Will Wokeness Kill the Party? | Opinion


Guest Opinion
By Mary Keyes Rogers | July 23, 2022

Regardless of your political persuasion, you’ve gotta hand it to the Democrats for how well they’ve presented the Jan. 6 hearings. Every “i” has been dotted and each “t” has been crossed, emotions kept in check, timetables explained, and unbiased witnesses called upon to testify. Even if they did get a hand from Hollywood, that’s fine by me. Great job, kudos to all involved!

Considering what’s come to light in those hearings, it is a shock they’re likely going to lose the House, and maybe the Senate, too, in the midterms.

Let me predict how Republicans will snatch the votes of many moderate Democrats and Independents.

It shouldn’t be easy, considering the average voters’ opinions on key issues compared to the Republican candidates. Most Americans identify as pro-choice. They support a ban on assault weapons and think the government should be doing more to limit the impact of climate change, all causes represented in Democratic-sponsored legislation in the House and subsequently killed by Republicans in the Senate. To be clear, the Republicans are unanimous in their positions on these issues: No, no, and no.

I believe we can all agree that abortion, guns, and climate are not fringe issues.

Democrats should be at a significant advantage in the midterm elections when Republicans are heavily favored to take back the U.S. House and perhaps even the Senate. Only in the most recent weeks, with the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the Uvalde school shooting, have poll numbers begun to slip a bit for Republicans.

In statewide elections, Democrats, and even moderate Republicans, are poised to be trounced by Trump-whipped, NRA-directed, pro-life, polluting-for-profit Republicans. (By the way, I used to like Republicans when they were a party of free-thinking individuals.)

Considering all that the Republicans are doing in direct opposition to the desires of the American voter, you would naturally believe the Democrats must be doing some genuinely crazy bad stuff.

It may sound minor, but they allowed the tail to wag the dog. Yes, the Democratic party has cowered to its own far, far left, uber-progressive, woke slice of the party pie at the expense of most voters.

So, while closer to the target on these hot-button issues of abortion, guns, and climate, Team Blue went so far to the left on cultural issues that voters are uncomfortable calling themselves Democrats. Moderates and Independents are willing to overlook their differences with the Republican platform as long as their finances are more likely to improve with Team Red.

The message makers at Donkey HQ need a reminder that not everything is sexist, racist, elitist, or coming from a place of white privilege or hate. We are a country of evolving, imperfect humans with varying histories and sensitivities, but our right to free speech includes the right to be insensitive and in bad taste. Sometimes, we really are just making a joke. And some jokes are just plain offensive.

The Democratic Party must recognize that they don’t have enough woke soldiers to win the culture war. Politically Incorrect’s liberal Bill Maher has been held up as the darling of Fox News and the Republican Party because he’s openly pissed off and poking fun at the woke crowd. Even former President Obama has sternly warned young activists that “shaming isn’t activism.”

Unfortunately, our funniest comedians will no longer tour or perform on college campuses for fear of either being canceled or facing a woke and humorless audience for 90 minutes. Much to my dismay, Hollywood doesn’t seem to be making many comedies anymore because they are too politically expensive to produce in this woke era.

Personally, I’m not okay with being shamed by a passing 20-year-old for using a plastic straw. And, honestly, I don’t want to be called a “birthing person” or “a person with a vagina.”

The most progressive members, the trigger police within the Democratic party, have become its de facto standard bearers. In contrast, the average Democratic voter cannot relate to their gripes or their rage.

I hear young liberal progressives within the Democratic party ashamed of their country and citizenship. I understand that our country’s history has been sanitized, but warts and all, average Democrats still love their country.

Mainstream voters think about paychecks, not pronouns. Average Americans wring their hands over funding their retirement accounts, not defunding the police. The woke culture that threatens, “You know you can’t say that anymore?” has exhausted us. Their 15-minutes can end now, please.

Ironically, woke culture may cancel Democratic candidates and, in the process, help to elect Republicans who will block any legislation offering support for reproductive rights, gun control, or reversing climate change.

Wake up to that.

Mary Keyes Rogers, a Traverse City resident of more than 20 years, hosted the daily talk radio show Mary in the Morning, launched Marigold Women in Business, and has held executive positions in many civic and business leaders’ local, regional, and national organizations.

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