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Tyler Cowen

America Is Not as Woke as It Appears

The discourse can be suffocating, but conservative ideas still have popular support.

The league is not as woke as the players’ jerseys.

The league is not as woke as the players’ jerseys.

Photographer: Ashley Landis l/Getty Images North America

It is sometimes called “Conquest’s Second Law of Politics”: “Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing.” I am hearing this more and more lately, leading me to wonder if it is actually true. And if so, why?

It is easy enough to find anecdotal evidence in support of it. Numerous foundations that arose from the fortunes of right-leaning founders, such as Pew or Ford or Hewlett, have morphed into left-wing institutions. I can’t think of a major foundation that came from a left-wing founder and then moved to the right. In the broader sweep of American history, universities have not been explicitly left-wing — but they are today.