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Orange County Republican Baugh: ‘Wokism’ More Threatening Than WWII, 9/11

September 5, 2023

(HP)~Scott Baugh, a Republican attorney hoping to flip a Democratic-held U.S. House seat in Orange County, California, said that “wokism” is more threatening to the country than the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, both world wars and the Civil War.

Baugh, a former GOP leader in the California State Assembly, made the remarks while speaking in June to the International Christian Ambassadors Association, an ecumenical Christian nonprofit.

“What’s the greatest threat to religious freedom? We were born in the Revolutionary War. We survived civil wars, World War II, World War I, a lot of wars, 9/11,” Baugh said. “None of those were that threatening to our country compared to the war that we’re fighting now. That war is about wokism and the lack of common sense.”

“That wokism ― it’s communism, wokism, whatever you want to call it ― it’s infected our churches. I like to tell some of our pastors that Jesus came to offend. That was his purpose,” he added. “How would you know you needed a savior unless your sins were pointed out? And our churches aren’t doing that.”

In contemporary culture, “wokeness” and “wokism” usually refers to a view on the left that racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice are ubiquitous and intersecting sources of oppression in American society and that combating those forces requires vigilance and identity-conscious policies. Conservatives often use the term, however, to disparage a broader range of liberal ideas that they believe unfairly discriminate against historically privileged groups or undermine meritocracy and religious freedom.

House Democrats’ campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, condemned Baugh’s remarks, calling him a “perennial loser” who would fail again in 2024. (Baugh ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2022 and lost in the primary for a neighboring seat in 2018.)

Since three-term Rep. Katie Porter is running for retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat, Democrats will lack the advantage of an incumbent in the district race in 2024. California state Sen. Dave Min and Joanna Weiss, an attorney and Democratic activist, are the two most credible candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for the 47th District.