From the Left



What is ‘Woke’? More Than a Joke

Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

Every time I think the overused term “woke” has just about played out in politics, it seems to come roaring back into our politics with new vigor — and new confusion.

The latest newsmakers to unintentionally get entangled in that confusion appears to be conservative writer Bethany Mandel, in an appearance on "Rising," the Hill’s daily online news show.

She was promoting “Stolen Youth,” a new book she co-authored that tries to skewer the left’s “woke agenda.” Since the book argues at length about how that woke agenda supposedly indoctrinates kids to make them feel miserable, she was asked a question that I thought she would have expected:

“What does that mean to you?” asked co-host Briahna Joy Gray. “Would you mind defining woke?”

Oh? A look of terror comes across Mandel”s face. She was blindsided, as if her next thought somehow got derailed on its way from her brain to her mouth.

“So., … woke is…uh, …,” she stammers around for a bit, then in her frustration acknowledges prophetically, “This is gonna be one of those moments that goes viral.”


Indeed it did, partly because she vividly demonstrated what critics of conservative anti-woke crusaders have been saying all along. The word itself is a trick, nothing more than the latest of numerous terms to be created by the left — such as “liberal” itself — and appropriated by the right to be turned into buzzwords for use in ridiculing or demonizing the left.

Substitute “liberal” for “woke” and you have your answer, although it doesn’t sound as new or exciting.

And, let’s face it, excitement, not enlightenment, is the whole point, as long as it can be used against the left.

“It is time to eradicate Joe Biden’s sinister “equity” Executive Order that has led to the woke takeover of the U.S. Government!” former President Donald Trump said in a recent post on his Truth Social account.


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Joey Weatherford Christopher Weyant Gary Markstein Bart van Leeuwen Dick Wright Bob Englehart