June 3, 2023 - 9:01 pm
Conservatives and traditionalists are often exasperated at the ongoing woke cultural revolution in their midst. How can America be turned upside down, as it is, when there is little public support for the things happening around us?
They don’t see much backing for the current border policy and illegal immigration, yet it continues. Conservatives feel that most Americans reject the trend of biological men dominating female sporting events. They fear American jurisprudence has become now vastly weaponized and warped.
Certainly, Donald Trump will be more likely indicted by a politicized New York City prosecutor for supposedly overvaluing his net worth more than a decade ago than would be a current violent street criminal clubbing a subway commuter.
In 2020 torching a federal courthouse or massing at the White House grounds, in efforts to get at the president, earned either few arrests and little or no jail time. In 2021, if one entered the Capitol and illegally paraded around like a buffoon, he could get a five-year prison sentence.
Traditionalists feel that sky-high energy prices, out-of-control urban crime, a depressed economy, high interest rates and a politicized FBI, CIA, Justice Department and Pentagon are all needlessly self-created messes.
How then did these extremist policies that have little popular support become institutionalized?
Conservatives, by their nature and unlike the left, are more inclined to accept existing institutions rather than to radically alter or destroy them.
They were asleep at the wheel in 2020, when left-wing-funded lawsuits radically transformed Election Day in many states into a mere construct. Some 70 percent of the electorate in key precincts voted by mail or early, with far fewer ballot audits or authentication. They focus on nominating more conservative judges, not packing the court itself. They work to take back the Senate, not to end the filibuster or bring in two new states with four new senators.
Traditionalists often feel they have no time for politics. They prefer to focus on their families, jobs, communities and churches. Until recently they shunned organized boycotts. They abhor massing outside the homes of left-wing politicians and judges. They shrug and concede that universities, teachers, government unions, the corporate boardroom, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, the media, entertainment and professional sports are hopelessly activist and left-wing.
The environmental, social, governance (ESG), diversity, equity and inclusion and LGBQT+ agendas were unfathomable acronyms to Middle America and thus mostly ignored. So conservatives often slept through the woke revolution. Yet suddenly they realize their apathy allowed the country to descend into something the nation’s founders never imagined or intended and something antithetical to what most knew as America just a couple of decades ago.
So conservatives are awakening from their slumber. And they are discovering that they too can boycott, agitate — and roar.
The woke Target corporation in just a few days has suffered a more than $10 billion loss in its stock value. Millions of shoppers shunned its 2,000 stores after the chain showcased its “pride” apparel. The displays featured “tuck pieces” — veritable codpieces — that are intended to facilitate “women’s” male genitalia.
Anheuser-Busch came up with the bright idea that it would highlight Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender performance activist, to hawk its Bud Light brand. But beer seemed incidental to the self-absorbed Mulvaney’s fixation on promoting transgenderism. So Bud Light-drinking, red-state America got turned off by Mulvaney’s in-your-face-advocacy.
An ensuing informal boycott cost the company nearly $16 billion in lost stock value. Hundreds of millions of dollars of unsellable light beer stagnated. Stores can’t even give it away. Meanwhile, Bud Light’s competitors coped with meeting record Memorial Day consumer demand.
Ditto the defiantly woke Disney Corporation. The now politically activist entertainment corporation insisted on pushing woke agendas down the throats of its family-centered audience. The result? Its online entertainment services are bleeding millions of subscribers. Disney stock has lost $16 billion in value. Its overpriced theme parks no longer count on continual increased attendance.
Sometimes traditionalists prefer simply to drop out rather than boycott wokeism. One result is that the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards now have a fraction of their previous televised audience.
In 1998 — when the United States had a population of 275 million — the NBA Finals earned on average 29 million television viewers. This year the NBA bragged its finals averaged a pathetic 4 million viewers in a contemporary America of 335 million.
The Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team reinvited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence — a self-identified performance art “queer” group — to headline the team’s “pride night.” The all-male “sisters” usually put on anti-Catholic pornographic skits that mock Jesus Christ and sexualize Christian rituals.
That Dodger indulgence is not going over well with its fan base, especially the city’s millions of Catholic Latinos.
The woke left still enjoys enormous advantages over the Right. The bicoastal elite has far more money, controls all the major American institutions and dominates the dissemination of knowledge through the media and Silicon Valley. But the Left does not enjoy majority public support. And now it has managed the impossible — to goad the normally comatose conservative dragon to awaken.
And it is just starting to breathe fire.
Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a classicist and historian at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.