There’s no doubt 2020 has been a hard year, in many different ways. However, as we sit on the precipice of 2021, there’s much to be grateful for.
I believe we will look back at this year as the moment when a dormant majority of Americans woke up and realized that the identity politics and authoritarian anti-free speech bent of the far left was a genuine threat to the country and our way of life.
Although Donald Trump narrowly lost the election, almost 75 million Americans came out to vote for him, despite every institution, from the media and academy to the corporate boardroom, telling them not to. Encouragingly, that 75 million included higher numbers of Hispanic and black voters than Republicans have managed to sway in the past. Some further millions split their tickets, in what I interpret as the desire to elect Joe Biden but cripple his ability to swing radically left by loading up Congress and state legislatures with Republicans.
While interpreting the election is more of Rorschach test than scientific endeavor, I believe these are good signs that an “anti-woke” majority is coming together, and that the United States remains a center-right country.
I won’t lie to you: the political future of our country is, I believe, very much still in doubt.
Just before the election, I wrote:
“The reality is that Trump never would have been, or would need to be, elected if conservatives were not under attack from every major culture-shaping institution. From the public school and university systems, to Hollywood and the media, to Silicon Valley and Wall Street, each of these institutions has been captured by the hard left. This dominance ensures that the woke movement will only grow in power, adding newly-graduated revolutionaries, rank after rank, to the nation’s newsrooms, boardrooms, and academy.”
Nothing about that assessment has changed, and a man who defines the insidious “critical race theory” spreading from universities into our classrooms and boardrooms as merely being sensitive and polite to others will take office January 20th, providing those who preach it with a powerful ally.
The big difference is that a critical mass of the American people understand what is happening. 2020 was the year liberals and centrists—not just conservatives—started seeing the danger of the left. It was the year of the Harper’s Letter, high-profile resignations, and anti-PC podcasts. It was the year parents, their hands forced by the pandemic and intransigent teachers’ unions keeping schools closed, were startled to hear in their living rooms what “social studies” now consists of; the year trust in the university system, once a bipartisan point of pride and route to middle-class success, plummeted as more than half of Americans polled realized most have become mere ideological training camps.
2020 was the year that Americans of all ethnic backgrounds woke up to the danger of being woke. As we look ahead to 2021 and hopefully putting the pandemic and all its attendant evils behind us, we should feel not only grateful, but energized, by the good sense and courage of our fellow Americans.