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Wham! That’s how fast things changed in America
Or that’s the way it seems to me. I bet many Americans feel the same way.
Maybe this column is “out there,” but I bet many readers will agree with me: Something in America changed - seemingly over night - just about the time the Covid pandemic emerged.
What changed is that “woke” ideas suddenly went mainstream. Ideas many of us thought were “wacky” suddenly were no longer considered crazy.
Insanity - almost instantly - went global. It’s almost as if someone pushed a button and said, “This is no longer an exercise. This is a live exercise. Implement the program.”
And “they” did.
To me, it now seems like Covid was the cover story - or the triggering event. But it wasn’t just lockdown mandates or mask mandates that proved the world had collectively gone batty; it was all kinds of formerly fringe issues and ideas that had suddenly become accepted as “conventional” or accepted wisdom.
I admit this sudden change blindsided me.
As it turns out, “diversity” must have been the founding principle of America and I ended up being in the anti-diversity group.
We now live in an “us-against-them” world … and damn if I’m not the “them.” This was a startling change and I haven’t had time to adjust to my new second-class citizenship.
The transgender issue is perhaps symbolic here
One conspicuous example of my cluelessness is the transgender issue.
I simply didn’t know this was such a big deal or such an important societal issue.
Nor did I know the “pronoun” issue was so important. The acronym LGBTQ+, which is way too many letters for me, almost overnight become as well known as WTF.
A conversation with a former military officer enlightened me …
An interview I did with the daughter of one of my best friends began to open my eyes. Emily Rainey, a former captain in the U.S. Army, had made news in her father’s hometown because Tucker Carlson interviewed her.
Capt. Rainey had attended the 1-6-21 protest in Washington, not as an Army officer, but in civilian clothes as private citizen on her day off.
Emily also caught my attention because she’d previously got in hot water with the military brass for letting her young son play on a local playground that had been closed during the lockdowns.
I asked Emily about the events of January 6 and her “playground protest” - two events that didn’t endear her to today’s increasingly “woke” military brass.
In our conversation, she mentioned one anecdote that has stayed with me. As a company commander, she said she was spending a good bit of time dealing with troops who wanted to have sex change operations, which apparently the government will pay for.
Hmm, I thought to myself. So this is the reality of today’s military. Instead of preparing troops for future battles, officers are dealing with troops who want to be another sex.
Going back to the Obama administration, I did know that it seemed an orchestrated effort had been commenced to purge “old school” officers and NCOs from the military.
Put it all together and I belatedly concluded that our military had gone Full Woke.
However, it wasn’t until around early 2020 I realized ideas that would have been mind-boggling in the first 200 years of the U.S. military had now become … official policy.
It’s not just the military …
Smarter observers than myself had picked up on what was transpiring before I did. Namely that shadowy rulers had slowly been seeding all key institutions with people whose thoughts were completely foreign to people like me.
Corporations, colleges, public school systems, politicians and governments, certainly the mainstream media and even many churches had all clearly been silently and gradually “captured” by those who subscribe to the “woke” world view.
But these people must have largely camouflaged their views until, all of a sudden, they achieved critical organizational mass and the memo went out: “Work the program! We can now come out of hiding and show our true face.”
With hindsight, I can see key examples where insane notions were accepted as sane, where the accepted narrative was nonsensical but no one was allowed to point this out.
‘Russia! Russia! Russia!’ was an obvious clue …
The narrative that “Russia” somehow hacked or stole the presidential election of 2016 might have been a tipping point. This is when large numbers of “us” could tell that “them” - the inmates - were finally running the asylum.
Even today, I don’t know how exactly Russia “stole” that election. Did “they” (Russia) somehow hack all the voting machines in key precincts? Or did “they” simply play a mind-trick on millions of voters via a couple hundred anti-Hillary posts made by Russian “trolls” on Facebook?
Furthermore, since I disagreed with the official narrative, I was told that I supported the Russians, which is really the same as calling someone a communist (because Russia used to be communist) … which is really the equivalent of talking bad about someone’s Mamma.
Then we had Covid, which spawned a cascading sequence of insane events all based on the premise that you were ignorant and unpatriotic if you didn’t support the CDC’s official mandates.
So, again, it was “us” against “them” and I was, again, the stupid and unpatriotic them.
‘Black Lives Matter’ protests sealed the deal …
But it wasn’t just Covid or the virus-control measures the virus spawned. The “Black Lives Matter” protests also happened in the early months of the pandemic.
I’m all for a noble protest, but these protestors burned down large numbers of businesses in countless cities. Scores of people died and thousands of people were injured. Call me crazy or old-fashioned, but this bothered me.
But, except for Fox News, no media organization seemed to care that these “peaceful protests” were really violent riots. No Democratic politician seemed to care either (and the cities that were being destroyed and terrorized were run by Democrats).
“This is crazy as hell,” I thought to myself.
Millions of Americans thought the same thing, but many of us were afraid to say what we really thought. Which was yet another example of the “big change.” Criticisms almost everyone would have been saying once upon a time were now taboo or off-limits.
The Powers that Be hated the Canadian Trucker Protests …
In Canada, truck drivers led a major revolt against draconian Covid restrictions on personal liberty. Alas, nobody (who mattered) rallied to the defense of the protestors.
Once upon a time, some protestors in Boston dumped some tea into a harbor to protest government tyranny and the enlightened pamphleteers of the day supported the protests. That the same thing didn’t happen 250 years later … bothered me.
The Canadian truckers didn’t burn down any buildings or kill anyone - they were fighting against discrimination too - but they were perceived as the villains. Again, it was “us against them” and my side was the Bad Guys.
The January 6th Insurrection - a day that will live in infamy …
And then January 6th happened and those protestors - who didn’t burn down the Capitol or kill anyone - were labeled the greatest threats to America’s continued union since a dozen Southern states seceded from the union.
In the War of 1812, the British did (partially) burn down the U.S. Capitol, but one suspects future historians will come down more harshly on the MAGA army than they have the Red Coats.
All of the above bothers me, but what really bothers me is that “conventional wisdom” changed so fast and I didn’t see it coming.
The rules and standards changed over night and I didn’t even get a chance to protest. Government bureaucrats and do-gooders aren’t supposed to be able to work their programs that fast. But, somehow, they did.
This column offers no “solutions” or any wise explanations.
I don’t know how everything changed. I just think it did.
Nor do I think I’m alone. I think plenty of people have this vague sense that something important changed in our country … and it changed fast.
I don’t know. If things can change this fast, can we change them back just as fast?