17 Comments

Timely analysis and warning. I find the entirety of "wokeness" to be a menace to society. The two elements most harmful being the emphasis on feelings over facts and purity to the cause over doing what is right. Wokeness is incredibly harmful to society as it demands dishonesty. Now it is true our politicians have always struggled with honesty. But it is obvious today that they see no reason to even care about the truth and why? Because honesty is punished by the "woke" minds on the left and right with the consequence being that the honest politician is despised by everyone, and is thus ignored and cast aside. And the politicians who are elevated are those most skilled at promoting the lies their woke supporters demand.

I do think one need to be careful about not labeling all opinion they dislike as "woke" fever. Pundits of the political right have a tendency of becoming snobs - of rejecting criticism or complaint from "uncouth" conservatives as evidence such people are uneducated know nothings. Where such complaints exhibit ignorance then challenge the ignorance. But when the complaint is sincere, the "right wing" punditry should lend an ear. The argument may have flaws but the complaint can point to policy flaws that need improvement.

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Great article. I've often compared the MAGA movement to the Woke Left. I appreciate your insistence that they are not necessarily one in the same. It is the "woke Right" portion of the movement that gets the most attention no doubt.

I am glad you stuck with this project for the last two years. I hope it is widely read. It's helped me think through a lot of how I currently look at our political discourse.

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Thanks for illuminating this. I follow a ton of people on substack and lately have been unfollowing more often than I follow. I get so frustrated by people who refuse to think deeply -- or talk deeply -- about any of the critical issues we face. I don't want a soundbite. I don't want a couple paragraphs designed to push buttons and enrage people. I want to understand WHY this is happening and HOW do we fix it. These are big questions that require people to be unafraid to listen, to change their minds, to think in new ways. Dogma is not the way forward.

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"Covid-19 tyranny absolutely smashed the social contract" you list this as a root cause to getting to where we are now. But the 1st year of covid with all the lockdowns happened under Trump's leadership. Just trying to understand wether the backlash is to woke left or also reaction to Republican leadership actions as well.

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The lockdowns did not come from Trump; they came in spite of him.

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That's not entirely true. He did support the policy from the Oval Office and he even attacked Republican governors who tried to open their states earlier than Trump wanted them to.

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Mar 26·edited Mar 26

Good report, gb. One quibble, if I may, about 'moderation' needed in Washington. In 1994, when the House Bank / Check Kiting scandal broke, leadership in both parties said in essence. "What scandal? This is business as usual in DC." Since then one could credibly say it's worse now. DC is a mentallity onto itself. One where there's far more US vs Them thinking than anywhere else in the country. By that I refer mostly to "laws are for thee, not for me" being practiced at every level of public office in the Metro. That disconnect with the rest of the population is what got Trump elected in 2016...people were fed up with broken campaign promises by what many call now, the "UniParty". "Compromise" then, as it is now, means Blue gets what it wants while Red concedes because they really don't know how to 'lead', as you've correctly observed. The exception to that general rule is SCOTUS picks - only because Reid changed Senate voting rules to simple majority for nominations, first, to get past what he considered then, obstructionist methods of Republicans. We have for the first time in generations a majority of Justices on the Court that are closer to "Originalists" than perhaps we've ever seen in the past. Outside the Court, 'business' as usual when it comes to the biggie things like spending taxpayer's money on wasteful projects - projects and departments not enumerated in the Constitution. While I don't prefer to 'burn it all down', one must ask what the future looks like when We The People (remember them/us?) when their Representives decide to represent only themselves and their own well-funded-already interests? Is there even a non-firing solution at all and what moderation or compromise would accomplish that?

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I think there would be a better word than “woke” for your highlighted commonality between the woke left and the similar right. While the trait is shared, as you point out, I don’t think of it as a defining element of wokeism.

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This is a fascinating and somewhat uncomfortable read, but I think it makes a LOT of extremely insightful and accurate points.

My only significant point of contention is that I think you let Trump off a bit too easily, because he actively feeds into and encourages a great deal of this behavior.

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Mar 30·edited Mar 30

Why don't you define "right" because I have never seen it done. Everyone just assumes there is a mutually understood definition when I don't believe there is. To many it is just a pejorative, especially "far right" or "right wing."

I am well aware of the origins of the terms "left" and "right." But the original definition of "right" doesn't exist anymore in the West.

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The Gaslit are neither Woke nor Right. At all.

Wokeness is the belief that all group inequality stems from oppression. The Right believes in individual rights. Calling this group "right-wing" because it votes alongside the Right is like calling Muslims "left-wing" because they vote Democrat.

In the fable of the Boy Who Cried Wolf, the Left has been the Boy for a long time. The people you describe in this article are the townspeople. They have learned that the Boy ALWAYS lies, so even when a real wolf comes, they insist that the Boy is just lying again.

We should blame the Boy for their existence.

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Thanks for a great article. I have been taken back and disappointed with how the group I identified with (conservative, pro medical and other freedom) turned vile at some difference from their narrative. Swiping generalisations, name calling and insults replaced any form of rational conversation. It was their (extreme) way or the highway, and they lost one in the process.

You brought some closure to me

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Excellent piece. I have known for a while now that many prominent online figures on the right were making me uncomfortable with their all-or-nothing pronouncements. I am as conservative as they come, but dogmatic support for any position is ultimately counterproductive. We need more critical thinking and willingness to ask tough questions. Unfortunately, people online want an echo chamber, not an honest dialogue. We should remember that the vast majority of people do not live their lives online. Perhaps that offers a glimmer of hope for a brighter future?

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Personally, I believe "dogmatic support" for the written words and principles of The Declaration and Constitution (as amended, of course) are ultimately worth 'the fight'. The only unknown at this point is what form will that fight take.

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Amazing how you called this while others sat back and watched . Now others can see through the fake grifters on line . Always appreciate the input . I hope you enjoy writing this as much as I enjoy reading it . ☮️

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Excellently articulated Gummi

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Well said and well thought out Gummi.

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