Cancel Culture Chaos

OMG, I don’t know how much more annoying Trumpy Republicans can get with their incessant whining about “cancel culture.” Every time now that they get called out for overtly racist, anti-democratic or fascist comments or behavior, their invariable comeback is they won’t be silenced by the left’s cancel culture. That’s why their Dear Leader has been muzzled on Twitter. It had nothing to do hate speech and inciting violence.

Now, I get that there are aspects to the concept of cancel culture that have had objectively verifiable negative impacts, especially in how social media can unearth, expose and amplify relatively minor offenses and cause people to pay dearly. Al Franken is one who paid an exorbitantly high price for brazen stupidity and disrespect, and you might say that that was an effect of cancel culture.

But Trumpy Republicans have picked up on this sentiment and turned it into their rallying cry such as “political correctness” and “fake media” have been heretofore. They rile their base by telling them that the left will cancel their guns, energy, long showers and hamburgers, among other things. And they assert flatly that cancel culture is exclusively a manifestation of liberal “socialism.”

They refuse to be silenced, ostracized or marginalized for even the most offensive conduct, such as promoting the Big Lie that Biden didn’t actually win the election or that there was wide-spread voter fraud when almost none can be found. They passionately defend their absolute right to be ignorant and foolish, when they challenge the science of masks and vaccines to protect against disease.

What Trumpy Republicans are so devilishly good at, too, is accusing their critics of the very offenses for which they are egregiously guilty. They bleat plaintively about the left trying to cancel their right to free speech on social media or cancel their second amendment rights to own assault weapons, when the left would just like them to stop inciting hate crimes and facilitating mass murder.

The ugly truth is that they are the ones who have developed a cancel culture on the right that is existentially dangerous. I’m talking about the culture that wants to cancel the right to vote, in particular for people of color. I’m talking about the culture that wants to cancel the free press as a protector of our freedom. I’m talking about the culture that wants to cancel our ecosystem by ignoring science and allowing the climate crisis to accelerate unabated.

The Trumpy Republican culture wants to cancel human rights, multiculturalism, freedom of expression, gender differences and fluidity, equality, equity, compassion, a woman’s right to choose, funding for the arts and the independence of the judiciary.

This culture would dearly love to cancel Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP and Social Security. This culture wants to cancel government programs that provide a social safety net, regulate business to protect citizens and build and sustain critical infrastructure like transportation, water and sewer systems, the Post Office, the prison system and big chunks of the military so that these government functions can be privatized for profit.

So there is a cancel culture that puts our liberty at risk, and we better expose it for what it actually is: white supremacists and capitalist oligarchs masquerading as “patriots” who will connive, obfuscate, lie, cheat, steal and brutalize their opposition and critics to greedily retain the wealth and political power they have brazenly amassed over the last 50 years.

But there is also an opposing cancel culture we must invigorate and strengthen. It is the culture that sees cancelling human suffering as a primary objective of government. It is the culture that will work hard to cancel racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia, misogyny, white supremacy and religious intolerance.

And that’s a cancel culture that works for all of us.

(Original art by J.E. Hargate)

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Arthur Hargate is retired after a 40-year management career in the environmental services business. He now writes, plays guitar and is a social activist.

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Arthur Hargate

Arthur Hargate

Arthur Hargate is retired after a 40-year management career in the environmental services business. He now writes, plays guitar and is a social activist.

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