Woke, and proud of it.

We used to divide our political discourse along the lines of conservative and liberal. Those distinctions have grown less useful in the post-truth, post-democratic era of MAGA Trumpism. Liberals and conservatives may still disagree on how best to achieve a civil society, but I think it’s fair to say that my conservative friends would agree with me that all of us are born with equal rights and should be free to pursue a life of liberty. Today the political (and some would argue, cultural) division is between MAGA (a tribe devoted to the idea that there are some among us who are undeserving) and another tribe of us who are Woke.

Our eighty-something neighbor asked me the other day to explain Woke. I’ve heard it defined in several ways, but the most useful definition that I can come up with is that it’s the opposite of MAGA Trumpism. Some key features of MAGA Trumpism are: a deep resentment of non-white, non-Christians, and non-heterosexuals; a belief that any redistribution of wealth through taxes is anathema; an enthusiastic suspension of belief in commonly understood facts. A person who is Woke, on the other hand: has empathy for all people (even for MAGA Trumpists); understands that taxes are an essential foundation of civil society; has a fact based world view. I know that the MAGA Trumpists use Woke as a pejorative, but I explained to our neighbor that I do not reject the label. She smiled and proudly agreed that she too is Woke.

Posted 16 March 2023 by Mark ·