Former New York Times reporter Bari Weiss sees a “political awakening” happening in the United States, contending that the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks in Israel have spurred the change.
Weiss made the argument in a Monday piece that she co-wrote with Oliver Wiseman for The Free Press.
“Here’s an example of what we mean: a friend, appalled at the equivocation and apologia in the West after the brutal Hamas killings, told one of us that he used to consider himself a ‘conscientious objector’ in the culture wars. ‘Not anymore,’ he said. October 7 changed that,” the commentators wrote.
“Liberal friends were suddenly talking about buying guns. Progressive friends were texting about topics like border security and immigration. In a whisper, one even admitted to watching Fox News,” Weiss and Wiseman added.
They cited comments billionaire venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya made last week on the “All In” he co-hosts during which he asserted that seeing all the chaos in the country and the world convinced him former President Donald Trump was right about many things.
Palihapitiya noted he voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020.
“As a Democrat who has been left homeless, who is now definitely in the center but probably leaning increasingly right, I am left yet again with an appreciation, despite the messenger, of the message of the Trump administration because what those guys did was pretty incredible in hindsight,” he said.
He pointed to the Abraham Accords between Israel and the Persian Gulf states of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain as an example.
Palihapitiya continued saying, “So much of the work that happened in that administration turns out to have been right. And that’s what is so frustrating for me. The work on the border wall? We didn’t like the messenger, so we killed the message. Turned out it was right.”
“Issuing long-term debt to refinance when rates were at zero? We didn’t like the messenger, so we killed the message. A structural peace in the Middle East? We didn’t like the messenger, so we killed the message,” the podcast host said.
“When are we gonna stop shooting ourselves in the foot? And when are we going to actually see and take the time to look past who is saying things and actually listen to them word for word?” Palihapitiya asked.
NEW: Billionaire and Democrat voter Chamath Palihapitiya admits that he was wrong about President Trump and says he now “appreciates” what Trump was able to do.
Chamath also said Trump Derangement Syndrome did more damage than Trump ever did.
“The work on the border wall, we… pic.twitter.com/vV4e2Y3XFJ
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) October 17, 2023
Weiss and Wiseman also cited Konstantin Kisin in a column he wrote for The Free Press, titled “The Day the Delusions Died” regarding the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.
“The events of the last week have shattered the illusion that wokeness is about protecting victims and standing up for persecuted minorities. This ideology is and has always been about the one thing many of us have told you it is about for years: power,” he argued.
“A friend of mine joked that she woke up on October 7 as a liberal and went to bed that evening as a 65-year-old conservative. But it wasn’t really a joke and she wasn’t the only one,” Kisin added.
“Many people woke up on October 7 sympathetic to parts of woke ideology and went to bed that evening questioning how they had signed on to a worldview that had nothing to say about the mass rape and murder of innocent people by terrorists,” Kisin wrote.
Weiss founded The Free Press after famously resigning as a columnist from The New York Times in June 2020, citing an “illiberal” and “hostile” work environment.
“Part of me wishes I could say that my experience was unique. But the truth is that intellectual curiosity — let alone risk-taking — is now a liability at The Times,” she wrote in her resignation letter.
Weiss explained that self-censorship had become the norm among the writers, with job security only best guaranteed by publishing the “4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world.”
She posted shortly before resigning that there was a civil war going on at the Times.
“The civil war inside The New York Times between the (mostly young) wokes the (mostly 40+) liberals is the same one raging inside other publications and companies across the country. The dynamic is always the same,” she wrote.
“The Old Guard lives by a set of principles we can broadly call civil libertarianism. They assumed they shared that worldview with the young people they hired who called themselves liberals and progressives. But it was an incorrect assumption,” Weiss added.
The Old Guard lives by a set of principles we can broadly call civil libertarianism. They assumed they shared that worldview with the young people they hired who called themselves liberals and progressives. But it was an incorrect assumption.
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) June 4, 2020
“I’ve been mocked by many people over the past few years for writing about the campus culture wars,” she recounted.
“They told me it was a sideshow. But this was always why it mattered: The people who graduated from those campuses would rise to power inside key institutions and transform them.”