The Woke Threat to America— and to American Jews
A new set of assumptions about how American society should reform itself has emerged from the cloistered academy in recent years and now has captured the imagination of many in the news media, the entertainment industry, and, even more remarkably, corporate leadership. Often described as progressive (in contrast to liberal), or more vaguely as “woke,” some of these ideas have found supporters among Jewish influentials—and beyond.
Item: Writing in Jewish Currents, a left-wing journal, Raphael Margarik proposes a radical uprooting of Jewish philanthropy—it should be “scrapped, spent down, and liquidated,” he declares.
“This shift,” he goes on to explain, “would involve downsizing: fewer private day schools, summer camps, and trips to Israel, all of which are subsidized by endowments; fewer fellowships for Jewish leaders, fewer conferences and summits, less innovation.” What will replace institutions preparing young Jews and future leaders to assume their roles in Jewish communal life is a question left unanswered, as is the consequence of depriving creative innovators of the money they will need to launch new initiatives. Tearing down existing institutions, a favored goal of the woke, would appear to be the end goal.
Item: In the interest of protecting women from what are perceived as misogynistic motives for studying Jewish demographic patterns, a cohort of Jewish academics seeks to silence discussion about low fertility rates and high intermarriage rates in the American Jewish community, trends reconfirmed recently by the 2021 Pew report. The Women’s Caucus of the Association for Jewish Studies issued an unusual, if not unprecedented, statement this past March branding discussion of those issues as “re-hashing old ideas about Jewish continuity in an effort to capture philanthropic funding.” Entirely sidestepping whether these trends exist, let alone what they portend for the American Jewish future, these scholars seek to discredit any discussion of these topics through cyberbullying and canceling of academics who do not share their views. Like many in progressive bastions, these academics often pay lip service to the idea of free speech and open discourse but demonstrably no longer value free speech, debate, and disagreement, or perhaps only endorse speech that supports their perspectives.
Item: The rabbi of a Conservative synagogue saw fit to distribute copies of Robin DiAngelo’s book White Fragility to all congregants. One of the new texts in the growing catalogue of books portraying all whites as homogenous and riddled with racism, White Fragility paints a portrait of whites as supremacists who dominate other races through, among other things, a sham system of meritocracy, the very system that enabled the descendants of poor Jewish immigrants to become one of the most successful American minorities within a few generations. In this vein, Michael Sandel, a highly popular lecturer at Harvard whose classes attract hundreds of students, has written a book-length attack on “the tyranny of merit,” this despite the fact that his own Jewish family members benefitted richly from meritocratic values.
Item: Jewish students at American campuses (and increasingly in high school and even lower school) are indoctrinated with lessons about the range of victims who have suffered oppression, principally people of color, of a non-“cisgender” sexual orientation, and women. One might have imagined that there are Jews who fall into each of these categories. But one would be wrong to make such an assumption. Increasingly, Jews are defined as being on the wrong side: They are castigated as privileged, white, and part of the oppressor class, never the victims—even as the incidence of anti-Semitism has exploded in America, including on campuses and in class discussions. Tragically, many American Jews naively internalize this hostile critique and blind themselves to the scarcely veiled anti-Semitism motivating it.
The list of such items can be expanded easily, but the question remains as to why more Americans—especially Jews—do not engage in the battle against these dangerous ideas. One reason for acquiescence by Jews is that contemporary American culture sorts people based on their ideological positions. Political sorting, which is often confused with polarization, is a fairly new phenomenon but nevertheless occurs when ideological and attitudinal positions no longer vary but are expected to align to particular liberal or conservative attitudes. The result today is that Democrats are more uniformly left-leaning and Republicans are more uniformly right-leaning than they were decades ago. Both the left and the right promote packages of ideas and attitudes that must be adopted wholesale if one is not to fall into disfavor. Today, dissent and divergence become almost impossible if one is to avoid adverse social consequence and possibly real professional ramifications as well.
To complicate matters further, the package of progressive ideas continues to grow like wildflowers and the language morphs regularly. Every week seems to bring new nonnegotiable demands; and what was treated as benign yesterday may suddenly cause outrage and ostracism tomorrow. Still, by this point in what we may describe optimistically as late-stage progressive ideology, the broad contours of progressive thinking about domestic issues* are clearly set. Among the articles of faith are calls for the substitution of “equity” in place of equality as the guiding principle of government and corporate policies: Contrary to the famous exhortation of Martin Luther King Jr., it is precisely the color of one’s skin, we are told by the woke, that should serve as the basis for advancement in society, rather than the content of one’s character. But this is merely the first step in proposals to promote radical social change by imposing various forms of so-called justice initiatives—environmental, racial, sexual, and social.
Also in the crosshairs of some progressives are a range of institutions, including the nuclear family, the structure enabling philanthropy, and, of course, the police and justice systems. Contempt for religion, tradition, and history is part of this package of ideas too, as has been evident in the disdain for people of faith and their rights to religious liberty, efforts to erase from history great American leaders, including Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, and the insistence on rewriting the history of the United States through lenses that falsify the past. All of this nihilism is in the service of eliminating the social control supposedly exercised by a white establishment, elites who allegedly represent no one and still resist relinquishing their unearned privileged status.
WHETHER ANY of this is good for America is a topic that fortunately has engaged a good many thoughtful commentators. But there also is an additional question to ask: Is it true that the tribunes of progressive ideology reflect the thinking of the American public on these matters? Extensive public-opinion research demonstrates that many of the views present in progressive ideology are neither popular nor appreciated by the majority of Americans. Centrists regularly defeat progressives at the ballot box, and the latter are not as dominant as they may appear to be in social media and in the mass-media spheres. Let’s look at three central and particularly egregious planks of the progressive program.
Free Speech: Cancel culture runs rampant on social media and has crept into all facets of American life so that virtually no corner of the nation has gone untouched. Americans now are collectively afraid to raise questions, speak their minds, and share many of their views—even if well intentioned—for fear of a woke mob coming for them, their families, their livelihoods, and their privacy.
Survey research reveals that people habitually self-censor and regularly silence themselves, and cancel culture is despised by the populace as a whole, despite its seeming omnipresence in the academy, media, and digital worlds. For instance, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni conducted a recent survey of residents of Illinois—a microcosm of the American experience in that it reflects the views not only of a diverse citizenry but large and small cities along with rural areas. It reveals that large numbers of residents of the state report having censored themselves on salient sociopolitical issues out of fear of consequences to their reputations. In the Land of Lincoln, an astounding 30 percent of Illinoisans say that they self-censor “often,” while another 34 percent report that they edit themselves “sometimes”—meaning that almost two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents willingly stifle themselves rather than express their opinions. Moreover, it turns out that 60 percent of liberals, 69 percent of moderates, and 71 percent of conservatives stop themselves from expressing their true opinions out loud. The data are quite clear: All Americans and even the majority of liberals are afraid of provoking irrational mob-like behavior.
Why do these Americans pull their punches? One-fifth claim they do not want to hurt other people’s feelings. But far greater numbers admit they are worried about personal, reputational, or professional consequences if they challenge seemingly prevailing sentiments. Almost a quarter state they have held their tongues because they know they “will be unfairly criticized,” and another quarter “worry about professional or academic consequences if [they] say the wrong thing.” While another quarter stated that they have silenced themselves for some other reason, it is clear that very significant numbers of Illinoisans are worried about blowback due to their ideas, demonstrating the insidiousness and pervasiveness of cancel culture today.
Matters are even worse on college campuses. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) recently released the largest and most comprehensive study of student attitudes toward speech to date. Based on responses from nearly 20,000 currently enrolled students at 55 colleges around the nation, the survey found that viewpoint diversity is under attack and students regularly censor themselves out of fear of retaliation if they express their actual views. Sixty percent of students reported that they could not express an opinion because of how their fellow students, a professor, or school administrator would respond. But that headline alone does not tell the full story.
Seventy percent of conservative students have self-censored compared with 61 percent of moderates and just 55 percent of liberals: a 15-point range. And students who belong to a religious denomination (63 percent) are more likely to limit their expression compared with atheists, agnostics, and those who say that have no religion (56 percent). Students who have a faith of some sort are less likely to be open to talking with their professors and peers or writing op-eds.
Heterosexual students are much more likely to hide their feelings and expressions as well. Fifty-four percent of straight students would be willing to write op-eds, compared with 64 percent of gay and lesbian students. Two-thirds of straight students are comfortable debating their peers on a politically contentious topic, compared with three-quarters (73 percent) of gay students.
Both race and political ideology also lead to different attitudes toward free speech. Black students were more comfortable than whites challenging their professors and expressing their views in print about contentious issues. And while 11 percent of conservative students viewed violence as an acceptable response to political opponents, twice that percentage of liberals were disposed to shutting down ideas with violence.
In short, in American society at large and particularly within the precincts of higher education, free speech is under siege. It’s not just a question of who can and will speak, but also about efforts to muzzle what can be said.
Meritocracy: The promise of upward mobility is dismissed by progressives who promote equity of outcomes over meritocracy. Progressive ideologues have collectively denounced numerous traditional American values such as hard work, self-reliance, and politeness as sinister aspects of “white dominant culture.” These absurd views of America’s ideals regrettably have been gaining currency in the press, on college campuses, and have percolated down from there into society at large.
To cite one especially egregious example, the Smithsonian Institution, the country’s repository of culture and history, claimed in recent years that it is a racist idea and part of the dominant “Aspects and Assumptions of Whiteness in the United States” to regard “hard work” as “the key to success.” The Smithsonian backed down and apologized for giving credence to this argument, but progressives continue to promote the same tropes.
But there is a problem for those who peddle this poison: Most Americans assent to the idea that hard work is likely to result in socioeconomic advancement. Thanks to a number of Pew Research Center opinion polls and a new survey of more than 1,400 people, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times and Reality Check Insights after the November 2020 elections, we have a better sense of how the public currently thinks about the relationship between hard work and success. Simply put, the woke view is unrepresentative of how most Americans regard work. In fact, the data reveal an uptick in the belief that work is the path to upward mobility. Respondents were asked whether advancement in society will come by working hard or whether work offers no guarantee of success.
Throughout the Obama and Trump presidencies, positive views toward hard work declined appreciably. In the 2000s, during the Bush presidency, three-quarters of Americans believed that they could get ahead if they worked hard. By the time that Obama and Trump were in the White House, that figure had declined to just 60 percent who believed that they could get ahead if they diligently worked toward a goal. In 2019, 61 percent believed that hard work would guarantee success for most people. In the aftermath of the 2020 election, the number of Americans who held the optimistic view that hard work can lead to success climbed, and now 65 percent of the nation subscribes to the belief that hard work often can lead to success, an 8 percent increase, and a clear directional change.
Thinking about the 2020 election a bit further, we see that the data reveal minimal geographic differences based on Trump states compared with Biden states. Sixty-seven percent of those who live in states that went red and voted for Trump support the notion that people who work hard can make it, while 64 percent of those in Biden states feel the same way. This is a minimal difference, and Biden even campaigned on the idea that the “basic bargain in this country [is] that when you work hard, you [are] able to share in the prosperity your work helped create.”
When correlated with income, these views consistently show that the majority of people across the economic spectrum believe that hard work is the ticket to advancement. As one moves up and down the income ladder, this value does not change appreciably at all; hard work leading to upward mobility is widely embraced.
Contrary to ugly stereotypes of young people being lazy, looking for handouts, or being unwilling to work hard, the survey found that they too value working hard. For instance, 71 percent of Baby Boomers believe in hard work to achieve one’s success. That level of support falls to 61 percent for Gen Xers, 61 percent for Millennials, and 63 percent for Gen Zers. Those in their 50s are as likely as those in their 20s to support the idea that hard work leads to success. And large majorities of Americans are not looking for handouts but are prepared to invest themselves in hard work to advance.
Significantly, there are pronounced racial differences in responses to the hard-work question. While only 49 percent of black people feel that hard work will help them get ahead, other minority groups are far more positive. Seventy percent of both Asians and those who are mixed-race feel that hard work leads to success, and an almost identical proportion of Hispanics (69 percent) feel the same way. Two-thirds of whites also believe that they can get ahead with hard work and achieve the American Dream. The lower level of support among blacks may be the result of older perceptions of racism in the workplace or internalization of discrimination encountered in the past, but the fact is that overwhelming majorities of nonwhites and people of Hispanic descent feel that they can get ahead in this country and that upward mobility is still very much possible with grit and determination. Fortunately, belief in the value of hard work and the rewards of upward mobility is embraced by large majorities of Americans, offering hope that if progressive ideology is rebuffed, this country will continue to benefit from the fruits of hard work—innovation, enterprise, and upward mobility.
Institutions: Among the most pernicious aspects of progressive ideology is its nihilistic approach to institutions, tradition, and the historical past. The mindless destruction of statues last summer vividly reminds us of the need some progressives feel to uproot everything from the past that does not agree with their current ideology. To imagine that contemporary sensibilities must serve as the litmus test for judging historical figures is ahistorical and childish. But the damage done is hardly child’s play. As numerous commentators have noted, it is akin to the rampage known as the Cultural Revolution in Maoist China.
The rising number of Americans who regard religion with contempt is but one symptom of this mindless assault on tradition. Religion is regarded as an impediment to advancing the kind of society that progressives seek to create, and it therefore is ridiculed by cultural elites. That state of affairs may leave many Americans nonplused until they consider G.K. Chesterton’s observation: “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” In this case, “anything” means the extremist views offered by progressive ideology.
Fortunately, most Americans don’t buy into this nihilism. Let’s consider attitudes toward one major institution central to the health of society: the family. How do various demographic groups view family life and its role in furthering upward mobility? A survey conducted by the Los Angeles Times and Reality Check Insights asked Americans how essential having a good family life is to realizing the American Dream. Over three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans believe that a good family life is essential to the Dream, and the number is even higher for the political middle, where 81 percent of moderates believe that family life is essential. That number plunges to just two-thirds (66 percent) among extreme liberal identifiers, while three-quarters of liberals (74 percent) and 79 percent of conservatives feel that family is essential for the Dream.
Significantly, ideology plays a role in how Americans relate to family members as well. The May 2021 edition of AEI’s American Perspectives Survey looks at relationships and intimacy and asks a national sample of Americans, “Who do you usually talk to first when you have a personal problem?” Roughly 80 percent of Americans—moderates, liberals, and conservatives—answer that they first turn to family members. Only extreme liberals answer differently: Merely 60 percent claim they turn to family members.
WITH SIGNIFICANT majorities of Americans at odds with progressive ways of looking at the world, why are some Jews so outspoken in their sympathy for this ideology? The answer one is likely to hear from such Jews is that they look at the world through a “Jewish lens” and are motivated by “Jewish values.” After all, didn’t the prophets of yore speak about justice, and hasn’t every Jew learned of the imperative to engage in tikkun olam, repairing the world? Alas, these idealistic terms are easy to apply to any favored cause, especially when they are severed from any text or context. Discussions about what Judaism has to say about public-policy questions often are based on facile arguments and cherry-picked quotations drawn from the vast treasury of Jewish literature. Does “Judaism” take a position on “equity” as understood by progressives, or on the stifling of speech or the blackening of a person’s name for holding unconventional views or the tearing down of institutions such as the family? Multiple, and at times contradictory, rabbinic statements come to mind, as do possible historical precedents.
Rather than engage in a fruitless exercise to adduce dueling proof texts, we may more usefully consider how Jews have functioned in this country and what is likely to be in the interests of Jews in the years to come. Free speech and expression, meritocracy, and institution-building—these have been at the core of the Jewish experience in America. And until the day before yesterday, Jews have been held up as a model minority, an immigrant group that by dint of its own efforts pulled itself up from its impoverished origins and facing (in the parlance of today) countless structural inequalities went on to achieve great economic and status success in America.
The first Jews to arrive on these shores arrived penniless because pirates stole all their means. Successive waves of immigrants have consisted mainly of indigents who could not speak a word of English. That was true of Central European Jews who arrived in the middle decades of the 19th century, as it was for Eastern European immigrants at the end of that century and at the beginning of the next one. Late 20th-century arrivals from Iran, Israel, and the former Soviet Union may have come with some means, but they too had a tough time adapting to the American environment. They all have successfully climbed the socioeconomic ladder by working hard, sacrificing to ensure that their children would attain a higher education, and, yes, demonstrating their merits—their smarts, entrepreneurship, risk-taking, and confidence in the American Dream.
For Jews in the so-called knowledge industry, unfettered speech has been a boon to success. Historically, Jews have played a disproportionately large role in the news and entertainment media, the academy, and, more recently, digital platforms. There is a disproportionate number of Jews in Congress, the business and finance communities, and in science, technology, and innovation, such as the Jews who were critical to the development of the COVID-19 vaccine or Google and Facebook. American Jews also built a rich infrastructure to promote social welfare and change. They could succeed, as could other Americans, because their speech was protected, and concepts of fair play meant that people holding unconventional views deserved to be heard.
Jewish life also thrived because of the strength of its key institutions. The Jewish family used to be regarded as an asset, the anchor and launching pad for young Jews to advance with confidence into American society. Jews were once envied for the stability of their family life and investment in their children. One suspects they still are.
Another institution, Jewish philanthropy, was heralded in print by Fortune magazine as “the miracle of Jewish giving.” The generosity of Jewish donors to Jewish and nonsectarian causes is on display in every major American city where civic buildings, cultural emporia, and university campus structures bear the names of Jewish donors. The perpetuation of Jewish life has also depended on generous giving to institutions of Jewish learning, religious and cultural expression, and human services.
Imagine, then, the havoc that the new progressive ideology threatens to wreak on American Jewish life. Consider morale: When students beginning in early-childhood programs and continuing through their school and college years are intentionally made to feel guilty about their “white privilege,” they are thrown back on their heels and left confused or feeling defensive. It’s bad enough that Jewish college students are exposed to this indoctrination, but they at least may have the intellectual resources to reflect on their own family histories: These alleged beneficiaries of “white privilege” are in the main but a few generations removed from their immigrant forebears. But what sense might school children as young as three and four make of the lessons they are taught about the guilt all white people allegedly must bear for the sins of racism, enslavement, and “white supremacy?”
Worse still, some Jewish day schools and other Jewish educational institutions are conveying to their young charges that by virtue of their skin color, they are responsible for wronging others and must atone. This is the stuff now being taught to preschool and elementary-school children who do not yet have a sense of history or an ability to think critically about the race theories. Do proponents of new curricula seriously believe that evoking guilt in students for being white will make them more tolerant? What, aside from demoralization, can such pedagogy hope to accomplish?
Or imagine the impact if progressives succeed in undermining philanthropy and other major institutions vital for the health of Jewish society. In their nihilistic efforts to tear down, they offer nothing to replace the range of institutions sustaining Jewish life. Religious and cultural institutions anchor community and family. Those Americans who affiliate with a faith tend to have stronger mental health and denser social networks and the positive outcomes that flow from them. Survey data suggest that various religious institutions improve outlooks: Almost half of Americans who attend services a few times a month are more likely to believe they are living the American Dream, compared with a little under a third of those attending a few times a year or less often. Who, then, gains from efforts to undermine the institutions that have added so much social capital?
Equally dangerous are the calls to “defund the police.” Law-enforcement personnel literally protect synagogues and other Jewish institutions threatened by terrorists and other criminals. Jews, like other Americans, rely on the police to apprehend those who engage in violence and criminal activities. As Hannah Elka Meyers has recently written: “More than ever, we [Jews] need robust and empowered law enforcement that continues to make intelligent adaptations in order to check the rise in hate crimes and the environment of disorder that supports it. The police racism narrative is false, and Jews need to speak out against it—not only because it’s wrong, but because it’s uniquely dangerous to” Jews. Here too, historical precedent might serve as a useful reminder that Jews have relied on the forces of the state and law and order to protect them from mobs.
And then there is the new thinking about race and power, once endlessly highlighted in academic settings and now seemingly ubiquitous in American society. Symptomatic of the willed blindness of some leading Jews to the dangers this thinking poses, more than 130 rabbis, academics, and Jewish communal leaders signed a statement in late June 2021 expressing dismay because “too many Jewish public figures have engendered discussions of concepts like ‘intersectionality,’ ‘critical race theory,’ ‘white privilege’ (or ‘white supremacy’), and other like terms where they are painted in simplistic, even glib, forms that bear little to no relationship to what proponents of these theories actually advocate.” In their eagerness to protect these terms from those who are insufficiently “nuanced,” the signers evinced not the slightest concern about the lack of nuance in how these ideas are being applied and the damage they are causing to actual human beings.
There already have been pitched battles about ethnic-studies curricula that single out Israel as the worst human-rights offender and distort the complex history of the Israel–Palestinian conflict. Less well known are the school curricula singling out one group—Jews—for opprobrium. For some, intersectionality means that America’s history of racial inequality is projected onto the standoff between Palestinians and Israelis, with the former preposterously defined as nonwhite victims and the latter as white supremacists. Some woke believers go further and publicly castigate Jews as a group as oppressors. With the onset of a new school year, there is good reason for apprehension about what Jewish students will encounter in their classrooms and on campuses. But one thing is certain: It won’t be “nuanced.”
The growing number of mandatory programs supposedly promoting justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion (JDEI) pose their own set of challenges. Only certain minorities are deemed worthy of protection, and Jews are not among them. To the contrary, Jews are automatically defined as part of the white oppressor class. A recent suit filed against Stanford University by two Jewish mental-health workers brings this matter into high relief. The complaint alleges that the DEI program “engages in intentional racial segregation through race-based affinity groups,” and it “relies upon racial and ethnic stereotyping and scapegoating by describing all Jews as white or white-passing and therefore complicit in anti-Black racism.” As to the ways that Jews are portrayed by this program, the complaint goes on to say, “The DEI committee has also endorsed the narrative that Jews are connected to white supremacy, advancing anti-Semitic tropes concerning Jewish power, conspiracy, and control.” Not only, then, are Jewish concerns about their own security waved away as irrelevant; Jews in different settings increasingly must contend with anti-Semitic canards, harassment, and violence at levels we have not seen in this country for more than 70 years. But don’t bother the DEI administrators with these petty Jewish concerns.
A century ago, anti-Semites sought to deny entry to Jewish immigrants on the grounds that they lacked the superior character traits of Northern Europeans who had populated this country in the 18th and 19th centuries and brought it to greatness. Now Jews face discrimination because they allegedly are co-conspirators with white supremacists or are simply part of the undifferentiated mass of American whites, the oppressor class.
The name-calling and stereotyping are bad enough, but if the equity agenda is broadly enacted, Jews will find few opportunities to land jobs in the civil service, education (especially in higher education), corporate America, and the innovation-based, creative economy emerging today. After all, Jews constitute only 2 percent of the population, but they are overrepresented in these fields. In the cause of pursuing equality of outcomes, quotas are now proposed as the solution to ensure proportional representation by every subgroup in every sector of the economy. Jews have seen this movie before: Their numbers at European universities were limited, as was their representation in the civil service of some countries; during the interwar era and well into the 1950s, American universities placed unofficial but very real quotas on Jewish enrollments on both the college and graduate-school levels. Under the “equity” regime, Jews will face the same obstacles. For a small minority population, this would lead to marginalization and downward mobility, and eventually emigration to countries that value merit.
The high-minded Jewish defenders of the “intersectionality” and “white privilege” (or “white supremacy”) industry are right about one thing: These terms and their implications are not sufficiently understood. In the name of these ideas, Jews are cast as part of the white, oppressor class, and their achievements through hard work, merit, and investment in vital institutions are denigrated. If Jews do not wake up to the threat that progressive ideology poses to their way of life in America, they will find themselves on a steep slope of downward mobility, or worse. For Jews, nothing less than their equality is at stake.
They are not alone. Other American minorities also have much to lose if these ideas gain traction. Hispanic Americans have been redefined by progressives as nonwhites and given a new name that means nothing to them—Latinx. This catch-all effaces the very real cultural, ethnic, and historical distinctions among immigrants of various Latin American origins. Even more damaging stereotyping now is applied to Asian Americans, perhaps the greatest victims of the progressive ideology. Arriving in the United States as poor immigrants from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, and other countries, these newcomers invested themselves in hard work and transmitted a strong work ethic to their children, with the result that their offspring have risen rapidly. Now these same Asian Americans are told that they actually are “white allies,” accomplices of the white oppressor group whose advancement in society should be limited by quotas and their earnings redistributed. As cases making their way through the courts make clear, some of these minorities are fighting back. A still silent majority of white and black Americans also does not accept the assumptions undergirding woke ideas.
Jews, once again, are the canary in the mine, but if they engage in the battle of ideas, they will find large numbers of allies prepared to marginalize the woke ideology threatening our country.
Essay was initially published in Commentary Magazine