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If you’ve spent any time on the internet over the past few years, you’ve probably read the word “woke.” Though the meaning has changed over time, detractors mostly use the term to describe those who adhere to a progressive ideology that demands perfection from the opposition and that attempts to eradicate history. You’ve seen this group online. Perhaps they’ve cost your favorite former host his or her job. Of course, they have.
Pop culture and corporate America cheerfully promote “wokeness,” as we’ve come to call it, which then influences consumers. The way progressives have taken over American culture is brilliant. These peasants have used athletes, CEOs, actors, and musicians to over-index a movement of fear tactics that few Americans support.
A recent Spiked study found that Americans who align with the “woke” make up only 8% of the electorate, barely half the size of moderates and a third of the size of conservatives. So how is such a shorthanded militia this influential? The answer says more about the group’s targets than it does about its membership.
Progressives have capitalized on the cowardice of the country’s influencers and decision-makers. The far-Left may be small in size, but they possess destructive ammunition in the form of messaging. They’ve trademarked terms like racist, sexist, transphobe, bigot, and middle-aged white guy and made them so poisonous that they have the power to ruin almost anyone.
It’s telling that wealthy individuals in society are more fearful of these terms than the working class. A welder knows that few people can perform his craft well. Meanwhile, the CEO of Nike is aware of his mediocrity. Thus, America’s most replaceable employees have the largest megaphones to bow and obey. Don’t worry, they always do.
Corporations, celebrities, and executives are afraid of labels, which tech platforms then amplify. Therefore, the culture paints an image that suggests that this 8% is of far greater size.
“Over the past decade, the woke agenda has crested like a giant tsunami, covering virtually the entirety of academia, the media, the corporate world and even the military,” Spiked columnist Joel Kotkin wrote. “The Gramscian concept of ‘the long march through the institutions,’ embraced by 1960s radicals like Germany’s Rudi Dutschke, has achieved overwhelming success.
“What they lack in numbers, however, they make up for with single-minded determination; progressive whites, notes the Atlantic, are the most intolerant of all Americans, led by those in the Boston area, while people in smaller towns and cities seem far more open.”
Journalists on both sides claim political alignment divides the country, but fear is the greater source of division than affiliation. Cancel culture comes for everyone, after all. Even you.
Most liberals don’t support tearing down statues of George Washington, forcing workers to admit their whiteness, or separating school children by skin color. However, moderate liberals are afraid to push back against their radical counterparts.
Often, the smaller far-Left and far-Right groups are the only two speaking up. And while mainstream outlets have banished right-wing conspiracy theorists, the equally-dangerous liberals continue to share their messages without interference. Further, the media has neutralized leftward radical viewpoints, even as most Americans consider them horrific.
“Wokeness” has had an impact on society, clearly. The question now is whether the push has a shelf life. Kotkin believes it does:
“There are signs that the woke progressive model may be losing its appeal, even among some liberals. The bulk of public opinion is not in progressives’ favour.”
The destruction levied by such a minuscule, unimpressive group is staggering. It’s also deflating. Cancel culture is clearly vulnerable, yet so few companies have the backbone to expose it. Executives render their freedom instead.
It takes an unimaginable sense of weakness to allow a niche group to control mainstream messaging. Meaning, the woke takeover isn’t about its supporters. The movement is merely the story of how society surrendered itself to a shallow group of radicals who have exceeded their own expectations
In other words, the same Americans who despise woke liberals are the very ones who have grown the movement — by curling up in a ball of fear.