Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. An Open Letter to the Woke Left

 

To my “woke” fellow Americans:

As a forty-something conservative woman, I think you are leading the country to disaster with your rigid codes of conduct, your rejection of the US and its values, and the divisions you inflame among American citizens. Why should you listen to me? For what it’s worth, I have a perspective broadened by living overseas. I’ve witnessed the contrasts in living conditions between the US and other parts of the world. I know something of the gulf in worldviews that results, outside the West, in truly culturally acceptable favoritism and inequality.

Also, I share with you knowledge of thousands of years of human history, with the same access you have to the flood of texts written about the past and its brutalities, mass poverty, and rule by impulsive monarchs. More recently, there were experiments in Communism, resulting in harsh authoritarian regimes and the deaths of millions of innocents. In our national debates, we do not emphasize these thoroughly documented nightmares to the extent we refer to the evils of Nazism, but Communism continues to instill fear and oversee mass starvation in countries like North Korea.

Finally, I speak as an average American: a woman, raised in a conservative environment with the Christian faith, with nothing in the way of wealth, connections, or unusual drive to give me a head start. Yet I have experienced for myself the best life has to offer–encouragement to flourish, a rich education, and a vocation I love–in addition to the gifts of motherhood and family. I want for nothing.

I am aware that my last qualification is actually an impediment in your eyes–that my degree of attainment can be swept aside as an easily dismissed exception, owing to my membership in a favored group. However, I’ll add this to make my point: my life in America has me surrounded by women of all backgrounds whose experience has paralleled mine. I’ve loved teaching and living in communities made up of Americans from a variety of ethnicities, many of whom, just as my family did, grew into the American prosperity expected of the average person over the last couple of generations.

I have personally benefited from the economic and cultural advancement of the last few decades, and so have my friends. The beautiful homes for ordinary people, the expensive smartphones, the crowded restaurants, the affordable community colleges, the accessibility and sheer variety of food, the array of life choices, the technological advancements on all fronts, and the fact that I can contribute to a national conversation–all these give concrete testament to the fact that our foundational values and free-market system have indeed created “a rising tide” that has lifted a great many boats.

To sum up my view, I do not believe that the “woke” ideology is informed by these economic, historical, and cultural realities that many, if not most of us, experience. You want to tear down and rebuild the US according to your awakened vision, but in doing so, you will create new problems. Due to human nature, you will never find a perfect system. A survey of history and tour of the globe illustrates that some systems are far worse than others. Ordinary citizens of the US enjoy freedom, wealth, and opportunity incomprehensible to people of other times and places. There may be noble intentions at work in your movement, but the means of accomplishing these ends will just compound the suffering and power differentials repeated through mankind’s wretched history while reversing any real progress made toward improving the quality of life for ordinary men and women.

By all means, point out the places where we are not living up to our own standards and ultimate values, so we can better address them. But this all-or-nothing approach exemplified in the mantra of “dismantling” structures shows that you know not what you speak. In your discussions of current issues, you often use the model of a spectrum. Our country’s development could fairly be discussed in the same terms. We are on a spectrum of growth–we’re not all bad, and we’ll never be all good. But by many measures, we are further along on that spectrum than others.

Be an encouragement, a positive voice to your fellow American citizens. Build up, don’t dismantle. Use your gifts to be teachers and leaders that inspire others to love their flawed country, raise their children well, and contribute to their communities. Because, like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” plot from my generation, the revolutionary narrative you have chosen will loop us right back to chapters of history with the same sorry ending too much of humanity has already had to endure.

I have several more points to make, but they will have to wait, as the “vocation I love” requires me to sign off for now.

Sincerely,

A Happy 99 Percenter

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  1. Boss Mongo Member

    Preach, sistah!

    • #1
    • September 21, 2020, at 1:03 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  2. I Walton Member

     Those of us who have lived extensively abroad in a variety of places have mostly contempt for leftist groups and can’t understand why normal folks on the left who aren’t radical, believe what they do. Across the board media bias and coordination seem to work, especially over time, and if we have any chance of saving our country we have to find ways to fix that.

    There is a separate problem, a lack of understanding about the difference between Washington and local politics among many Americans and most Democrats. The process is organic both in capitals and locally, but locally it can lead to interactions and adjustments that can move toward improvements, better outcomes if we get the basic structure right. It takes time but once discovered it moves rapidly. In large capitals and Washington the same process leads to narrowing toward different kinds of interests, abstractions not tied to what takes place on the ground in communities where people live. The fix for that was our original constitution which we’ve abandoned.

    • #2
    • September 22, 2020, at 7:04 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge

    It would be so wonderful if people on The Left would read your comments. I find it sad when I realzie how few of the people protesting the American way of life have ever lived any where but here. Once you live elsewhere, you find that everyone in the world wants to come here. (Even people living inside the glorious socialist/communist hybrid societies of Scandinavia.)

    However I am sure that any attempts on your part to communicate with them would be put down by their idea that you are a self hating person of color and a racist to boot. Once they became aware of you, they might even decide to target you with angry mobs, as they have in the past targeted Candace Owen.

    The CCP-inspired and funded mobs on the Left do not know how to build up.

    This was not true of those of us in the MidWest who protested the War For Profits Waged in Vietnam. Together we put together free clinics, and we put together food co ops. Our communes and co ops were places in college towns where the local police dropped off homeless people in the dead of winter so those unfortunates did not freeze to death in their cars when MidWest winter temps dipped below 25 degrees.

    Now, circa Jan 20th 2017 to present day, the entire thinking behind the “Movement” is that only by tearing down America can anything of value be build up. They justify the destruction, because after all, they claim, the governmental buildings they tear down were built by white men.

    This is communism’s First Goal. To attain a communist society, it is “out with the old, in with the new.” A nation must be deprived of both its history and structure, and the Left takes the idea of getting rid of structure to mean they should get rid of physical structures.

    No matter which Communist society a person examines, it is true the Left is good at getting rid of the old. But they do not attain getting something new that works out well in its place until their pathetic system comes crashing down and then and only then can individuals create a society in which enterprise is rewarded and the food lines are replaced with modern day abundance. (For the Soviet Union, this process took over 77 years.)

    Venezuela is the most recent example of this. If a nation given vast resources of oil cannot succeed despite that resource, it shows us that something is extremely wrong with the very principles that operate inside state-run communism.

    • #3
    • September 22, 2020, at 12:20 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.