Ron DeSantis appeared on Fox proclaiming that if elected he would serve two terms and destroy wokeism and leftism. The United States would become more like Florida, and wouldn’t that be a good thing. Teachers would be told what they could and couldn’t teach. History would be limited to a sanitized white-bread romantic tale of national pride and patriotism. Mid-twentieth century white conservative Protestant social values would be imposed on all by force of law. Government would favor big business, but only on government’s terms. In the name of color blindness, any group that could be identified by skin color or ethnicity would be prohibited from advocating for their interests that might be in conflict with the government approved version of the American Way. You get the idea. Fascism, pure and simple.
Labeling things as wokeism and leftism is a new take on the old strategy of creating enemies of the people to be feared and exterminated. Wokeism and leftism? What are they? There have been some silly examples of what some people call woke, mostly on college campuses where fads flourish for a season. Hyper demands to be called by a preferred personal pronoun is one. I have a hard enough time learning names, and have no interest in learning preferred personal pronouns lest some offense be caused. The same goes for demands that nothing be said that might trigger an unpleasant memory or anxiety over some troubling issue. Life is full of events that challenge one’s comfort level. Learn to deal with it. I would get exorcised about such fads, but they come and go, so it isn’t worth the strain on my blood pressure. Even the current wave of concern about trans people is a sort of fad. Fear mongering about bathroom safety and athletic competition is a cruel fad, and pandering to the idea of trans is a silly fad. The truly trans-sexual population is small and unlikely to change. Leave them alone, and let them work out how they want to deal with it as they see fit. There are a fair number of young people claiming to be non-binary, and making a point of it. Those who really are will work it out for themselves. Those who aren’t will soon get tired of play-acting . The next young tier will come ump with their own thing to act out.
Silliness is one thing, but facing up to issues of social and economic injustice is another. So is calling out racist language, and mean speech that humiliates an demeans. It’s not wokeism to demand that equality before the law be realized in the fullest measure for every person in everyday life. It’s not wokeism to expect every person can be safe as who they are and who they love. Using the federal government to create a more level playing field is not leftism. It won’t result in absolute economic equality but in a more honest equity of opportunity not saddled with legally imposed obstacles. The liberal consensus, updated for the twenty-first century is not dreaded socialism. It’s American democracy in action to create “a more perfect union,”or at least a less imperfect one.
The liberal consensus succeeds only when liberal and conservative voices negotiate in good faith to find common ground. What DeSantis proposes, and the Freedom Caucus demands is not conservative. It’s Fascism, a particularly pernicious form of American Fascism that would destroy not wokeism and leftism, but democracy itself.