Why is Wokeism so attractive to so many?
Wokeism offers pre-packaged, shrink-wrapped, off-the-shelf righteousness to anyone who bends the knee. It requires little effort, sacrifice, or intelligence. Simply believe, complain, criticize, and accuse—it’s that easy. In exchange, you’re rewarded with a flattering identity: you’re now a crusader/warrior/hero who vanquishes villains (imaginary villains, but villains nonetheless)—all at seemingly no cost. It’s free handouts of meaning in life. It can seem quite attractive.
But there’s a catch: it drains away your humanity.
There’s also a hidden cost: it requires a significant lack of self-awareness.
This lack of self-awareness creates a crucial vulnerability.
Wokeism is ultimately a religion for the faithless. They think they’re morally superior to everyone who isn’t in their cult, based on their newly invented, highly imaginative, man-made system of ethics. Lurking beneath every one of their policies is the implicit message: “I’m a good person, but you’re not.”
They’re delusional, of course, like cult members who have been dangerously brainwashed. But this offers us a key advantage.
They’re working to undermine America from within. If that’s how they want to play, we can do the same to them. This means understanding how they think and undermining them from within.
Their basic strategy for achieving moral superiority works like this:
1) Name a good cause everyone agrees with. (X)
2) Use that cause to mask some Communist Marxist hellish lunacy (Y).
3) Pretend anyone who objects to the hellish Lunacy (Y) actually disagrees with the good cause (X).
Whenever we disagree with Y, they pretend we disagree with X.
This strategy is present in virtually every issue, from environmentalism (“You hate the planet!”), to gun control (“You want innocent people murdered!”), to securing elections (“You’re against voting rights!”), to abortion (“You’re against women’s health!”), etc. This “pass the smug, I need a hit!” habit becomes highly addictive.
Image: We believe yard sign in the Midwest by Andrea Widburg
But with knowledge of a vulnerability, one small X-wing fighter can destroy an entire Death Star. It’s possible to undermine any Wokester.
How? Take a popular yard sign:
Black Lives Matter
Love is Love
Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
Kindness is Everything
Science is Real
Diversity Makes Us Stronger
No Human is Illegal
The persuasive power in these slogans is compelling, unfortunately. They’re concise, emotional, and seemingly difficult to argue with.
But the real message lies in the subtext. We’re often blind to this. They’re really saying:
If you disagree with us,
You think Black lives don’t matter.
You’re against love.
You don’t think women are human.
You’re against kindness.
You’re against science.
You’re racist, sexist, etc.
You think some humans shouldn’t exist.
When the subtext is articulated instead of implied, these positions become laughably absurd. But they really believe them. (The gullible do, anyway. The more ruthless only pretend to.)
So, what can we do?
We can adjust our messaging and expose this dynamic at every possible opportunity. The real fight is over the moral high ground.
We can win this battle. Why? Because we tell the truth, and they lie. They want to demoralize us with lies, but we can demoralize them with truth.
(“You think Black Lives Don’t Matter.”) No. You’re deliberately muddying the water with the words “Black lives matter.” Which do you mean: the idea or the organization? We all agree on the idea, obviously. But do you mean the corrupt neo-Marxist Activist Organization that fuels riots, destruction, and murder? That’s quite different. You’re deliberately conflating the two.
(“You’re against love.”) (Deep sigh/eye-roll.) Nobody is against “love.” You don’t have a monopoly on “love.” Judeo-Christianity has been saying “love one another” for millennia. But since we’re talking: you imagine yourselves as lovers, but you’re actually hostile and hateful toward anyone who differs even slightly from your lunatic political ideas. Your side also has a long history of deliberately orchestrated mass murder.
(“You think women aren’t human.”) Nobody actually thinks this. You’re delusional. You’re crusading against a figment of your own fevered imagination.
(“Kindness is everything.”) The subtext here is, “We’re kind, and you’re not.” This disguises a cleverly hidden ploy: “Kindness” means “never hurt our feelings” (it’s fine for us to hurt yours.) It hurts our feelings when you don’t simply agree with everything we say. So, “You be kind to us, and we’ll be vicious to you.” Are they “kind” to Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Clarence Thomas? If kindness is really “everything,” why are the Woke so hateful and intolerant?
(“Science is real.”) Again, nobody actually disagrees with this. You seem to imagine that you have a monopoly on science. Get over yourself. But since we’re here, here’s an alternate hypothesis: corrupt political authoritarianism disguised as “science.”
(“Diversity makes us stronger.”) You’ve ruined the word “diversity.” You believe in judging people by superficial traits such as skin color. We reject that entire worldview. Our emphasis is on what people actually think, feel, and do, which reflects character. Character expresses true individuality. You’re the ones who insist on total mindless conformity to a narrow ideology.
(“No human is illegal.”) Again, nobody actually thinks this, except those who want to murder babies in the womb. Wanting a sane and commonsense immigration policy isn’t anti-human. Every healthy organism has healthy boundaries. Meanwhile, the Left excludes, dehumanizes, and destroys people all the time.
These seem obvious, yet I rarely hear anyone on the right talk like this. We let them get away with it.
We must start communicating on this level. When we do, we win.
This doesn’t come easy for us. The Woke are very good at propaganda. We aren’t. They use catchy bumper-sticker slogans; we have thoughtful conversations, in-depth articles, and long essays (guilty as charged). These are great, but we must also compete in a world of shrinking, highly visual attention spans.
The above also plays defense. We need our own short, sticky mind-nuggets. The point isn’t to dumb our messaging down, but to communicate effectively. Instead of a verbal fig leaf covering Marxist monstrosities, our messaging should boil complex insights down to just a few simple words, also with subtext. For example:
Every person is unique.
Humans thrive in freedom.
Tyranny is worth resisting.
Politicians should serve people.
Individuals build families, families build nations.
God is real.
These suggestions are far from perfect, but they at least start boxing them in the way they usually box us in. Saddle them with the burden of proof. Instead of us constantly struggling to explain why we aren’t racist, sexist, etc (which we aren’t), they must explain why they aren’t nihilistic, atheistic, anti-family, pro-tyranny, and so on (which they usually are).
This shines the spotlight back on them, which fosters self-awareness. Self-awareness is fatal to Wokeism. It’s why they don’t debate, but only silence, lecture, and cancel. They’re fueled by their sense of moral superiority. It’s time to cut off those fuel lines. Without that, a life of faux-outrage activism serving a deranged pseudo-religion suddenly becomes much less attractive.
Their mindset of “I’m a good person, and you’re not” is delusional. Delusions evaporate when they’re exposed to the light of truth. We need to expose them all.
Steve Rose is a pseudonym.