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Move over, Hester: Speaker Mikey's in town...

Remember Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Puritan society in his novel, The Scarlet Letter?  Poor Hester Prynne violated the laws of the church, which meant that she broke society’s laws, too.  At the beginning of the novel, the reader joins Hester as she leaves the safety of the town prison and makes her way back into the society that jailed her.  Reading the book for the first time in the 11th grade, I had a hard time understanding how, in a free society, the religion of one group could also form its judicial system.  That makes the laws of God the same thing as the laws of man.   Separation of church and state was also an 11th grade U.S. history lesson, so we students figured no more Hesters could be jailed for breaking the laws of her religion .  Or so we thought.  We fought a war 250 years ago to separate the colonies from a king who was not only ruler of the government but leader of the church.  A quick walk through British history shows what a mess that ideal leads to:  remember Henry VIII

Sound the alarm and woke up !

If you’ve turned on the TV recently, you’ve probably heard some politician talking about being “woke,” while sporting an expression that looks like he just swallowed castor oil.

So what is this “woke” stuff, you ask ?

Woke is the past tense of the verb to wake, and in my opinion, it beats the alternative in any case. If you don’t wake up in the morning, then you sleep through the day; if you don’t wake up from a day dream, you probably slept through the last meeting you attended. And if you don’t wake up from an operation, well, we all know what that means.

So why is being “woke” so bad for those on the right ?

It isn’t, unless you’re a Republican in bad need of a mantra that will get you re-elected by constituents who haven’t, well, waked up to what’s happening in this country.

“If woke ideology takes over, it will destroy this country. We are not going to let that happen in the state of Florida,” said Ron DeSantis in a recent speech to his constituents.

Let’s dig into that. The governor has tried, and succeeded in some cases, to ban books, outlaw gay rights with his “Don’t Say Gay” bill, outlaw transgender medicine, and now there’s a bill to eliminate the Democratic party in Florida. So if being woke means you’re against Ron DeSantis, woke me up more, please.

Trump has accused Biden of “destroying the country with woke.” Hmmm… wonder if he remembers that over a million Americans will never woke again after the Covid pandemic, in part thanks to him.

A Michigan state senator accused fellow state Senator Mallory McMorrow, a Democrat, of trying to “groom and sexualize kindergartners” and teach “that 8-year-olds are responsible for slavery.” I want to see that curriculum guide, because good money says it doesn’t exist.

The point is to scream and scare people who are living on the edge after the pandemic, having endured decades of decreasing wages, increased wealth inequality and a raging war they can’t really wrap their heads around. Scare them into believing that the left caused it and are coming after everything else you value. Then you might win the next election.

God forbid you actually run on Republican policies that really might impact their lives: banning abortion, birth control, social security, and medicare. Now that’s really scary, whether you’re awake or not.

Fear: it has to be the title of the first chapter of the Republican playbook.

Let’s use the present tense of woke: Wake up, people! The zombie party is coming to get you!

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Move over, Hester: Speaker Mikey's in town...

Remember Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Puritan society in his novel, The Scarlet Letter?  Poor Hester Prynne violated the laws of the church, which meant that she broke society’s laws, too.  At the beginning of the novel, the reader joins Hester as she leaves the safety of the town prison and makes her way back into the society that jailed her.  Reading the book for the first time in the 11th grade, I had a hard time understanding how, in a free society, the religion of one group could also form its judicial system.  That makes the laws of God the same thing as the laws of man.   Separation of church and state was also an 11th grade U.S. history lesson, so we students figured no more Hesters could be jailed for breaking the laws of her religion .  Or so we thought.  We fought a war 250 years ago to separate the colonies from a king who was not only ruler of the government but leader of the church.  A quick walk through British history shows what a mess that ideal leads to:  remember Henry VIII