None of this is particularly telling. We have written about what a nonsensical “anti-revival” loser question is for the Republican Party: “A new USA Today/Ipsos poll found that a 56% majority of Americans view the term “woke” in a positive light, indicating that they are “informed, educated, and aware of social injustices.” Three-quarters of Democrats viewed the term that way, as did 51% of independents and more than a third of Republicans.
Conservatives have long been able to control the narrative and make words like “liberal” toxic. Yet when it comes to “awake,” they get restless.
The reason is simple: where they once focused on convincing the general public about their issues with a single-minded ability to clearly define their boogeymen, their media bubble is driving them inwards. They toss about in a tizzy, happy to ignore an outside world that remains puzzled by hysteria and often simply bored.
In the end, for a party that once claimed to talk about issues that mattered to the “real America,” they gave up on such claims. You can bet almost every Republican frowns on the word “liberal” or “Joe Biden.” But when a third of Republicans are okay with “awake”, you know you have a problem. Woke just isn’t that offensive to most people.
For example, young Republicans are appalled as the Republican Party approaches the culture wars. “We don’t really use ‘woke’ as a term,” Community College of Rhode Island student Evan Masse told Rolling Stone. Another young conservative told the magazine that “woke” was a term a “disconnected uncle” might use on Thanksgiving. “I think a lot of older people use it if they don’t really know what it’s referring to. It’s a catch-all colloquial language.
This kid is 100% right. Conservatives have no idea what they’re talking about when they use woke. We have seen it time and time again: Conservatives have been challenged to define the term and have failed disastrously.
The problem for Republicans is that “woke” has become “everything we don’t like.” It was easy for Republicans to impose rigid message discipline when Rush Limbaugh and Fox News controlled the narrative. Given the current civil war raging on the right, it is now impossible for them to do so. The word is so meaningless that even Republicans are use it against each other.
Delivering a scorching rebuke of what he called the “woke right,” U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, continued to distance himself from some inflammatory Tories, accusing them of helping sow manufactured division in the party .
In an interview with Jonathan Martin of The New York Times for the Texas Tribune Festival, the two-term congressman berated ‘alt-right’ politicians and their supporters for wanting to ‘wear a jersey and just shout the other side’ .
And hey, have you heard of FoxNews being awake ?
“Fox News employees are permitted to use bathrooms that match their gender identity, rather than their biological sex, and to dress in accordance with their preferred sex. They should also be addressed by their name and preferred workplace pronouns,” reported The Daily Signal, the news agency of the arch-conservative Heritage Foundation, in an article titled “Leaked Policy Exposes Fox News Stances on Woke Ideology.” They breathlessly reported that “these are just some of the policies outlined in the company’s handbook, dated January 2021, a copy of which was shared with The Daily Signal. Fox also offers to help employees develop a “workplace transition plan” to ease their gender transition at work. »
When everything is “awakened”, then nothing is. Republicans are shouting the word, expecting the general American public to be just as flustered as they are over nonsense like a trans influencer drinking Bud Lite on an Instagram story, or a M&M Spokesperson look less sexy than before, or something–something Dr.Seuss.
There’s a symbiotic relationship going on here between the loudest Republican voices and the right-wing media. These nonsensical questions are much more fun to debate than real political discussions on topics like health care or climate change. It’s so much easier to grab the primetime spotlight (and deplorable praise) if you want to do battle with a Muppet.
The Republican presidential field is no exception to this trap, as it is the only way for these hopefuls to remain relevant to the conservative media that gives them visibility. But for the average American voter? Their words will remain an incomprehensible code that they will always have no interest in deciphering. Trans kids in the bathroom or in sports or any new fabricated outrage will be just as helpful to election-winning Republicans as they were in 2018, 2020 and 2022.
That is to say: Keep it up, please. It sure beats the hell out of Republicans talking about things that voters actually care about.
We speak with Anderson Clayton, the 25-year-old chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party. Clayton has an overall plan for 2024 and explains the granular changes needed to get the vote on college campuses and in rural Tar Heel State communities.