According to Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders in her official Republican rebuttal to President Biden’s State of the Union address to Congress, “The dividing line in America is no longer right or left. The choice is between normal or crazy.” Regrettably, this humble spirit tends to agree. But while Governor Sanders, who formerly served as President Trump’s press secretary, clearly believes it’s the left that is crazy, I would contend it’s the MAGA-right who has totally lost it. Why the governor and/or the persons who penned her speech thought she would win over middle-of-the-road voters by name-calling is a mystery. Despite a challenging 2022 mid-term election, MAGA Republicans like the governor continue to play to their “base.” One would think they have a solid majority of voters in their pocket, but they don’t. Thank God!
“Most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace,” the governor went on to say, “but we are under attack in a left-wing culture war we didn’t start and never wanted to fight.” Well, isn’t that rich?! The Republican Party never stops using their drummed-up culture wars to convince that poor base of theirs to vote against their own economic interests. Beginning with the Reagan Administration in the 1980s, and exacerbated by the Trump Tax cuts for big corporations and the wealthy, the top 1% in this country has amassed way way way too much wealth, power, and influence while the middle class has been decimated.
Rather than offer up any real ideas that might improve people’s lives, the governor focused her remarks on stoking fear, using the same old Republican playbook, including: the “radical left” (alas, getting stale); “wokeness” (the new, improved catchall version of the radical left); the “woke mob” (for when you really want to instill fear); and last but hardly least, “Critical Race Theory” (CRT), a nonsensical and contrived red hearing that’s good for stirring up racial angst and backlash.
Republicans Won’t Fix the Real Problems that Ail Us, So They Stir Up Fear of the “Woke Mob.”
Moving through the Republican playbook at a rapid clip, the governor claimed the Biden administration has been “completely hijacked by the radical left” but provided no explanation of what she was referring to. Then she accused the president of pursuing “woke fantasies.” I wish the governor would explain what these fantasies entail, but I fear that, to her way of thinking, woke fantasies consist of everything this country sorely needs, such as police reform, a guarantee of women’s reproductive rights, and an assault weapons ban. Those things should all become reality, of course, but it’s the Republicans who insist on keeping them fantasies.
And finally, the governor’s bizarre description of the Democratic Party: “A woke mob who can’t even tell you what a woman is.” Say what!? Presumably this is a reference to MAGA Republican’s near obsession with transgender-related issue. Again, the MAGA right has increasingly shifted from shouting about the “radical left” to shouting about the “woke mob,” but no matter what they label it, they never stop working to conjure up fear of an ominous “mob” in one form or the other. The term gained a fresh racist connotation during the summer 2020 protests, when Republicans used America’s failed attempt at a racial reckoning to stir up fear among the base, culminating in former President Trump ordering protesters gassed so he could have a photo opportunity with a Bible in front of St. John’s Church across from the White House.
Alas, the Republicans and Governor Sanders are like a new rendition of an old country song: a whole lot of fear-mongering and not enough action.