Has Wokeism No Decency at Long Last?

Millions of our fellow Americans have been ‘educated’ away from their common sense.

A gender-neutral sign is posted outside a bathroom on May 11, 2016, in Durham, North Carolina.
A gender-neutral sign is posted outside a bathroom on May 11, 2016, in Durham, North Carolina. (photo: Sara D. Davis / Getty Images)

“When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” —G.K. Chesterton

I grew up in the 1990s. Many of my classmates and I had parents who’d been taught those duck-and-cover drills while in school. Some of us had parents who’d served in Vietnam. But as far as we knew, the Communist threat was gone.

The Berlin Wall was torn down. The Soviet Union had dissolved. Our United States had held firm, having made the Soviets blink first, ushering in a new era of peace and prosperity throughout the world. Our young American hearts filled with pride at thoughts of the Cold War victory.

It didn’t occur to us that yet another ideology, very much like Communism, was gaining traction that very decade. Under the guise of “kindness,” and “open-mindedness,” Wokeism had been forming right under our noses by piecemeal gains. The bulk of us probably would’ve laughed hysterically if we’d only been told what kids were going to be taught about gender in public schools by the 2020s. 

“Our country is free,” so many of us would’ve been swift to explain (albeit in a juvenile manner), “and far too educated to ever let any mumbo-jumbo like that fly!” 

But that mumbo-jumbo has flown indeed. Millions of our fellow Americans have been “educated” away from their common sense. Wokeism had already gained the influence to do tremendous harm by the time most of us could’ve identified it as an ideology. Today, it is the Russians who have their own turn to joke about us for having fallen under the possession of an ideology. 

Most of my classmates and I understood that Communism was wrong. And because we understood Communism as a thing of the past, a theory that had ultimately to pan out, it also became easy enough for us to accept that the Red Scare was a rather “excessive” response to what ultimately proved to fail. McCarthyism seemed much like being afraid of ghosts. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, which was required reading in high school (not that all of us bothered to read it), was well-known to be an allegory about McCarthyism.  

It was on Feb. 9, 1950, that Senator Joseph McCarthy spoke at an event, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, in Wheeling, West Virginia. This speech is widely accepted as the beginning of McCarthyism.

I’d learned in high school that Senator McCarthy was a drunken buffoon with a penchant for throwing around baseless accusations. He did indeed struggle with alcohol abuse, and the complications of it led to his early death at the age of 48. But how often is a teenager, assuming himself to be so wise, really willing to consider whether the actions of a drunken buffoon might have somehow helped prevent something much worse from happening, by stopping Communism from gaining the influence that Wokeism has managed to gain in recent years? 

The workings of a Fifth Column, those undermining our country from within on behalf of a hostile foreign agent, was a central concern then. The Fifth Column — and there were indeed at least a few traitors who’d managed to infiltrate our government — didn’t gain the necessary influence for our nation to eventually turn into a Communist state. But we do today have what works very similarly to a Fifth Column, which has indeed successfully conditioned millions of our fellow countrymen, and which never needed any Soviet influence to do so. 

Bud Light. The Los Angeles Dodgers. Disney. Target (which featured that “tuck-in” swimwear that can remind anyone of Silence of the Lambs). These are among the major companies that made headlines in 2023, for having compelled upon us a betrayal of tradition and common sense, in order to preach “compassion.” 

Much of the legacy media’s very selective coverage, as well as the entertainment industry’s modern obsession with “DEI,” continues to condition many of our fellow countrymen. Campuses throughout our country, which “educate” many of those who will go on to land influential jobs in corporate America, have served as incubators for visions of “social justice.”

The influence that our modern Fifth Column has gained was placed on full display last year, during “Pride” month in our nation’s capital, when the rainbow flag was displayed at the center of the White House façade, in place of Old Glory. 

Millions of adults have been coaxed into believing that certain ideas, which were considered to be avant-garde not so long ago, are just as well as tradition. It’s likely the case that even more adults than that fear to openly speak up on behalf of common sense, such as “he” or “she” being the only proper pronouns for biological men and women respectively, because of the potential conflict and consequences. But the greatest cause for concern today is the indoctrination, and corruption, of children. 

Our Lord said, “If anyone causes one of these little ones — those who believe in me — to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).

No state in our country allows a minor, without parental supervision, to get a tattoo. So why are minors allowed to receive hormone “treatments” (often behind their parents’ backs), which have irreversible effects, in so many of our states? 

In my home state of North Carolina, which is widely regarded as a “red” state, children are being taught queer and gender theory in the 6th grade. It’s likewise in the very state of North Carolina that John Amanchukwu, the so-called “Book Burning Pastor,” began the campaign to rid school libraries of pornographic books, by going to school board meetings and reading particularly graphic passages aloud, going on to question why such filth is in a school library in the first place. 

McCarthy was, very much, a flawed man. But we don’t always have the convenience of choosing between an absolute right or absolute wrong. By having put Communist sympathizers on the defensive, anti-Communists in the West may very well have been what prevented Communists from gaining influence, and from bullying their way to demand even greater influence from there. How many children were ultimately spared from indoctrination and corruption, which children are subjected to today, because of the ramblings of a “drunken buffoon” during the Red Scare? How many lives will be ruined in the absence of our having had any kind of a Rainbow Scare?

Wokeism today is merely a symptom. Our nation did not succumb to the symptom in the former case, and yet is succumbing to the symptom in the latter case today, because the underlying illness has remained. Economic or social justice concerns have been cited countless times to justify the symptoms, but in reality, this is and has always been a spiritual question.

Is it that we perhaps fooled ourselves into believing, in the years following the collapse of Communism, that we could be both godless and somehow immune to ideology? 

“For socialism is not merely the labor question,” Dostoevsky wrote in The Brothers Karamazov, “it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism today, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to heaven from earth but to set up heaven on earth.”

At the individual level, ascending upward to the corporate, it is a question of whether or not we would accept Church teaching as objectively true (which it is), of whether or not we will even bother going to church, of whether or not we would enter into a relationship with Our Savior. It is a question of whether we will turn to Christ or to a Caesar as our king, of whether we’d surrender ourselves by saying “Thy will be done” or to go on saying “my will be done.” 

The Church has had many enemies in 2,000 years of history. Many heresies became fashionable over the course of those years, for a time, only to be outlived by the Church. The Church will outlive the fashions of this very age, regardless of “progressive” thinkers who’d insist that she must eventually “get with the times.” But what will we allow the cost of this latest fashion to be? How many of our countrymen will give their souls to the ideologies which, in fact, demand no less? 

The nations of the West may finish the task of shedding themselves of their Christian identity, in favor of this current (and what has by now become an incredibly bizarre) ideology. They may perhaps embrace nationalism instead, as a violent rejection of this current fashion. But the Church will carry on with her mission, even if those of us in the West would abandon her, until the end of time. And at the end of history, it will be proven that she was right.

It is far nobler to be a fool with Christ than to be any man formed by his times.   

The Alabama State House, located in Montgomery, Alabama.

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