The big takeaway from Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ State of the Union response

The Arkansas governor called out wokeness.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday, “Most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace, but we are under attack in a left-wing culture war we didn’t start and never wanted to fight.”

She was talking about wokeism.

”Every day, we are told that we must partake in their rituals, salute their flags, and worship their false idols,” she continued, “all while big government colludes with Big Tech to strip away the most American thing there is—your freedom of speech.”

“That’s not normal. It’s crazy, and it’s wrong,” the governor added.

This was the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. Sanders took on a number of subjects, such as  inflation, border security, and the fentanyl epidemic. But the current iteration of the culture war was a reoccuring central theme throughout her speech.

Sanders observed how the far-left of the Democratic party, which holds more sway over the mainstream of the party than at any time in modern history, insists that age-old consensuses about human biology and basic normality are now outdated or even evil. She acknowledged a political environment in which Big Tech companies regulate speech and thought according to woke ideology, where basic assumptions about gender or a refusal to use pronouns is now considered hate speech.

And she’s right. This woke s***’s crazy.

In categorizing the difference between Republicans and Democrats as one between “normal” and “crazy,” Sanders echoed what left-leaning comedian Bill Maher said in September about the danger wokeism poses to Democrats.

“The biggest problem with the Democrats is their woke baggage,” Maher said in an interview last year. He thought Democrats would be better off if they didn’t do the kind of things that make people go, ‘Oh my god, this is the party of no common sense.’”

Maher added, “Stop talking about pregnant men and stuff that makes people go, ‘Who are these f***ing people? What are they talking about? Men don’t get pregnant.’ It’s the stuff that makes them very vulnerable because it’s very close to home.”

Maher is a left-leaning comedian and pundit. Yet because he is a frequent critic of wokeism, many on the Left now try to paint him as right-wing.

In other words, Maher’s critics don’t like Maher’s appeals to normalcy. They think it’s bad.

The most basic tenets of wokeism are two fold:

  1. It rejects liberalism. Wokeism is defined in large part as discarding diverse opinions. There is only one viewpoint allowed and dissenters must be censored or canceled for defying it.
  1. Woke insists on adherence to new supposed truisms that defy logic and human history. Examples: Men can get pregnant. Biological men who become trans women also become, magically, biological women who should compete with actual biological females in sports. (With the biological males often, so surprisingly, winning.)

Also, men don’t exist. Women don’t exist. Gender doesn’t exist. Yet there are also ten thousand genders.

Normal people don’t think like this.

In other eras, merely not being crazy might seem like a strange or unnecessary appeal.

In 2023, it’s not.

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Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter is a freelance writer, the co-author of Sen. Rand Paul’s 2011 book ‘The Tea Party Goes to Washington’ and the former politics editor for