What is today’s truth? Well, that depends. The truth today can be whatever one wants it to be as long as it does not offend. Let me rephrase that: as long as it doesn’t offend the Woke. Let me add: as long as it acquiesces to the Woke.
The real truth–the actual truth–is offensive because it counters the Woke narrative. The truth stands in defiance to disinformation–to false narratives. The truth is buttressed with facts–the strongest enemy of lies and the Woke.
Facts that counter the narrative mobilize the Woke mob into attack mode, and the weak respond. They kneel, acquiesce, and assuage the mob–they empower the mob. The weak take positions favorable to the Woke mob in hopes of insulating themselves from their attack.
Acquiescence to the Woke signals weakness, but that is not enough. The mob demands sacrifice: sacrifice of job, position, status, money—sacrifice of pride and self-respect. It’s time to fight back. It’s time to fight back with questions and facts.
Questioning authority, critical thinking, and pushback against draconian government policies are default American positions. We push back against narratives meant to divide and control us: it’s who we are.
An alliance is forming in response to vicious Woke cancel culture, and while these allies may disagree with each other’s policies, they don’t want their opponents’ positions silenced or canceled–they want them challenged with debate and facts out in the open in order to change minds. To change minds, not coerce under threat of cancellation.
Classical debate and constitutionally defended defiance are casualties of this new environment of caving to the Woke. Classical liberals, middle of the road Americans, and conservatives are ready to ally and push back. They need champions to lead the way.
The enemies of today’s “truth” are filter-less and fearless facts, even if they offend emotional mobs. Those willing to push back must not stand alone. The mob is extremely powerful; powerful enough to get Big Tech, the mainstream media, and spineless politicians to acquiesce and give a stage to the idiocy of the unchallenged narrative. But the mob has an exposed Achilles heel: baseless and divisive lies. Their narrative is a house of cards.
What is the narrative? It’s that statement or position you read or hear that makes one wonder whether you are being told the truth, being condescended to, being told what to think, or being told how to live. It’s the narrative that wants to cancel that playground battle cry, “It’s a free country! I can say and do anything I want!” Not anymore, and that’s un-American.
The narrative has many authoritative avenues. The government puts it out, the media parrots it, and Big Tech censors push back and spotlight the attacks on those few rebel critical-thinkers in hopes of shaming them into submission.
This pro-narrative trifecta attacks critical thinking by labeling it conspiracy theorizing and worse: racist. This grouping and their lemmings then use “whataboutisms” and phrases meant to shut down debate like, “That’s been debunked as a conspiracy theory!” When in actuality, the ammo they cite as debunking the rebel default position is actually “confirmation bias”—information that only supports the position one is defending, often lacking facts. The debunker is more often a likeminded “fact-checker” and aligned with the narrative position.
We long for the truth-seekers of Greenwich Village and Haight Asbury, the classical liberals and radicals that questioned the media narrative, who asked for and presented facts to counter what they believed to be disinformation. Whether they were right or wrong, those American rebels would never hold up a New York Times opinion piece and shout, “See, that’s been debunked!”
We are close to making “debunked” and “conspiracy theory” as weak as “my mommy said so.” All we have to do in this emerging alliance–one still in search of leadership–is say, “weak, not good enough. Give me some facts.” In our rebel counter-attack, the first person to use a slur or grab a crutch loses the argument, loses the debate. If one cannot defend the narrative with facts–the narrative is exposed as a lie.
The narrative activates the rebellious “What the F*– Over?” response. It’s the statement repeated by the masses that prompts you to ask, “Is this real? Am I alone in thinking the way I do?” You are not; there really is a giant that is waking up to cancel the Woke.
The purveyors of false narratives have unintentionally invited questions–they don’t allow questions, because those questions, if answered, reveal the lie.
The new American rebel doesn’t carry a flag or align with a party. The new American rebel is the American that is witnessing the erosion of freedoms and is demanding elected officials adhere to the constitution to stop it. The American rebel is asking questions, the American rebel is pushing back, the American rebel is doing this against the concerted effort of being silenced, attacked, and targeted for cancellation by the Woke mob and their allies in Big Tech, government, and the media. We need to ask questions and demand fact-based answers. We need to debate the issues and discredit those that view facts as the stubborn obstacles they are to their lie.
The new American rebel is looking for the truth and is armed with facts. Facts, though they may challenge and sometimes offend, are the truth. Facts expose false narratives and they offend the Woke, and that’s a good thing.
Michael Pregent is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. He is a senior Middle East analyst, a former adjunct lecturer for the College of International Security Affairs, and a visiting fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University.