Newmax: How Coronavirus Felled ‘Woke’ — For Now

As our nation goes through the trauma of Covid-19, we remember one of the cultural and political effects seen in the aftermath of 9/11, namely the death of “woke.”

Of course, in 2001, no one was using the term woke.

Back then it was known as “poltically correct” (PC).

Regardless, the current national crisis ensures the death of yet another variation of the same sentiment by a segment of the population with a desperate desire to control and manipulate the First Amendment.

Ask yourself the following: since the Virus has gained national attention, what stories and news items have survived the cut? One telling area that has survived “virus primacy” is religion. This has been mainly focused on how Christian churches continue to operate and provide services and how people are unhappy that they cannot go to those churches as they once did.

There have been stories about trade, the stock market, unemployment, and the direction of the economy. There is much concern about how families, primarily married people with children, will manage hosting school at home.

This dialogue is not on woke issues, but on educational fundamentals and making sure children continue their education at home.

There have been a few reports on the machinations of Iran, Russia, and China.

We also have a smattering of stories on the American military, the space program, the Olympics, Islamic Extremism (and terrorism), and the question of the elections.

What have we not seen?

There is no serious person today that is addressing what one could call woke concerns.

These include, but are not limited to, concerns about pronouns or labels-mislabeling in general, white male patriarchy, social justice warrior activism, or spending on a myriad of dubious woke monetary programs that do not help people in economic need.

One school of thought will argue that the absence of these stories proves nothing.

They will say that the crisis is unusual, and therefore the “normal” role of the media and people’s concerns have shifted.

This is an interesting pseudo-intellectual response that proves the point about importance.

If one’s issue is not essential during times of stress and turmoil, how essential is it when things are normal?

That is forgetting that woke people hate the word “normal,” to begin with.

The virus has been and continues to be horrible.

Every normal person on the planet is saddened at the continuing tragedy, especially looking at places like New York City, and Italy. However, one morning we will return to the regular routine, and all the divisive coverage designed to isolate Americans from each other, forcing us at each other’s throats, might also return.

The woke movement will be one of the primary reasons for this, and they are much better adept than Russian and Chinese bot accounts.

The entire premise of the woke movement is to compartmentalize us, categorize us, victimhood us, and label us. This is George Orwell’s “1984” without the state as the main actor, but a movement made up of sad little kings on sad little hills. Kings relishing in the politics of destruction and cancel culture. They are the enemies of free thought and critical thinking, and thus the enemy of true liberal education.

This crisis reminds Americans of the true purpose of a republic.

The role at the national level is to provide for the common defense and welfare.

This means to guarantee our comprehensive national security, which not only protects us from enemies foreign and domestic (ranging from space issues, counter-terrorism, and threats from great-powers, domestic radicals, unsafe food to an unstable medical supply chain) but safeguards our economic health and the health of the American people.

At the state and local level, it is to provide for fire protection, ambulance service, law enforcement, sanitation, and ensuring the roads are safe and maintained. Once all of these things are fully complete and funded, then should we look to anything else.

Americans have unified during this crisis, Democratic governors praising President Trump, and bipartisan legislation being passed in record time. This unification needs to continue, and an objective assessment of the good, bad, and the ugly of how the crisis at all levels was handled needs to occur.

This analysis should not focus on recriminations, but on avoiding it in the future.

When this is over, ask yourself this question when the woke people attempt to restart their assault: if these woke issues were unimportant during the crisis, why are they relevant today or perhaps, ever?

This piece originally ran on on 1 April 2020.

Newsmax: Coronavirus: Beginning of the End for Communism in China?

During the presidential primaries of 2016, I was invited to a faculty dinner whose purpose was to host an editor of a major national newspaper. I found myself amongst a group of left-wing academics and students who represented the vast supermajority of the room.

Amongst the general horror felt by most as Donald Trump began to rack up election victories from the Republican side, a question was posed for dinner discussion: “What will be the major headline in 50 years?”

The majority of answers broke down into variations of an Earth ravaged by climate destruction, nuclear war, and big data manipulation. I began to laugh as I thought how the answers matched the personalities of their political inclinations: humorless at best, foreboding and dark at their worst.

When it fell upon me to deliver my pearl of wisdom, I glibly declared, “Not to burst the dystopian fantasies that we have all built here, but the major headline in 50 years will be a democratic China with which the United States is negotiating a military alliance with.” It goes without saying that the room fell silent in shock and disbelief.

In the early 2000s, I had been presenting the idea that China had just as much of a chance of national implosion as becoming a type of economic wunderkind of the early 21st century.

Both of these thoughts are converging. China, especially the Communist Party, is quickly losing runway to land their ideologies, policies and economic expansion. It has been decades since Chinese communist ideology was anything more than a rump placeholder for any sense of national identity or ethical behavior.

However, their world has become darker. Not only have they failed to meet the magical 8% growth rate of GDP that was always thought to be the price to purchase a compliant population, but they have suffered defeats over the Taiwan elections, international condemnation over Uighur “re-education camps” in Xinjiang, trade conflict with the United States, excessive violence usage in the Hong Kong protests, and finally, their latest catastrophic handling of the coronavirus.

With global deaths from coronavirus topping 1,000, far above that of the SARS outbreak from 2002 and 2003, the Chinese government has exhibited classic tactics of dystopian plotlines: They have manipulated the number of infected and dead since the virus’s initial onslaught; Chinese journalists covering the crisis have disappeared; Dr. Li Wenliang who warned about the virus back in December 2019, was detained and punished for “spreading rumors.”

Then there are the mysterious circumstances surrounding Dr. Li’s death. Social media posts show panicked citizens barricaded into their homes by authorities, while others are forcibly dragged from their homes. A woman was shown crying on her balcony pleading for help for her dying husband. One particularly disturbing image shows a couple thrown into a windowless, airless metal container while a little boy, off-camera, watched and asked what was happening.

It has yet to be seen how the coronavirus saga will unfold before it is relegated into the history books as a modern global pandemic. A major question remains: How many people will die from the virus and what percentage in quarantine zones will die from starvation and neglect reminiscent of Mao’s famine years?

For mainland Chinese, however, the question they absolutely will ask is, will we continue to tolerate this form of government, and will we allow it to consume our children? 

Accurate archival material of the Mao years may be hard to come by, and indeed, scholars in academia continue to argue whether he was the liberating leader of a Great Leap Forward, or an agent of evil.

But in this information age, Mao’s Communist legacy, as seen through today’s Chinese government, is made indisputable in its tactics, intentions and treatment of its own people.

For over 70 years, this Communist legacy has failed to grasp the concept that the most powerful emotion in the world, a close second to love, is found in freedom. If they had given Dr. Li the vehicle to speak freely and frequently, many would still be alive.

Instead, emblematic of dictatorships everywhere, they are scrambling to cover up yet another embarrassing policy failure, one of which was entirely in their control, and could have been entirely averted.

President Xi and the entire Chinese Communist Party face a continued trial against their de facto authority, and the coronavirus may prove to be the pivot point that fractures the party from within and without by further exposing its inner methodologies.

Confucianism, which Mao and the Communist Party attempted to stamp out, declared that rulers rule only at the behest of Heaven. Once corruption is exposed through natural disasters and unrest in the population, Confucius argued this was a way for Heaven to remove its blessing.

Perhaps the headline of 50-years-in-the-future is revealing itself sooner than expected.

This piece originally ran on on 11 February 2020 and was co-authored with my wife, Kathryn Colucci.