Democrats Should Listen to Obama About Wokeism, But They Won’t

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Wokeism is a helluva drug. On the left, the focus on wokeness and political correctness has proliferated rapidly into the progressive zeitgeist to the point that its adherents are unable to see the damage it has caused to their movement.

Former President Barack Obama recently chimed in on this phenomenon, giving a dire warning to others on his side of the aisle. During an interview on Pod Save America, Obama intimated that too many on the left have become a “buzzkill” and pointed out how they have people “walking on eggshells.”

“How does politics even – how is it even relevant to the things that I care most deeply about? My family, my kids, work that gives me satisfaction, having fun, not being a buzzkill, right?” he said. “And sometimes Democrats are, right? You know, sometimes, people just want to not feel as if they are walking on eggshells. And they want some acknowledgment that life is messy and that all of us at any given moment can say things the wrong way, make mistakes.”

The former president was referring to a tendency on the left to take umbrage at every little offense. He spoke to how the focus on following the precepts of wokeness has become off-putting to the point that it is costing Democrats elections.

Obama is not the only one to point this out.

Democratic strategist James Carville has also cautioned the party against going all-in on wokeness, especially when it comes to policy.

“We’re letting a noisy wing of our party define the rest of us,” Carville said during an interview last summer. “And my point is we can’t do that. I think these people are all kind of nice people. I think they’re very naive, and they’re all into language and identity. And that’s all right. They’re not storming the Capitol. But they’re not winning elections.”

The “Defund the Police” movement, in particular, raised Carville’s ire. He, along with moderate Democrats, blame the radical policy proposals that came out of the movement for the lack of wins among the party’s candidates.

“Some of these people need to go to a ‘woke’ detox center or something. They’re expressing a language that people just don’t use, and there’s backlash and a frustration at that,” he said.

Naturally, Republicans have seized on this weakness, taking every opportunity to point out the less savory elements of the hard left when it comes to their influence on society. CNN reported:

Ad after ad running in hotly contested midterm campaigns accuse Democrats of supporting measures to defund the police and the elimination of cash bail. One commercial running against Wisconsin Democratic Senate nominee Mandela Barnes opens with fiery image of rioters accompanied by the words “Do you feel safe?” The ad ends by saying ominously: “Mandela Barnes: He stands with them, not us.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has distinguished himself among conservatives by taking a decidedly anti-woke approach to governing. Indeed, he has set himself up as the champion against the progressive left in rhetoric and policy. He and other Republican officials have been vociferous opponents of the national effort to trans children, which is a popular stance among Americans of all political persuasions.

Recently, Tulsi Gabbard announced she was leaving the Democratic Party. Among her list of grievances, she cited the obsession with wokeism.

“I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that’s under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers who are driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue and stoking anti-white racism, who actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms that are enshrined in our Constitution, who are hostile to people of faith and spirituality, who demonize the police but protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, who believe in open borders, who weaponize the national security state to go after their political opponents, and above all, who are dragging us ever closer to nuclear war,” she said in her video announcement.

“If you can no longer stomach the direction that the so-called woke Democratic party idealogues are taking our country, then I invite you to join me,” she added.

Nevertheless, Obama’s words, along with the others warning against wokeism, will fall on deaf ears. The bottom line is that these people can’t help themselves. Wokeness has metastasized on the left to the point that even if they wanted to, they could not quit it. They have passed the point of no return. It will likely take years before they might finally snap out of it and realize that they are alienating large chunks of the population. Indeed, it is one of the reasons they will lose big in the midterm elections and even the 2024 presidential elections. The question is: Will Republicans continue to capitalize on it?



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