Wingnuttery,  Woke,  Your View

“It’s the ideology, stupid”

By Harry Storm


In 1992, James Carville, a strategist in Bill Clinton’s successful campaign for the U.S. presidency, coined the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid” to focus Clinton’s campaign workers on what he believed was the key issue for voters in that election.

The economy is still a key issue motivating voters today. However, a relatively new set of ideas originating in academia that has gathered steam in the past decade in much of the Western world is affecting not only how people think and vote, but also their workplace and their personal lives.

This ideology, which has permeated Western society under many different names – wokeness; identity politics; critical theory; intersectionality; or diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) – is riding roughshod over the stated goals, previous ideological convictions, and/or mission statements of organizations, institutions and professions originally established for entirely different purposes. In many cases, ethical considerations and even safety have been ignored in pursuit of agendas driven by ideological fervour.

For example, some airlines in the U.S. now make DEI a top priority. In a 2021 interview, CEO Scott Kirby announced that United’s focus on hiring pilots was going to be diversity and that 50% of new pilots hired would be women or people of colour.

This prompted comedian Rob Schneider to (seriously) joke: “What? Diversity? Not the best pilots you can find? The ones with the most hours and experience?” sarcastically adding, “I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of flying with white pilots landing safely and on time.” Earlier this month, Schneider wrote to Kirby to tell him – in all seriousness – that “I will no longer allow my family to fly on your airline.”

And DEI effect on the airlines isn’t limited to pilots. It also impacts the hiring of engineers and technicians by manufacturers. In January, Elon Musk slammed Boeing after the door of an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 blew out in mid-flight. “Do you want to fly in an airplane where they prioritized DEI hiring over your safety? That is actually happening,” Musk wrote.

Governments and media have also been captured by “woke” ideology. Take, for example the crisis at the southern border of the U.S. Polling consistently shows that illegal immigration tops the list of voter concerns, even ahead of the economy, which normally tops the list of voter concerns.
Yet for the past 4 years the Biden administration has effectively opened the border, all but inviting migrants into the U.S., immigration protocols be damned. Leaving aside the fact that protecting the border is the duty of any country’s government and is a constitutional requirement in the U.S., why would a government seeking re-election disregard the top voter issue and continue a policy (or lack of policy) so despised by the electorate?

Conspiratorially minded people may believe that allowing a flood of migrants will boost the electoral chances of Democrats in the future, who reckon that most migrants (or their legal offspring) will vote for them. While this may be a consideration, I believe the main reason is that the left wing of the Democratic party, and especially its younger members, fervently believe in open borders because the people coming in are “brown” and therefore make the U.S. less white, which aligns with the oppressor/oppressed paradigm that identity politics thrives on.

The same motivations drive the otherwise inexplicable lack of interest in the southern border by the legacy media, which has had to be pushed kicking and screaming to provide even minimal coverage to what should be front-page news (in December 2023 alone, more than 300,000 crossings were reported).
The media in other English-speaking countries also provide little or no coverage of stories that go against the prevailing “intersectional” narrative. For example, the Canadian media – along with the government and most cultural institutions – were all over the story of supposed unmarked graves of indigenous children “found” near the Catholic-run residential schools they had been taken to, often against the will of their parents. However, these “graves” were identified via ground-penetrating radar, which only reveals anomalies in the ground without actually identifying what those anomalies are. After several more such anomalies were discovered near the sites of other residential schools, the “unmarked graves” became the biggest story in Canada: The Canadian government lowered the flag to half-mast for months to mark the discoveries, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the Catholic church burnings that followed the reports of mass graves “understandable.”

You might think that finding out what those anomalies actually are would be top priority for the indigenous groups affected and that journalists would be clamouring for these supposed graves to be dug up to confirm that bodies were actually buried there, but in reality, nothing of the kind has occurred. The same media that swarmed over this story when it first broke have gone silent, as have indigenous leaders, who continue to show a curious reluctance to definitively determine what’s actually under the ground (for reasons one can only surmise). Normally such reluctance on the part of native chiefs would be grist for the journalism mill; instead, the legacy media does not want to touch this story. Meanwhile, the Canadian justice minister is considering criminalizing “residential school denialism.” According to a spokeswoman, the Justice Minister is considering “putting in place a federal legal framework that will preserve and protect rights and respect the dignity of the children buried in unmarked graves and burial sites connected to residential schools.”

Canadian institutions have also proven themselves to be very susceptible to transgender ideology, which has spread into and undermined professional institutions across the country, such as the law courts in British Columbia, the B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives, and the Ontario College of Psychologists, which recently ordered Canada’s most famous online personality, psychologist Jordan Peterson, to attend remedial social media training or lose his license to practice.

But perhaps the most extreme example is that of Canada’s Elizabeth Fry Society (EFS), an organization originally established to advocate for better care for women in prison. Now, its mission is “to provide advocacy, programming and supporting services to women, Two-Spirit, non-binary and gender diverse people who are criminalized or may become criminalized.” In practice, Elizabeth Fry Society now advocates for the placement of trans women (i.e. biological men) in women’s prisons.

In a particularly egregious case, EFS lodged a complaint after a biological man self-identifying as a transwoman was placed in a male prison before ultimately being moved to a female prison. But EFS’ complaint wasn’t about a biologically intact male convicted of domestic assault being housed in a female prison. No, EFS’s complaint was that the transwoman was first put into a male prison.

Currently, prisoners in Canada who self-identify as a woman will likely be housed in a women’s prison, though Correctional Services Canada (CSC) claims it determines where the prisoner will be placed on a case-by-case basis. This despite a 2022 study commissioned by CSC that revealed that 92% of the 61 male-to-female prisoners incarcerated in Canada have committed violent offences, and nearly 42% have committed sexual assaults, most of which occurred while the individual still identified as male.
These results have prompted protests by women’s groups but, like the correctional service and the advocates for “women” in prison like EFS, the ideologically captured Canadian media have completely ignored the story (with the exception of a small number of right-leaning newspapers and online outlets). In fact, the only story I was able to find about the 2022 CSC study in the Canadian legacy media – on the CTV news network — focused on the dangers of housing male-to-female prisoners in male prisons.

Another egregious influence of woke/intersectional ideology is in the classroom, where teachers and professors are turning schools — elementary, secondary and university — into indoctrination centres instead of places where students learn to think for themselves.

The indoctrination focuses focuses largely on an “oppressed/oppressor” narrative derived from critical race theory and intersectionality, which goes a long way toward explaining the vast numbers of university students swelling the ranks of pro-Palestinian marches and shouting “from the river to the sea,” while being unable to identify which river and which sea they are chanting about.

In public schools, Departments of Education and Teachers’ Unions may continue to squabble about pay and working conditions, but they are united in actively encouraging teachers to promote ideological precepts, including advancing so-called “anti”-racism that pits students of different races against each other and promoting explicit discussions and books about gender and sexual behaviour for children in early elementary school.

Attempts by conservative politicians – e.g. Florida governor Ron DeSantis – to curb this trend by not allowing discussions about sexual behaviour until the age of 10 (which seems entirely reasonable to me) and removing sexually explicit reading material from elementary and high school libraries, are met with furious, often fact-free, deranged opposition, including accusations of homophobia and censorship by teachers and school administrators.

They’ve been joined by the Disney corporation, which has been captured by the same woke ideology. Disney has spent a lot of resources (and good will) opposing Gov. DeSantis’ Florida education reforms, while at the same time turning its film franchise into yet another branch of DEI indoctrination, to the detriment of Disney shareholders, as virtually all of these preachy films crash and burn at the box-office. It’s a measure of how influenced Disney top executives have become by ideology that Disney continues to make flop after flop, apparently preferring financial losses to entertaining the public and reducing the number of girlboss movies.

The ideological pull is so strong that even physicians in thrall to to transgender ideology – whether out of conviction or fear — disregard the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm” and prescribe dangerous drugs, such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy, to minors. Some go even further, chopping healthy body parts in the name of “gender-affirming care.”

Unswerving loyalty to an ideology often detached from reality harms men, women and children, negatively affects businesses, and causes physicians, teachers, journalists and others to disregard their professional obligations. Is there any clearer sign that, for an increasing number of key sectors in Western society, job performance, professional ethics and even the bottom line are secondary considerations? When trying to determine why these groups and individuals behave as they do, the answer is clear: It’s the ideology, stupid.