The new “wokeness” or “cancel culture” running amok among us reminds me a great deal of the “Cultural Revolution” under Mao Zadong in communist China.

For those who don’t remember, for about a decade (1966-1976), China’s culture was “Woke” by what was called the Cultural Revolution.

The idea was to re-impose proper Mao Zadong thought across China. Youth (millennials?) were organized into Red Guard units to insure compliance with the revolution’s goals and most of the political elites fell in line. The idea was to purge elements of capitalism and traditionalism from Chinese society.

Slogans like: “Bombard Headquarters” (government institutions) and “To rebel is justified” flourished throughout the revolution. Today it’s “OK, Boomer.”

The idea was to promote a violent class (and age) struggle to achieve a purity of thought (political correctness) within the Chinese society. Opponents suffered public humiliation, historic relics, artifacts and cultural sites were destroyed and up to two million Chinese died.

Ultimately, the Cultural Revolution was considered responsible for the most severe setbacks to the country’s people and economy in its history.

The parallels to today’s “Woke” revolution are remarkable. There is no realistic fear that “wokeness” will result in significant deaths, but the willful blindness of American accomplishments; the re-writing of U.S. history and the tearing down of historical sites; attacking capitalism as evil; enforcement of political correctness and the banning of “trigger” words and the establishment of “safe spaces” are all reminiscent of China’s Cultural Revolution.

Until another credible voice arises from among the millennial demographic, we are left to conclude that AOC speaks for this generation. From her public positions we should understand her goals parallel the goals of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

None of this is to say capitalism doesn’t need boundaries or that America cannot be improved, but if this is “Woke”...please let me sleep.

The 2020 election represents the next opportunity the American voters have to reject this “Wokeness” and restore some sanity and stability to the American political environment.

Capt. Jim Kinney USN (ret) is a highly decorated 26 year veteran of Naval aviation with extensive experience in DC. He served on Gov. Huckabee’s presidential campaign staff. A noted international speaker, Capt. Kinney is available to speak to civic groups for special events, luncheons, dinners and retreats. Contact him at

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