Fox pundit and ex-Trump aide tries to play down survey saying most Americans have positive view of the word ‘woke’
Fox News pundits found themselves in a difficult spot when they had to brush off the results of a recent poll that found most Americans do not view the word "woke" as an insult.
Former Trump White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, now a Fox News host, and host Brian Kilmeade discussed the results of a recent USA Today-IPSOS poll asking how respondents would feel if someone described them as "woke."
The term generally refers to progressive ideologies that acknowledge concepts of social justice, civil rights, and labour issues.
The poll found that 56 per cent of respondents said they understood "woke" to mean "informed, educated on, and aware of social injustices."
"Believe it or not, 56 per cent have a positive view of the word woke," Kilmeade said.
Ms McEnany brushed off the results, suggesting "normal people" would not respond to a request to participate in a poll.
"I'm a Floridian so I get calls from pollsters all the time. I hang up on them," she said. "I think normal people who don't like woke just click, click, click."
However, the USA Today-Ipsos poll did include Republicans, and nearly a third of GOP-identifying respondent were among those who shared a favourable definition of the word woke.
Only 39 per cent of respondents had an unfavourable definition of woke, which they took to mean "to be overly politically correct and police others' words."
Kilmeade: Believe it or not 56% have a positive view of the word woke.
Kayleigh: I'm a Floridian so I get calls from pollsters all the time. I hang up on them. I think the normal people who don't like woke just click click click. pic.twitter.com/ELEDXIRVnM
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 12, 2023
Despite the widely-understood favourable definition of woke, the word is most used as an insult by Republicans and those with conservative ideologies.
Former Trump official and upcoming presidential candidate Nikki Haley recently told a CPAC audience that wokeness is "a virus more dangerous than any pandemic, hands down”.
More than three million people died due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.
GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who authored a book taking aim at "woke" companies in the US, bragged that he "traveled the country calling out the woke-industrial-complex in America”.
In Ms McEnany's native Florida, GOP legislators introduced the "Stop WOKE Act" into state congressional consideration, and Twitter CEO Elon Musk motioned to his largely conservative fan base by frequently lamenting the "woke mind virus”.
Even banks can be woke, according to GOP Congressman James Comer, who tried to explain away the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank to its “wokeness” and not the Trump-era rollback of Dodd-Frank banking regulations.
The poll results may suggest that the GOP building its platform on "anti-wokeness" — like book bans and civil rights rollbacks — is not a popular strategy with the "normal people" Ms McEnany thinks don't answer polls.