There’s a great scene in Oliver Stone’s classic Viet Nam War movie, Platoon, where a black soldier questions Charlie Sheen’s protagonist on how a college educated white boy ended up in Nam. Sheen explains that he dropped out to enlist because he didn’t think it was right that only poor kids had to go fight. The soldier laughs and responds, “Man, you gotta be rich to think like that in the first place.” I’ve always found that scene very profound and revealing (given that the film was semi-autobiographical, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t taken from an actual exchange). It illustrates how when you’re coming from a place of privilege, even the way you think about fighting against privilege, reflects a privileged perspective. And so it is with “woke culture.” And that’s why it’s electoral poison, as virtue signaling media darlings like Harris and O’Rourke discovered when their campaigns both imploded on the launch pad, in spite of all the encouraging words from the Twitterverse.
For the wokesters, this election cycle has been a non-stop cognitive dissonance machine. Note the rash of knee-jerk articles that greeted Harris’ exit from the race as evidence of structural racism and the foul perfidy of white Democratic voters. Also note how quickly that take went away. By the time we got to Castro and Booker’s respective withdrawals from the race, we heard nary a peep about it. Turned out it was impossible to maintain the default shocked outrage narrative in a world where the two people leading among black and Latino voters, Biden and Sanders, are both old, white guys, while Harris, Booker, and Castro, got nowhere with those constituencies. This kind of patronizing, “We know what’s best for you,” signaling from educated white people is as old as the earliest urban social workers, who would drop into poor neighborhoods around the turn of the century and attempt to solve juvenile delinquency by teaching Aristotle. To the surprise of no one outside the 10% of people who generate 80% of the tweets, it turns out POC are as concerned with policy as anybody else, and are perhaps even more disinclined than working class whites (who themselves are pretty disinclined), to choose milquetoast candidates based on their race, gender, or sexual orientation in order to send some kind of message. As Aqil Shakur, a 53 year-old black voter, told the New York Times, “If I had a Kamala Harris or a Corey Booker that sounded like Bernie Sanders, of course I would choose them because they’re closer to my lived experience. But the Kamalas and Coreys aren’t discussing the issues he’s discussing.”
Going beyond the way this cohort turns off voters of all stripes, with a full 80% identifying “political correctness as a problem in the country” (including 74% of those aged 25-29, and 79% of those under 24), the intellectual bankruptcy and outright hypocrisy of their movement, such as it is, couldn’t be made more clear than it is in who they choose to support. Mostly this group has been bouncing back and forth between Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete. Warren is a person who spent her entire career claiming to be Native American, based on a family legend, going so far as to submit “family recipes,” to a book called Pow Wow Chow, that were plagiarized from the New York Times. She also allowed Harvard to claim her as the first Woman of Color hired by their law school for several decades, then lied about having told them she was Native, or knowing that she was being touted as such. Even with the kindest interpretation, which would assume that Warren actually believed the family stories, how on earth would the notion that you had a Native great-great-great grandparent, give you the right to identify as Native American? I have a Mongolian great-grandfather. But it would never occur to me to identify as “Asian” on official forms, as Warren indisputably did regarding her “Native” claims. This is supposed to be the kind of thing that gets you cancelled in Wokeworld. But Warren is a female candidate with a ‘D’ next to her name, so down the memory hole it goes, never to be spoken of, even as every comedian who ever said anything off-color, anytime, anywhere, is to be tarred, feathered, and driven from the public square.
And what about Mayor Pete? This is a man who started his career by firing the first black police chief of South Bend, possibly at the urging of his donors. He then went on in this election cycle to claim endorsements from black politicians for his Presidential run that he did not actually have. According to the edicts of wokeness, this is the kind of thing that oughta make your head explode, no? Like, this is tweet-until-your-fingers-bleed-and- you’ve-lost-all-your-friends territory. But, like Warren, he checks an identity box, and he has a ‘D’ next to his name, so once again, down the memory hole it goes, with a big assist from a corporate media that makes it much easier for their addled consumers to forget all this, by refusing to report on it, leaving Democrats to be blindsided later when the GOP beats the snot out of their candidate by putting it all into an ad blitz. Given the almost total lack of black support for Buttigieg, it would be very interesting to poll his voters on how many of them included lack of diversity in his base as part of the case against Bernie Sanders in the last election. I’m saying you’d get about 99% in the affirmative column if they answered honestly. But as their enthusiasm for two candidates that, in their preferred nomenclature, are “deeply problematic,” illustrates, intellectual consistency is not the strong suit of this crowd.
The latest evidence of how unpopular woke culture war appeals are among rank and file voters, has been the polling since CNN’s dumpster fire of a debate. After Warren and CNN smeared Sanders as a sexist in what was clearly a closely coordinated attack, Sanders took the lead for the first time nationally in a Reuters poll, with Warren losing 3% and Biden losing 4%. That’s great news for the vast majority of us who would much rather talk about health care and student debt than bathroom laws and Kevin Hart. The arsenal of weapons built up over decades to channel dissent into areas that don’t cost wealthy political donors any money, i.e.; cultural issues, are proving to be so wholly ineffective, that after this election its hard to imagine anyone will try to run that kind of national campaign again. No one likes to be on the losing team, and as a result, the long, national nightmare of tyranny by twitter, may finally be coming to an end.