by Paul Edward Gottfried
Those who belong to the woke Left are held together by overlapping interests and shared passions. Not all wokesters support the same causes and certainly not with equal intensity. Thus, warriors against climate change like Karl Schwab and Bill Gates don’t often speak up for the sexual transitioning of children or call for allowing biological males claiming to be women to compete in female sports events. One can likewise read the racialist diatribes of Corey Bush, Ibram X. Kendi, or Al Sharpton without likely running into attacks on fossil fuels or gas stoves. The point is not that these allies never agree on anything. It is that their alliance is looser than some might imagine.
It also seems their collaboration is based mostly on what they loathe rather than what they like. Above all, these collaborators share a chief villain, whom all woke leftists can be counted on to hate, namely, a white male Christian, perhaps living in Marjorie Taylor Greene’s postal district and spewing politically incorrect speech, when he’s not reading the Bible or driving his gas-guzzling car.
It also seems necessary for all wokesters to have a large, intrusive state and ubiquitous surveillance agencies for keeping opposition in line. Equally useful, from their perspective, is a centralized educational system that requires compulsory attendance, except perhaps for designated victim groups, who may do as they like. We also supposedly need properly indoctrinated public educators to deal with all the “neo-Nazis,” or, as the Biden Administration classifies such types, “white nationalist terrorists.” While all elements of the woke Left seek to marginalize their shared enemies, some may also be eager to inflict violence on them. And they can do so while the media turn their collective back on the Left’s “peaceful protests.”
Miranda Devine provides us with a particularly revealing case study of a growing subspecies within this woke genus, the socially radical corporate capitalist. Devine focuses on U.S. Rep. Daniel Goldman, the usually nattily dressed and unfailingly politically correct representative of New York’s 10th Congressional District. According to his critic at the New York Post, Goldman is a “loathsome” example of “‘elite privilege,’ a blue-eyed son of Sidwell Friends, Stanford and Yale” with “entitlement oozing from every pore.”
It is hard for me not to retch as I read Devine’s description of “this heir to the Levi Strauss fortune,” who has become a smarmy defender of the Russiagate hoax, FBI abuses of power, and the New York City criminal class. When Julio Rosas, a senior writer for Townhall, testified before Congress about Black Lives Matter violence that he had witnessed personally and about which he wrote a book, Goldman pounced on him. Goldman scolded Rosas for stating Antifa was an “organization” and not just an idea, and he accused Rosas of inventing his accounts to discredit the FBI.
Goldman was also featured on TV, lacing into the mother of a black U.S. Army veteran who had been murdered in New York City. This happened after Goldman’s pal, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, had released a repeat offender who later committed the murder. According to Goldman, the congressional investigation of Bragg’s practice of putting dangerous, violent criminals back on the street without bail was preventing a respected D.A. from doing something much more important, namely prosecuting Trump for a “felony,” or whatever Bragg claims Trump did to Stormy Daniels, evidence for which doesn’t seem to exist. Like Bragg, Goldman has been an outspoken opponent of imposing bail on those who have been arrested for violent acts.
Goldman has also dramatically thrust himself into the battle against antisemitism, which he blames, like other forms of bigotry, on the “racist and xenophobic rhetoric of Donald Trump.” He also habitually laces his remarks about the Holocaust with predictable references to Trump. What is equally noticeable is his grotesque practice of associating anti-Jewish prejudice in the United States with just about anybody who happens to be on the political Right or who dares to criticize the radical Left.
Thus, Goldman tells us in garbled syntax: “We cannot accept continuing to allow for antisemitic tropes, such as George Soros backing prosecutors, which have just very clearly become a euphemism for an antisemitic trope.” Apparently, anyone who dares to notice Soros’ funding of Goldman’s friends is an impassioned antisemite. Naturally it would be inappropriate for Goldman to go after the far more obvious antisemites on the Left.
Miranda Devine’s target is the quintessential woke capitalist, who combines enormous personal privilege with seclusion from the mischief he sows and unbounded enthusiasm for woke causes. As a woke leftist Goldman quite indiscriminately lambasts conservatives as bigots without ever losing his sense of moral righteousness. Not surprisingly, he has built a political career as a Trump-hater, something that his friends in the media can fully appreciate. Woke capitalists like Goldman have the best of two worlds, as noise-making radicals who live in mind-boggling affluence. Let’s lay off Soros! He may be the nicest of this group.
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Paul Edward Gottfried is the editor of Chronicles. An American paleoconservative philosopher, historian, and columnist, Gottfried is a former Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, as well as a Guggenheim recipient.
Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Ian Hutchinson.