Don’t worry about the ‘woke;’ worry about the robots

Woke, woke, woke, woke, woke. You can’t doom-scroll on Facebook for five seconds without a “friend” posting a meme about “them” coming to convert your kids into transgender Devil worshippers. Heck, Ron Desantis, the least charismatic and most vacant-eyed politician to ever mount a run on the president’s office, has built his entire campaign on “woke.” That’s it. His entire deal is stopping the “woke.”

Y’all, “woke” is a boogeyman, a pejorative term meant to rile you up and stoke your fear, turn it into a roaring hate toward a small minority of people that are vastly different than what’s considered traditional America. Not saying the “woke” are bad. Just different. See but the Desantis crowd and pretty much all politicians with an R by their name go along with the “woke” fear they helped create in hopes you’ll run with that fear all the way to the voting booth. Push that button to fight the war against the “woke.”

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the other side, of course. The Rs have the “woke” and the Ds have the perpetual all conservatives are racist, homophobic, and misogynistic cards to play. Each side flip those out like UNO Reverse Cards every second of every day. 

A wise guy once said all liberals think conservatives are evil and all conservatives think liberals are stupid. They’re just wired differently, and it’s easy to target what’s different.

Throughout human history, fear has driven people more than love. Hate is more powerful. Fear keeps you alive. Love makes you vulnerable and reach out. Sometimes reaching out gets you bit. No one ever got bit by pulling away. It’s basic offense versus defense. In other words, it’s easier to get elected through a campaign of fear – “you better elect me to stop the evil conservatives or the stupid liberals” – than it is to run on a campaign to fix things. 

Because fixing things, repairing the broken bits of America, is danged hard. And, moreover, there ain’t much money in it. Curing a disease isn’t as profitable as indefinitely treating its symptoms.

You want a real threat? Stop doom-scrolling and read about the imminent threat of AI. 

Artificial Intelligence is here and within a few years it’s going to eliminate hundreds of millions of jobs. These aren’t just jobs like cashiers and fast food. These are truck drivers, nurses, writers, designers, architects, paralegals, researchers, front office staff, on and on. 

And when robotics catches up? No more than 20 years from now, the world economy is going to be in shambles. The very real threat of AI and robotics is going to destroy America. Pretty much every job will be able to be done by a machine. This isn’t a boogeyman. It’s a real-life monster that’s about to pounce. 

Politicians have been warned about this. Congress has had hearings and given the very real and scary truth from tech leaders such as Elon and Zuckerberg and many others. 

They all have told the politicians the same thing – this is coming, it’s already pounding on the door. They’ve warned the politicians to do something now, regulate the industry because if they don’t, the people you serve aren’t going to have jobs and won’t be able to buy gas to drive to the voter booth to put you back in office. 

The response from the politicians? Blank stares and empty promises. They don’t get it. It’s too big for them. Some of them can’t even turn on computers, y’all. How can they comprehend a world where jobs are as rare as winning the lottery? 

So it gets filed away, kicked down the road for younger folk to deal with. And they go back to fighting the evil conservatives or the stupid liberals. 

Listen to me, folks. You want to really make a difference? Next time you go to one of those rallies where the politician is trying to get your money in the fight against the boogeymen, ask them what they’re doing to address the real monster at the door. You have to educate yourself. You have to ask questions because politicians are human, and humans don’t like tough problems. It’ll get kicked down the road and you’ll be the one out of a job, not the politician. 

AI is real and it’s coming. And bad times are coming with it. 

(Josh Beavers is an award winning writer and author. He has earned more than 40 individual writing awards and is syndicated in 12 North Louisiana news journals. The Louisiana Press Association has recognized him five times for excellence in opinion writing, and he has earned numerous Best Investigative Reporting Awards and Freedom of Information Awards for exposure of governmental corruption in Webster Parish.)

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