/ August 4, 2021
Wokeism now pervades American society as a "pandemic of its own," historian and columnist Victor Davis Hanson noted.
"In the last 18 months, we have seen most of our major institutions go woke and spend considerable amounts of time, capital, and labor on what might be called 'commissarism.' Yet in their zeal to rectify society in general and sermonize, virtue signal, pontificate, and perform to the public, many institutions are increasingly failing at what they were established to do," Hanson noted in an Aug. 1 op-ed
for American Greatness.
The U.S. military is a prime example, Hanson noted, "of a major American institution whose woke credentials are now ostentatious, but whose performance in a cost-to-benefit analysis seems increasingly anemic."
Gen. Mark Milley, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "is popular for the moment with the Left in Congress. As a result, like many of his predecessors, if he wishes, Milley can gravitate to lucrative defense contractor boards upon retirement — without a finger-pointing Sen. Elizabeth Warren castigating him as a get-rich, revolving-door apparatchik," Hanson noted.
"Milley and others, such as Adm. Michael Gilday, have given spirited, if incoherent, defenses of why they want their enlistees to read Ibram X. Kendi’s texts on 'antiracism' — or at least why they want the Washington elite to know they recommend them to their soldiers and sailors. We know that multimillionaire ex-Raytheon board member, consultant, and now defense secretary, Lloyd Austin is auditing the ranks to weed out suspicious white male insurrectionaries, an investigation that so far seems to lack any actual data to justify said witch hunt. The chain of command, which can enact social change by fiat, is in this case beloved by the Left. And the officer corps has made the necessary adjustments to ensure their own rapid promotions."
Thus, Hanson continued, "there is little protest about the military budget being slashed by the beloved Joe Biden, after it was markedly raised by the hated Donald Trump, who among his many other sins jawboned the NATO allies finally to pony much of their promised military contributions to the alliance."
"In our woke age, do our soldiers die on the battlefield in proportion to their sex and race, in conformity with the new proportional representation gospel and in all other areas of military endeavors?"
The same question, Hanson noted, could be asked of the FBI and CIA, "given the loud, recent wokeist careers of John Brennan, James Clapper, Kevin Clinesmith, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, and Peter Strzok. From such sanctimony we might assume the FBI had successfully ferreted out and preempted the Boston Marathon bombers, or the San Bernardino terrorists; or that we knew from the CIA the threats posed by the Phoenix-like reappearance of the 'J.V.' ISIS killers in Iraq, the Spratly Island aggrandizement by China, the true nature of the Wuhan lab leak, the location of existing stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or Syria, and the current status of the Iranian nuclear program."
Hanson also cited the oh-so-woke Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian.
Bastian "earns $17 million in annual compensation, and lectures the state of Georgia and the nation at large on our supposedly racist voting laws," Hanson wrote. "The issue at hand is mostly a requirement to show a valid ID to vote — in the manner one must present identification to enter the boarding area of Bastian’s planes. Surely if one should vote without an ID, why not then be allowed to board a Delta flight?"
Hanson suggested the public "try to call Delta’s consumer helplines to fix the airline’s post-quarantine screw-ups with credits, refunds, rebooking, and recalibrating charges. Just try it — but expect several hours of wait time on the phone. We know now Delta is woke, but what we don’t know is whether one’s past purchase of a ticket will ensure a spot on a Delta flight, or whether prior money or mileage credited will ever be returned or applied to future travel."
Hanson added: "A cynical observer might suggest that if Ed Bastian cannot ensure adequate consumer service, it won’t matter since he weighs in on voting laws. (Or is it worse than that? Because he pontificates on voting laws and other assorted woke issues, he thinks he can simply worry less about his own consumer services?)"
Wokeism in the airline industry does not stop with Bastian.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker "is woke, too," Hanson noted. "He has denounced a new Texas voting law likewise requiring tougher ID usage — although he later admitted that he had never read the new statute before virtue signaling its illiberality."
Hanson suggested that Parker "might first ensure that his airline has not become a Third-World carrier before he seeks to enlighten Americans on their supposed backwardness. I just took a flight on one of Parker’s American Airlines flights from central California to Dallas, Texas. But right before boarding the full flight, passengers were apprised that American did not have enough gas in the plane to make it to Dallas — and couldn’t find any in Fresno. So it was 'stopping off' on the way in San Francisco to 'fill up' — 180 miles away and in the exact opposite direction of its eventual destination. I’ve only twice been on a plane without enough fuel to reach its destination and in need of a detour to find gas somewhere — once 15 years ago in Mexico and the other in 1974 in Egypt."
The worst woke offender, however, is Hollywood, Hanson contended.
"Almost daily a mega-star joins the outrage Twitter chorus to remind us of her exemplary virtue or his singular outrage over 'social injustice.' They belong to this strange collection of celebrity-obsessed multi-millionaires whose homes, lifestyles, modes of transportation, and fashion are Versailles-like — yet whose daily lives never quite match their sanctimonious barking," Hanson noted.
The real travesty, Hanson continued, "is that Hollywood simply makes poor movies, or rather mostly remakes them ad nauseam, ensuring only that they are 'diverse' and proportionally — or now reparationally — representative of 'the other.' Two genres tend to dominate the current movies: computer-enhanced comic-book films (sometimes apparently white-washed by progressive executives so as not to offend the racist 1.5 billion-viewer Chinese market), and 'the hero versus the Man' movies."
The "hero versus the man" movie, Hanson noted, "usually pits an attractive and courageous young investigator, lawyer, journalist, whistleblower, or public servant against a malicious conspiratorial corporation whose racism, environmental desecration, sexism, and thievery must be exposed in gallant, lone-ranger fashion. Not only are these Maoist scripts boring and repetitive but they sprout from a self-indulgent, hyper-corporate Los Angeles capitalist culture that gave us the Hollywood-beloved, and woke-before-his-time Harvey Weinstein."
Of course, the old-new woke bastion remains American universities, Hanson noted.
"We will probably never know the machinations used by our elite colleges and universities to warp race in favor of some, and against others, among this year’s first incoming class of the post-2020 riot era," Hanson wrote.
"Mostly wealthy, white bicoastal administrators and middle managers across all sectors send out communiques, on spec, attesting to their own superior virtue with vocabulary so trite and predictable that a computer programmer could institutionalize and improve on the boilerplate in a few hours. Their bogeyman target is the noxious white male heterosexual — of course, exempting the memo writers themselves, due to their superior morality."
America's woke campuses "have unleashed a veritable jihad to root out and banish those infected with 'whiteness' among us," Hanson continued. "But aside from their main mission of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, can we say that woke universities — on the side — are turning out talented and educated graduates who will ensure American prosperity, freedom, preeminence, and the sort of lifestyle the young now assume as their birthright? To ask the question is to know the answer. What else could happen when there are more diversity, equity, and inclusion facilitators on elite campuses than there are history professors?"
Hanson concluded: "The point is not to berate our institutions, but to warn them. Either their abilities to carry out their assigned tasks are becoming diminished by Nineteen Eighty-Four-like wokeism, or they are using ideological camouflage simply to mask their unaccountability — and their increasing incompetence."
Free Press International