Democrats Have Nothing Left But Trump

by Sasha Stone | Mar 25, 2023

“A few days after the November 2016 elections, I sat down to write out my feelings, which consisted mainly of fear and loathing. The president-elect, I intoned, was a dangerous lunatic, one likely to recall the ghosts of Fuehrers past. His election meant the death of America, of democracy itself, and maybe even scores of Americans. “Assume the worst is imminent,” I advised. Celebrities I’d admired my entire life praised the piece on Twitter. NPR came calling. Seven years later, my cri de coeur remains one of Tablet’s most widely read articles.

As a piece of writing, it was moving, forceful, and … entirely wrong.

You can find much to dislike about Trump—his policies, his personality, and an assortment of other failings—and, over the next four years, I did just that, often and with gusto. But my piece remains an embarrassment, more hysterical ululation than an attempt at the kind of useful or correct analysis that readers deserve. Reading it today, I realize that, for a brief moment there, I lost my goddamned mind.” —Liel Leibowitz

Did you ever wonder why, if they hated Trump so much, he was everything, everywhere all at once?

Why did every conversation, every late-night joke, almost every Tweet, every “good liberal’s” Facebook feed, every speech, every essay, and every headline for four straight years from 2016 to 2020 center on Trump?

Because the truth is, it was never really about Trump. It was about us. What we were before Trump, what we did while Trump was in office, and what we’re doing now. Sooner or later, the clock is going to run out on this madness. Democrats can’t live with or without Trump.

I always knew that sooner or later the mass hysteria was going to evaporate because it always does. Although I left the Democratic Party before the election, I still voted for Biden. Even as I did so, I knew that there was something wrong with the Left, and that it was much more dangerous for that power to capture our government than Trump could ever be.

It wasn’t something I could face just yet, and certainly not something I could say out loud but I thought it. My gut told me I wasn’t wrong. As more of us come out of the haze that was the last seven years of complete and total insanity, we will try to make sense of what we just lived through. Says Leibowitz:

The resistance offered purpose and community, and something else too: It offered the pleasure of letting yourself get caught up in something. The Women’s March, BLM, Russiagate—they all seemed to offer, in the moment, the irresistible possibility of coming-together-ness to promote or defend justice. And in every single one of these cases, the core leadership or premise which we held as solid was later proven wrong, or worse.

For one thing, we were never the “resistance.” We were always the empire. We were a massive alignment of corporate and cultural power that had, over the past twenty years, become the side with all of the money because we staked our claim on the internet first.

With Obama building his coalition on Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg amassing unlimited power to connect with every voter that used Facebook (200 million or so), Google, Apple, and Microsoft all leaning Left, we owned what we believed now defined America.

It’s just that it didn’t. It only seemed that way. We had control of the mainstream media and that gave us a distorted image of our own importance and convinced us that if we could control the narrative we could decide reality.

That is what the mass hysteria was about for the four years of Trump’s presidency. But mass hysteria throughout our history as a species seems to always end badly, especially when it spreads to the government, then there are public hangings, internment camps, and worse.

Even before the attack on Pearl Harbor, there were warnings about potential Japanese saboteurs in our country that supposedly vandalized some power lines. This would turn out not to be true but the fear was already rising such that when the Japanese did attack it was the very thing the government most feared.

Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, despite protests by some in his administration, and even his wife Eleanor, to send 100,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry to be “confined in isolated, fenced, and guarded relocation centers, known as internment camps.”

While we didn’t get internment camps after 9/11, we did get the Patriot Act, and unprecedented levels of surveillance of American citizens, not to mention ongoing alerts by color:

And yes, it is one of those odd things future generations won’t be able to fully understand, how it could be we had both “orange” threat levels, and a president sometimes called “orange man bad.”

When Vice President Kamala Harris compared January 6th to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor it was not an accident. In both of those tragic attacks on our country, unlimited power was granted to the government to detain, imprison, investigate, and convict citizens for their perceived ideology.

They don’t realize they’re caught up in the same kind of authoritarian overreach because they have convinced themselves that the so-called “insurrection” was driven by “white rage.” Looking back twenty years from now all of this will be easier to parse – how fear drove our government to go to war with its own people.

Game Change was meant to draw a dividing line between the “good” Republicans like John McCain and the “bad” Republicans, like Sarah Palin because she was stoking the flames of racism and xenophobia. I believed that too.

The Tea Party was something people like me could not fathom because we saw ourselves as the only grassroots movement and we saw the Right as the stodgy, conventional, old-money power base. Just as Occupy Wall Street rose up against the Establishment Left, the Tea Party was rising up against the Establishment Right.

When I first began to do my own research into MAGA and the populist movement, I first set out to do a deep dive on Steve Bannon, who is Public Enemy Number One on the Left. I assumed I would find one video after another that exposed him as a racist and xenophobe. I believed he was a “far Right fascist” because that is what I’d been told.

But what I found in watching his videos, and subsequently in listening to his War Room podcast going on at least two years by now, is that it simply isn’t true. It’s not about race.

What Steve Bannon knows, what I know, is that if Neil Howe’s generational theory is right and we are in a Fourth Turning, 2008 was the crisis that sparked it. Bannon has long been associated with the concept of the Fourth Turning because he has been actively trying to harness that power to build what he calls an “inclusive, participatory, capitalist nationalist” movement.

Our government, our legacy media, our movies stars, and cultural leaders are now comfortable using Trump and MAGA to send a message to the rest of the country. They mock them, they shun them, they spit on them, they dehumanize them, and they need them to keep scaring the public in ways that grant them unlimited power to shatter norms and eliminate the rights of ordinary citizens.

That’s how they got away with their “cabal” of powerful allies to essentially rig the 2020 election. They didn’t do it with fraudulent ballots or anything like that. They had enough lawyers and enough money to simply change any laws that got in their way. They also needed complete control of the media to gaslight us about everything from COVID to the protests in the Summer of 2020.

That meant most Americans who follow mainstream news never knew how bad things got in, say, Kenosha, Wisconsin. They couldn’t have known that a false narrative rippled through Twitter and before the day was done Kenosha burned to the ground – Jacob Blake, they said, had shown up to break up a fight and was shot in the back by police, but that was a narrative they would not correct for months.

Even Joe Biden and Kamala Harris reached out to his family, and not the family of the woman he threatened or any of those who lost their businesses and even their lives that Summer.


But if you didn’t know the truth you would never have known what would have caused a teenager to pick up a rifle and do what he believed was his patriotic duty to protect citizens and businesses from protesters. You would have believed what Joe Biden said, that Kyle Rittenhouse was a “white supremacist.”

(Reuters: Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY)

You also wouldn’t have known that the “cabal” was also behind those protests.

From TIME:

The racial-justice uprising sparked by George Floyd’s killing in May was not primarily a political movement. The organizers who helped lead it wanted to harness its momentum for the election without allowing it to be co-opted by politicians.

What the drivers of the well-funded “cabal,” an unprecedented power alliance of well-connected people, thought was a good way to get voters excited about the election spiraled out of control into the most destructive, violent event in American history no one would talk about.

Those of us who thought violent protests would hurt the Democrats heading into November had no idea that the “cabal” would be controlling the media narrative too, making sure all points led back to Trump.

If you knew what really happened in Kenosha, and if you knew what really happened in many different states that Summer, there is no way you could have seen the riot at the Capitol as the worst attack since the Civil War.

Maybe because the wrong kind of people were rising up against the untouchable government and not, say, Sue and her 100 year-old mattress store.

But now, they seem to believe they have a right to punish American citizens for a protest that got out of hand, and one, according to Julie Kelly was micromanaged by the FBI:

The document represented just one more instance of how a government agent helped shape the government’s narrative that the Proud Boys plotted in advance to carry out an “insurrection” on January 6. In fact, much like the FBI-engineered plan to “kidnap” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020, court proceedings confirm that FBI assets might outnumber criminal defendants.

Even the New York Times can’t avoid the story anymore:



The problem is that Democrats could not deliver for the American people. After they put together that powerful alliance to essentially rig an American election, Americans were stuck with a guy whose sharp lurch to the Left on everything from economic policies to cultural issues was not what they voted for. And then there was Afghanistan.

We’ve gotten used to the media blanking important stories but Afghanistan marked a turning point in the Biden presidency, both in how the public saw him and in how world leaders viewed our position in the world.

Imagine them looking at our country now, as Xi and Putin form an alliance, along with Saudi Arabia and Iran and all we can do is the Trump show day in and day. Why, because the Democrats have nothing else to offer the American people.



We don’t just look like a country in decline, we ARE a country in decline. Here we are, seven years later and all Democrats have to show for themselves is nonstop persecution of Trump and MAGA, and two un-electable candidates at the top of the ticket as we head toward 2024.

But it isn’t just the top of the ticket, it’s every Democrat. There isn’t a one of them that is even remotely tolerable. All of them fallen heroes by now, the Sherrod Browns, the Gavin Newsoms, the Sheldon Whitehouses – they have no courage to stand up to the clown show that has become the Left so they are invisible, feckless, un-electable.

As they encircle Trump in an effort to finally, at long last, get their money shot of Trump in a jumpsuit being frog-marched off to prison, they’re also keenly aware that Trump is still their last best hope of staying in power.

They can’t win if anyone else gets the GOP nomination. Any of them can blow Biden out of the water, from Ron DeSantis to Mike Pence. By far, they have the stronger bench. And when that happens, it’s 1980 and Democrats will be out of power for a generation.

But they also need Trump for reasons they can’t explain. All of those years of buttoned-up “goodness” needed a release valve.

Trump uncorked a hedonist bacchanalia. He was the girly magazine under the bed. He was the found cigarette on the street. He was the dirty little secret. They couldn’t stop even if they hated themselves for it.

Now they could call Melania Trump a slut and feel no guilt. They could call Trump fat and laugh about it. They could make fun of Kellyanne Conway’s age and joke freely about Trump sleeping with his daughter. In a culture where using the wrong pronoun could get you fired, they are addicted to what Trump allows them to unleash.

But it’s starting to become obvious by now. They’re the slot machine junkies still sitting there as the sun comes up. They’ve become like the hit television show that has nowhere else to go with the plot but the money is too good to quit so the story just keeps getting weirder and the writing just gets worse.

Still, they know they need Trump because they can’t win otherwise. After their unprecedented raid on Mar-a-Lago in August of 2022, followed by a shocking election that broke with history, suddenly there were classified documents showing up everywhere, giving the DOJ a good excuse to back off.

But they’re playing with (their Reichstag) fire. Even though it’s unlikely he will win after the protest and riot on January 6th, it’s not impossible.

And as Matt Taibbi and Walter Kirn point out, Trump in prison likely wins him the election because it exposes the absurdity of their ongoing pursuit to rid their utopia of Trump.

To indict and arrest him on such a weak case (and they’re all weak) proves everything he’s been saying about the “swamp” was true. It also vindicates January 6th, the protest, and the riot because it proves that this was never about justice or the rule of law, or even Democracy. It was about a fairy tale. A story based on delusions fighting a supervillain that doesn’t exist.

But if they don’t indict Trump, what will become of the loudest and most hysterical fanatics among them? What of poor Rob Reiner. Poor Rachel Maddow. Poor Keith Olbermann. Poor, poor Keith Olbermann.

In one read of history, the 2016 election is reminiscent of the Winter Ball in 1903, the last of its kind for the Romanov dynasty, just moments before the Russian Revolution,“the last spectacular ball in the history of the empire … [but] a new and hostile Russia glared through the large windows of the palace … while we danced, the workers were striking and the clouds in the Far East were hanging dangerously low.”

In another read of history, the online ecosphere we built was a beast and that beast needed to be fed. Trump was the fuel, the target, the addiction – the Gladiator sent into the ring again and again.

What Trump has is the same thing Russell Crowe had in Gladiator and it’s something that has mostly vanished from American culture of late but especially on the Left: unapologetic masculinity. Trump is an alpha male. That’s the main reason why he’s so tough to defeat in this climate.

But even if I thought it would be more strategic to warn MAGA against supporting Trump for 2024, and to pick someone who can serve two terms at least, I learned my lesson in 2016 that Democracy only works if the people feel like they are invited to participate in it.

We all need something to vote for, something to believe in, not something to vote against. Thanks to Trump, the people who were once glaring through the window at the Winter Ball have a voice maybe for the first time. That isn’t something they’re likely to give up any time soon.

Subscribe to Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Contact Us

Subscribe to get our latest posts

Privacy Policy


© 2024 FM Media Enterprises, Ltd.

Subscribe to get our latest posts