do is overthrow or destroy it. Whatever was going on with the Oathkeepers, and the breach had nothing directly to do with Trump and seemed to be driven by someone else’s plan.

The only explanation was that the FBI had to have been involved. When you read up on the Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping story in Esquire, where there were more informants than kidnappers, it’s clear that this FBI was prepared to go the distance to do what they could to meddle in the 2020 election. That story will not be told for a while, but if the GOP takes the House, maybe it will.

For four years, Trump supporters watched their president attacked every day, with everything he said cherry-picked and thrown into the media churn to drive the news cycle. They watched them mock Kellyanne Conway’s age and Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ makeup, the size of Trump’s hands, his hair, his family.

Since Trump was never accepted as the legitimate president, no fashion magazine would have Melania Trump on the cover. To do so was to met with vicious attacks on Twitter.

The idea that the President deserved respect from the country was abandoned. Democracy? What Democracy? We’re in charge. Get out of our country. Get out of our White House.

The one thing they couldn’t do, though, was defeat Trump. They still can’t. It took $400 million to fund private companies to collect ballots, change election laws in the swing states, and a completely biased propaganda news media to twist the narrative and gaslight the public to make sure everyone knew what to do on Election day. And even then, Biden barely won.

Democracy says that if someone campaigns to win the vote of the people, then that vote should be respected. Democrats don’t believe that, unless a Democrat is in power. Now, they’re trying everything they can to subvert Democracy to block Trump from even making a run for office. Does that sound like people who have faith in American elections?

But good luck trying to have this conversation with anyone on the Left. They will shut you down. Their game is that they get to say what happened, how it happened and why it happened. They are fed a narrative that they believe. Few will question any of it for fear of being called a “conspiracy theorist.”

If you bring up the hypocrisy of 2016 and 2020, Democrats will always say, “but we didn’t breach the Capitol.” They might not have breached the Capitol on Inauguration Day, but they breached the Capitol in Michigan and Wisconsin in years prior:

Then they say, well we weren’t trying to stop the peaceful transfer of power. Okay, but what do you call what happened with Justice Kavanaugh? What do you call pressuring Senators to vote your way?

When you watch the Kavanaugh hearing back, it’s easy to see just how unhinged the Left already was.

Then they will next say that they aren’t politically violent. But we know they are:

The assassin who wanted to kill Kavanaugh had zip ties. So did the man who broke into the Pelosi home. Do you think the media treated these two incidents similarly?

I know the people whose power might be challenged tonight will not take it well. Just look at recent history. They’ve successfully flipped the script to make MAGA the violent side, the “election-denying” side. But in the next few years, we’ll see protests that make 2020 look like child’s play.

When laws start to change, and the Conservatives start pulling our country Right, those who are used to having control of everything aren’t going to go along with a “peaceful transfer of power.”

For years after Reagan won in 1980, the Left was powerless. By the time Barack Obama won in 2008, they could take control of nearly every corner of American life, culturally and politically. They influenced and redefined almost everything. They built an empire - a new “shining city on the hill.”

To hold onto that, they have been willing to take political protests to the extreme, exploit our formerly objective media, and outright lie about the people they share this country with.

But worst of all, they have been consumed by fear. They have become so panicked they imagine all sorts of terrible things. They see it in their mind’s eye, and to them, it’s real, just like witches flying around Salem and “spectral evidence,” which is evidence you can’t see but can only imagine.

They never had a utopia to lose so they don’t know how to handle it. They just want to be what they used to be. They want to be admired as the best and the brightest, living their best lives, showcasing those lives on social media, tinkering with their re-imagined America, with a president they like and admire watching over them.

Now, their utopia is crumbling. The Hillary feminist that represents the base of the Democratic Party is now being asked to step aside for transgender rights. That’s why Gretchen Whitmer has to say, “People with periods.” The Hillary feminist that marched with the pink hats and screamed at Kavanaugh is fading. That, probably more than anything else, marks a major pendulum shift they never saw coming.

So who are they now? How do they define themselves? They can only see Trump. The thing they fear. It’s all Trump all the time. Their unprecedented prime-time show trial did the exact opposite of what they thought it would do. They expected it would look important, which would scare his supporters away. But all it did was make him look more powerful.

Worse, it made our country look ridiculous, weak, and terrified. Whatever you might think of Trump, the fact that he looms as large as he does proves that there is no leadership on the Left.

As of writing this, I do not know how the midterm elections will turn out. But I know that the people who control the Democrats now, the loudest voices on Twitter, and the massive media machine that does their bidding are fueled by an ongoing hysteria based on ongoing delusions.

They have gone all the way to the most extreme every time. They’ve been this afraid for six years since Trump won. They are strung out, desperate. How much longer before they upend American Democracy completely to make sure nobody like Trump ever has a shot at running for president?

Their fear will get worse until they understand that this country, its culture, and its government, economy, and history don’t just belong to them. It belongs to all of us. The grassroots movement on the Right challenging them today is not going anywhere any time soon.