MAGA and the Wokes: Two Peas in a Pod
The two groups in American politics that hate each other the most are the most alike in certain respects. That might open to the door to some interesting possibilities.
Before I delve into my argument, please go ahead and subscribe to the free newsletter at American Purpose now. It’s a can’t miss read. You won’t be disappointed. Sign up here.
In my essay, I analyze two dynamics, and then put them together.
First, I take note of the rise of what political scientists call “negative polarization,” whereby partisans and members of competing political, cultural, and social tribes don’t so much love their own in-group as much as they hate the out-group. In other words, we is more a function of hating them than loving us.
Second, I survey the modes of thought on the MAGA, Trumpist right and the “woke” left … and I see a lot of similarities. I argue that these two extremist tribes—who hate one another—share a few characteristics: “first, oppressor-victim modes of thinking; second, a penchant for conspiracism; third, a desire to frame America as a damned nation; and fourth, a commitment to particularism over universalism.”
Read the essay in full for my description of each of these four shared tenets.
Given the reality of negative polarization—that the “wokes” and the Trumpers hate each other more than they love their own in-group—my hope is that if we who aren’t enthused with either group can begin pointing out these similarities to members of each side, we can start persuading some of them to come join us in the vital (classical liberal/small-c conservative) center instead.
When they realize their approach to politics is in fact quite similar to that of their sworn enemies, maybe they’ll start rethinking their approach to politics!
Please go ahead and give the full article a read.
Enjoy the weekend!