How Can You Fight ‘Woke’ If You Don’t Know What it Is?
When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially launched his presidential campaign on Wednesday, he suggested that it was time to wage
When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially launched his presidential campaign on Wednesday, he suggested that it was time to wage war on “woke.”
Although one might ask – what exactly has DeSantis been doing for the past few years if not fighting “woke?”
But we digress.
The “woke mind virus” and “go woke, go broke” are two phrases you’ll see often on Twitter if you traffic in political spheres.
Even if you don’t, you’ll probably see Elon Musk’s unmistakable visage appear on your timeline, bemoaning the newest woke boogie monster.
It’s become increasingly clear over the past month that the Republican who will take the GOP nomination in 2024 is the one who most effectively wages war on “woke.”
But what exactly is “woke”? And why should Republicans be so focused on fighting it?
In a now-viral TikTok video, John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight Show” correspondents attended a rally for former POTUS Donald Trump.
They asked the crowd of MAGA supporters to define “woke.” After all, if your political party is going to war, you should know your enemy, right?
When asked to define “woke,” one attendee responded, “Wow, let me start here. I’m not good at defining woke.” She then deferred to the man next to her, who confidently chirped, “woke is accepting everything that is evil. So, for instance, Monster cans, each line represents a 6. So you got 666. And then if you look on the Monster can itself, in the O of the Monster, it has a cross and it represents the anti-christ. So when you drink it, you’ve got the cross coming down, and that’s [wokeism] … in a nutshell.”
@lastweektonightshow #news #trump #usa #newstory #history #explore ♬ original sound – Last Week Tonight
He clarified, “it’s accepting everything that’s evil as good.”
When asked for another example of wokeism, the first woman replies, “what they’re doing with the schools and the children, and trying to indoctrinate. I have a granddaughter who’s six years old.”
When asked for an example of the kind of indoctrination they fear, the woman responds, “Like the graduate from Steven’s Point. I have it on my phone, it’s talking about gender issues and issues that shouldn’t even be discussed in school, and pushing young children – if it were up to my granddaughter, she would be a dog. And they would be letting her crawl around and identify as a dog. Until two weeks from now, then she’d be a cat. And they’re letting children transition or telling them to keep it from their parents, and pushing them to get gender re-affirming care and keep it a secret from their parents. That’s not school.”
She says this is happening “all over the United States,” with fights happening in school boards left and right.
Another interviewee responds, “Wokeism? That’s horrible,” he scoffs, “It’s borderline mental issues, I guess I would say. I mean, if you don’t know what you are, and you can’t see what’s going on right now in front of our eyes, it’s – something’s definitely wrong with those individuals.”
Two more people were asked their thoughts, and one responds, “It’s the ever-changing thing of it, I mean you’re constantly walking on eggshells, and you have no idea if what I say today is gonna be acceptable in four years. I don’t think it’s okay to be ridiculing and getting upset at people for something they said 8, 10 years ago. And that’s kinda the whole idea of cancel culture and the wokeness that it’s been right now is we’re getting people in trouble for things that happened before these things were even wrong to do.”
The FBI may want to look into that guy’s history.
When asked to simply define woke, he responds, “Oh man. To me, woke is going out of your way to please everybody around you and to accept any ideology that they fell is comfortable for them. And so, I don’t think that’s how we’re supposed to live our lives. I think you should let people do what they want to do, but I shouldn’t be forced to have to accept those things, and we shall be able to just live how we want to live. That’s what I feel woke is.”
While it’s obvious that the show edited responses to show only the most eyeroll-worthy, the lack of understanding is still a concerning sign of the political battles to come. And there are countless videos of comedy shows and political commentators asking MAGA supporters to define “woke” or identify what exactly they’re fighting against – and the answers are nearly all vague and/or disparate.
If a party is so determined to fight an ideology, they have to be able to identify it first.
The Mirriam Webster Dictionary defines woke as, “aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” How can anyone possibly be morally opposed to awareness of important societal issues?
Because the powers that be in the Republican party have done an excellent job of fear-mongering among their voters. But not such a great job at defining what exactly will happen if they fail to fight “woke.”
For the older voter blocs – say, Gen X, Boomers and older – this has been a strikingly effective strategy.
They talk about issues that older generations struggle to keep up with; gender-affirming care, LGBTQ rights, racial history awareness and more – “woke” issues that leave conservative voters with a lump of anxiety in their throat.
But Gen Z, unlike their elders, is less frightened of woke, and more focused on promoting equality and societal advancement than any generation that came before them.
As a result, the “woke” war will likely fall flat among that important and growing demographic, highlighting the bizarre out-the-gate approach of candidates like DeSantis and his pal Musk.