If you ask voters, their biggest problem with Biden is inflation. Yet all Republicans seem to talk about is “wokeness.” Why not more time on the price of eggs and less time on the state of people’s genitals?
— Asked March 7, 2023, in our election live chat
“Wokeness” is shaping up to be a defining issue in a potentially crowded GOP primary, with everyone looking to demonstrate they will be aggressive on issues that matter to the base and activists, like school teachings on sexual orientation and gender.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who is closely associated with many of those fights, won by a nearly 20-point margin in the one time swing state last fall, which gives Republicans some hope these issues have appeal with middle-of-the-road voters.
Answered by Hannah Knowles
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But plenty of others argue the race to the right here will not help the GOP down the road (and Democrats sure hope so).
My colleague Ashley Parker asked Republicans what they mean by “wokeness” — here’s her story! Some struggled to put it into words.
Republicans use “woke” for social justice issues or positions they view as misguided or performative. But it’s really become a catchall for things the GOP views as liberal excess — from diversity and inclusion programs (DeSantis wants to ban them at state colleges) to school discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation (many state legislatures have restricted that or are moving to).
GOP contenders for 2024 are all jockeying to be the standout fighter against “woke ideology.”