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Op-Ed

Victor Davis Hanson: Wokeness Will Only Push Our Great Civilization to an Ugly End

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Americans are growing angrier by the day, but in a way different from prior sagebrush revolts such as the 1960s Silent Majority or the Tea Party movement over a decade ago.

The rage this time is not just fueled by conservatives. For the first time in their lives, Americans of all classes and races are starting to fear a self-created apocalypse that threatens their family’s safety and the American way of life.

The border is not just porous as in the pre-Trump past. It is arguably nonexistent. Some 2 million people may cross illegally in the current fiscal year, according to reports — with complete impunity. There is zero effort to stop them. Officials hector Americans daily to get vaccinated and tested for COVID-19. But they are mute about illegal entrants, some of them no doubt infected with the virus.

Have we ever had a president who made no pretense about destroying federal immigration law and asking of Americans what he does not ask of those entering the country illegally?

Joe Biden has also conceded that his moratorium on housing evictions defied a Supreme Court ruling. He added that he probably didn’t have the legal authority to ignore the court but didn’t really care.

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As in the case of demolishing immigration law, the president seems either unaware or proud that he is insidiously dismantling the Constitution.

America has also never before seen such overt and multifaceted efforts to undermine the foundations of free-market capitalism.

At a time of resurging GDP, low unemployment and record worker shortages, Biden has announced that renters can continue to avoid paying what they owe their landlords — even after a prior year of free housing.

In a rebounding economy amid record debt, the government is still sending workers unemployment benefits that are more remunerative than the paychecks they would earn if employed.

Do you think wokeness could ultimately destroy America?

Such insanity not only means that labor-short employers can’t provide goods and services to American consumers; the new ethos also institutionalizes the pernicious idea that it is smarter to stay home and be idle than to get a job and be productive.

Biden is also considering further extending exemptions for the repayment of $1.7 trillion in student loans. That amnesty will only further mainstream this growing notion that borrowing money entails no legal or moral obligation to pay it back.

No one seems to acknowledge that both students and the universities that lured them to borrow knew the risks they were taking.

Meanwhile, millions of American youth, the working classes who choose not to attend college, and those who paid off their loans or whose parents saved enough over the years to cover their tuition obligations will subsidize the debt evaders by paying higher taxes.

Inflation is roaring back. Soaring prices are a direct result of incentivizing the unemployed not to work, while discouraging manufacturers and producers of food, gas, oil, timber, mineral and metals.

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Rising crime rates are likewise not accidental. Increasing crime is the logical result of releasing thousands of criminals from prison, defunding and defaming the police, and empowering woke mayors and prosecutors to contextualize crime as the fault of society, not the criminal.

In response, millions of Americans now simply avoid the mayhem of big cities in blue states.

Race relations have regressed 50 years. Under the fad of critical race theory, the color of our skin is now deemed essential to who we are.

Most Americans still integrate and assimilate, and many intermarry. But the current woke revolution is an elite, top-down effort to smear a self-critical and always improving nation as some sort of contemporary racist hellhole.

George Orwell would say of these cultural Marxists that they grab power in the present to reinvent the past in order to control our futures.

All this multifaceted chaos is not just faculty lounge stuff. We are beginning to see the collective craziness filter down to disruptions in our everyday lives.

Airliners cannot take off due to fuel shortages. Automobiles, houses, gas and lumber are in short supply.

Consumers can’t get their roofs fixed, their houses painted or their trees trimmed, as employers plead with their idle, government-subsidized employees to come back to work.

Many Americans have lost faith in the FBI, the CIA, the Pentagon, the CDC and most of the other federal bureaucracies, which are as politicized as they are incompetent.

What started out as elite woke nonsense now warps daily life. If we don’t wake up from wokeness, we will continue on our sure trajectory to self-inflicted, systemic paralysis — followed by civilizational collapse.

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Victor Davis Hanson is an American military historian, columnist and scholar of ancient warfare. He is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and is the author most recently of "The Case for Trump" (Basic Books, 2019).




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