Britain’s royalty and Parliament in the late 1650s were not welcoming to Richard Cromwell to become successor as Lord Protector of the realm upon the death of his father, Oliver Cromwell. Historical legend informs that the English rhyme about a mouse and a clock was an apocryphal allusion to Richard’s short stint of nine months.
Establishment of the role of Lord Protector may have been a good idea at the time but, as in life, political culture is changeable. Wokery or wokeism is a currently hot popular term among conservatives (and Republicans) employed to diminish and repel the cancel culture criticisms they attribute to the left as well as most other liberal political positons. For the most part, woke has replaced snowflake as the epithet of choice among the righties.
A prominent anti-wokeist is Tucker Carlson, the wildly popular commentator on Fox News, whose role as eminence grise is magnified by his earnestly querulous visage on camera. He was not averse to adopting snowflakery language to defend his criticism of the US military. More recently, Carlson has engaged a range of call outs of wokeism stretching from National Public Radio to the M&M cartoon character to US military generals who, because of wokeism, could not defeat the Taliban.
Conservative wokeness is, however, not supposed to be revealed or even mentioned as a political pathology infecting those on the right side of the political spectrum. Carlson’s most recent ventures into global political commentary was foreshadowed in July 2018 during an interview with President Trump. The Fox wokesearcher posed a question:
Membership in NATO obligates the members to defend any other member who has been attacked. Let’s say Montenegro – which joined last year – is attacked. Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?
Applying the logic of that inquiry to the continental US might rationalize allowing Rhode Island or Delaware to be consumed by Civil War adversaries. Sometimes the breadth of wokeist theories is, well, breathtaking. Whether as a snowflake or wokeist, Mr. Carlson displays little, if any, intelligence, especially in diplomatic or military matters. His wokeism is the equivalent of a blinding ideology.
According to a number of conservative researchers, the woke pandemic may have originated in pharmacological laboratories secretly funded by George Soros. The anti-wokeists further attribute its nefarious spread to incubators on American college and university campuses fostered by Marxist-drunk baby boomer faculty. The generational dystopia cited by conservatives likely emanates from a distaste for the 1960s protests against the Vietnam War, persistent civil rights demonstrations, suffrage for 18-year-olds, and the consuming matter of the George Floyd murder and the rise of BLM.
Anti-wokeist agitators pine for the days of Reds Under Beds (RUB) madness spearheaded by Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. Their present fear of wokeism rests upon the potential that the malady will produce lasting effects similar to long COVID for which mandatory emergency measures may be necessitated, further embedding the authority of government bureaucracy.
Anti-wokeist agitators pine for the days of Reds Under Beds (RUB) madness spearheaded by Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. Their present fear of wokery rests upon the potential that the malady will produce lasting effects similar to long COVID for which mandatory emergency measures may be necessitated, further embedding the authority of government bureaucracy.
Snowflakes melt but wokery has the promise to endure, bedeviling conservatives and causing them to expend fighting energy better deployed directly against liberals and Democrats. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) launched a barrage of anti-woke proposals as a trial balloon for the 2024 RNC national platform. Scott envisions a tax system where “everyone has skin in the game” including 50% of Americans who do not pay any income tax due to their earnings levels. It’s certainly a tax increase on lower wage earners and, even more certainly, a woking of those voters that could backfire against the GOP.
The GOP needs to study more carefully the wokery it seeks to capitalize upon. Sen. Scott’s idea does not emulate Muhammad Ali’s more famous rope-a-dope as rope-a-woke. The English rhyme advises that, after climbing he clock, the mouse fell down several times as time progressed to seven. It should not be surprising that that rhyme has lasted since 1744 while Richard Cromwell’s tenure lasted nine months. Tucker Carlson has been at Fox News since 2009. Conservatives claim tenure from the nation’s colonial days when there were no identifiable woke people or theories or cancel culture activities (perhaps excluding the Boston Tea Party).
Pandemic theorists offer several ameliorating alternatives to conservatives consumed by wokeism. The offended can assume that society will develop a herd immunity to wokery in which case everyone will have become woke to some extent but immune to expression of troubling ideas that offend conservatives. More executive orders issued from elected conservatives will further corral wokery sufficiently to preserve political and cultural energies. Gen X and millennials will replace the insidious, deep state baby boomers and embrace anti-wokery in politics and culture.
Some pundits predict that conservatives may recognize the futility of anti-wokeism and shift critical energies to substantive epithets yet to be coined by the Alternate Stream Media (ASM). The mouse may have a ninth life to achieve stasis in time.