NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — A panelist at the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference warned Friday that being “woke” is like seeking “salvation from the mob” as liberal activists are promoting “authoritarianism” to push their political agenda.
With the theme of CPAC 2020 being “America vs. Socialism,” several panel discussions throughout the four-day conference focused on the political left’s seeming embrace of socialist-like candidates, attitudes and policy ideals.
One panel discussion that took place Friday morning was titled: “Socialism & The Great Awokening.” The discussion was moderated by the American Conservative Union's Communications Director Ian Walters.
Among six participants in the discussion were BlazeTV host Jon Miller, a conservative African American, and Brandon Straka, the founder of the WalkAway Campaign. The campaign encourages liberals “to walk away from the divisive tenets endorsed and mandated by the Democratic Party of today."
Miller, who penned an op-ed last year arguing that being conservative is the new black, was asked what it means when people talk about “being woke.”
“That is a term that was I believe coined by Erykah Badu in 2008,” Miller explained.
“It’s a term that means that you are generally aware of how it is to be socially, politically correct. And, you are aware of how to talk to people, and you use the right gender pronouns, and you are accepting, and you are tolerant and you use all these crazy words like Ze and Zir to define people."
Miller warned that the mantra of “being woke” is a “way to oppress people who speak normally.”
“It is a way to basically suppress people for living the way they want,” Miller said. “Conservatives who basically have a more traditional worldview are being oppressed by people who want to control their language, they want to control their ideas.”
The title of the panel, Miller said, is a play on the Great Awakening, a period of Christian spiritual revival that took place in the American colonies during the 1700s.
“That was a spiritual revival that gave people a sense of spirituality and gave them a sense of personal sin and the need to be redeemed and salvation from God,” Miller explained.
“Now, it’s salvation from the mob to the sense that if you say that you love this country, you say that America is the greatest country in the world and say that America was not evil and indecent from its inception, you don’t have a voice. … If you say you don’t believe there is 5 million genders, you don’t have a voice.”
Miller stressed that the “Great Awokening” is happening with the “same kind of fervor” that was had during the Great Awakening.
“I think that in the same way the Great Awakening kind of sparked the revolution, the Great Awokening is going to actually destroy the country,” Miller contended.
Miller urged conservatives to “fight back” and “reverse all the destruction that these people have done to the country.”
Straka, a gay former liberal, joined in the discussion. He said that he doesn’t think it's an exaggeration to claim that the U.S. is “at the crossroads of a possible calamity.”
“This election I think is the most important election, certainly, of my lifetime and possibly in American history,” Straka said.
“We have two candidates who exist on two polar opposites of the spectrum. One is fighting for the traditions of America that have made America a great capitalist, free-market society,” Straka said. “The other is fighting for a fringe leftist social [agenda]. I am just going to go ahead and assume it is going to be Bernie Sanders.”
Straka said he created the WalkAway Campaign to encourage people to post on social media their political voice and testimonials about why they are not supporting the Democrat Party.
“There is no longer any excuse for the liberal media defining the narrative of who you are and what it means to be a Trump supporter or a conservative Republican,” Straka said. “They can call you a racist. They can call you a bigot. They can call you whatever you want. But it is up to you to use your voice and take the narrative back of what it means to be a Trump supporter and a conservative.”
Walters explained that some people today will try to shut down a political debate by calling conservatives “racist.”
“You can call anyone a racist and then immediately, you don’t have to argue with them,” Miller said in disgust. “You know it is nonsense when they are calling people like me racist. The amount of times I have been called racist, the amount of times I have been called white nationalist, it shows that they are full of it and their arguments are full of holes.”
“They bring nothing to the table. Their war chests are empty,” Miller continued. “And we are able to at least provide people with the strength to know that we are the majority. We are going to fight to win and we will not be silenced by these thugs, by these communists, by these socialists, who are literally trying to introduce authoritarianism to introduce their vision.”