John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


The woke versus the workers

Posted on September 24, 2019
How can a “woke” party nominate somebody who is barely awake?

That’s the reason I think Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will beat former Vice President Joe Biden and win the Democratic nomination.

Warren is the perfect “woke” candidate. She is a former college professor. She hates capitalism. She checks all of the right diversity boxes. And she is mad as hell and she is not going to take it anymore.

This election is shaping up to be the woke vs. the workers.

The woke are the kind of people who screw up traffic to protest climate change. Think Chris Christie but for a higher cause.

The workers are the folks who are trying to get to, well, work.

The woke have a pretty full agenda.

It’s #Metoo and #BLM and #transgender and #Medicareforall and #socialism all rolled into one big progressive package.

The folks who are left out of this rollicking agenda are those Americans who mostly worry about putting food on the table and sending their kids to a decent school. These voters want a good job and fair wages, they want the potholes fixed, they worry about the pernicious influence of a left-wing culture gone mad, and they fight over who is going to pick up the kids after daycare.

Warren used to worry about these voters when she penned “The Two-Income Trap” a generation ago, but now she has bigger fish to fry. She has to remake the world, destroy our patriarchal capitalist system and, of course, stop climate change dead in its tracks.

Richard Tafel wrote a fascinating article on Quillette, titled “Understanding America’s Cultural and Political Realignment.” In Tafel’s construct, he sees both parties breaking into three distinct groups, the traditional, the modern and the post-modern.

Traditional voters on both parties are culturally conservative. Modern voters in both parties are what you think they should be: Modern Republicans are pro-market capitalists while modern Democrats are left-leaning liberals. Post-modern Democrats and post-modern Republicans share one important trait. They want to blow up the political establishments.

In this construct, you can see that both the Trumpers and the woke Warren supporters are post-modernist. The big difference, though, comes in scale.

The Trumpers want to blow up the Republican Party. The woke Democrats want to blow up American white patriarchal capitalist society.

President Trump is not a traditional politician, but he is seen by his supporters as a defender of traditional values. And I think that gives him the edge if next year’s presidential campaign as a battle of the woke vs. the workers.

Economic security is traditionally the top concern of the vast majority of voters. Ironically, as The New York Times pointed out last week, those voters who live in states that have the best economies are the least likely to be supportive of the president.

In other words, if you are most worried about the economy, you are more likely to be supportive of the president. If you have no worries about the economy, you are most likely going to be focused on other things, like the president’s tweets.

Over the weekend, the president had a huge campaign rally with Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, and the leader of the traditional Hindu nationalist party. Attending the rally were thousands of wealthy Indian-Americans, many of them successful small businessmen and entrepreneurs.

You would expect that these voters would be part of the Warren’s “woke” coalition because they are people of color and because they are recent immigrants.

But my suspicion is that many of these voters, like many Hispanics and African Americans, will end up rejecting Warren and end up supporting Trump for reelection.

These voters have come to America because they want to live the American dream. They didn’t come here to live in some “woke” socialist dystopia that seeks to destroy traditional values in pursuit of a post-modernist utopia dreamed up by a gang of Harvard college professors.

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