Some things are so predictable you could literally bet the farm on them, one being that the sun will rise in the east each morning. Sadly, the left is becoming all too predictable in trying to cancel anyone or anything even remotely attached to conservatism.
Enter the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held this past weekend. It’s an annual meeting of conservative grassroots activists, leaders, and speakers. This year’s event was moved from National Harbor, MD, just outside of Washington to Orlando, FL. In reality, the move was the coup de grâce for the lockdown states still mired in misery and a win for Florida, which has balanced public health and economic concerns so very well throughout the whole pandemic.
Pulling off a big event like this requires a suitable venue with meeting space and room capacity and one that can handle large crowds. The Hyatt Regency Orlando on International Drive met the challenge. As an attendee and Florida resident, I spoke with hundreds of people at the event in my capacity working in political communications. I asked as many people as I could what they thought of the hotel and having CPAC in Orlando. It was unanimous. People were thrilled with their rooms and the hotel’s many amenities. Masks were required in public areas to keep people safe. And of course, there are a plethora of restaurants and attractions just over a 3-iron from the property.
No matter. The event had barely begun before the left started in on the stage’s shape as viewed from high above. Supremacist they decried. It’s a rune used by the Nazis, many said. The voices became so pervasive that the head of the organization that puts on the conference felt compelled to address it. “Stage design conspiracies are outrageous and slanderous. We have a long-standing commitment to the Jewish community. Cancel culture extremists must address antisemitism within their own ranks. CPAC proudly stands with our Jewish allies, including those speaking from this stage,” said Matt Schlapp.
Interestingly, this same weekend, liberal comedian Bill Mahr used his show “Real Time” to take on his fellow “wokers” in a scathing monologue, saying a new stand your ground law is needed for cancel culture. He noted, “when the woke mob comes after you for some ridiculous offense, you’ll stand your ground and stop apologizing because I can’t keep up anymore with who’s on the ‘s’ list.” Mahr went through many examples, including getting rid of Lincoln in his state of Illinois. He concluded with, “When what you’re doing sounds like an Onion headline, stop!”
But the cancel types led by many in Hollywood were already at work. It wasn’t just conservatives in the crosshairs. They’re going after Hyatt, calling for boycotts. There’s now an ever-growing list of celebrities saying they won’t stay at any of the hotels in the chain again. That’s countered by the Mike Huckabees (former Arkansas GOP governor) of the world: “I shall be giving Hyatt more of my business! No corporation should be punished for selling their core product—refreshing to see them stand their ground.”
And stand their ground Hyatt has. A Hyatt spokesperson told Fox Business, “We take pride in operating a highly inclusive environment, and we believe that the facilitation of gatherings is a central element of what we do as a hospitality company.”
It’s all so bizarre. One, boycotts and bans often have the opposite effect. Just look at Goya Foods. Consider too that the best way to make a book a best seller is to ban it. People want to know what they’re not supposed to see or do. Two, it wasn’t that long ago when the left was the guardian of free speech, even extreme speech. Indeed, the whole basis for the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 1920 was to protect freedom of speech. They have successfully used the legal system to do so ever since. And guess what? The ACLU even backed conservatives like Oliver North and Rush Limbaugh when the left came after for them. If nothing else, that is consistency.
The left hasn’t thought through where this new, ugly wokism and canceling will end. Should hotels hold no more conferences from any political group for fear someone might be offended? Should we cancel our own friends and relatives if they gave money, supported, or even voted for someone we don’t like? If only the liberal media mob would call out not just the silliness but the danger of it all. Maybe then Hollywood, the driver of most of this, would stop. Bill Mahr speaking out is a start. Will others follow?
Jeff Szymanski works in political communications for AMAC, a senior benefits organization with nearly 2.4 million members.