Opinion / Politics

Liberals Feel Sting of “Cancel Culture”

Kavanaugh new york times attack American exceptionalismLiberals are suddenly realizing that “cancel culture” can snap back – and it hurts.  The liberal idea was to “cancel” people who raise “offensive” or “objectionable” topics, summarily ending unwanted discussions by intimidating people into abandoning free speech rights.  It was always anti-American.  Now, it turns out the left’s beast, is eating them too.

Upending the First Amendment by spurning people with different views is a dead end – legally, politically, and socially.  Interestingly, conservatives generally offer to debate while liberals stifle dialogue.  Now, they are being stifled.

Last week, some noted liberals wrote an “open letter” decrying how unthinking, zealous leftists were shutting them down.  Former New York Times editor Bari Weiss and Harper’s columnist Thomas Williams were joined by Harry Potter’s J.K. Rowling, activist Noam Chomsky, and feminist Gloria Steinem, in this conservative turn.  They rediscovered the First Amendment.

Suddenly, having been shunted off stage, out of newsrooms, and denied the right to opine, they took to Bill Maher’s show to say “open debate without fear of repercussions might be a good idea,” since the absence of free expression might lead to violence.  Behold – an epiphany.

While the left swarms America’s streets, these liberals penned a letter.  Said Weiss, their letter was a “warning cry from inside the institutions,” signaling the need to reverse course.  Free speech apparently does matter, after all.  Why?  Because blocking it is “social murder” these enlightened liberals professed on Maher’s show – a curious venue for lefty confessions.

Weiss explained. “What is going on now with this culture of illiberalism is different from criticism.”  Criticism is good, but “cancel culture is not criticism, it is about punishment … making a person radioactive… taking away their job.”  She decried her former employer.

For background, a New York Times “editorial page editor” resigned in June, after “more than 1,000 staffers” signed a letter condemning him for allowing a column by conservative US Senator Tom Cotton on restoring law and order, if necessary with the military. In July, Weiss resigned, citing an internal “civil war,” pitting “social justice warriors” against “free speech.”

Could it be that “cancel culture” is biting the hand that fed it?  On Maher’s show, Weiss perfectly described socialism.  She noted “cancel culture” amounts to “punishing the person for being insufficiently pure,” pushing a “secondary boycott of people who would deign to speak to that person or appear on a platform with that person.” Suddenly, this is highly offensive.

She noted this kind of “politics” does not “get us” very far.  She warned about where extremism goes. “If conversation with people that we disagree with becomes impossible, what is the way we solve conflict? … It’s violence.”  She may have something there.

Weiss, the enlightened liberal, continued.  She said politics has evolved into a “religious identity,” suggesting liberals who fail to push to “defund the police” are considered “heretics.”  One hears an awakening in her voice to socialism’s hallmark, intimidation.

As if just washing over her, she explained: “That is an enormous problem … because it is … the collapse of moderates.”  There is another idea.  Could “cancel culture,” intimidating those not sufficiently “pure” to defend leftist violence, be a problem in America?

The effect, she said, is “collapse of the center and the retribalization of this country …,” now inside newsrooms.  One could argue that she is a little late, but seeing the light is good.  She observed that America is “exceptional… with all of its flaws.”  Wisdom, indeed.

Unable to defend “patriotism,” she edged up to it.  Returning to high school history – apparently missed by her peers – she said: “There is something bigger than lineage or kin or the political tribe we belong to…” Yes – and we call that America.  She added, we are in “a very scary moment.”  Right again, no thanks to her former employer.  Could media bear responsibility?

These enlightened liberals – pilloried by former friends – now argue, “it is up to us to defend the ideas that made this country unique, and a departure from history.”  “Cancel culture” – blotting out what we do not like – “stifles open discussion.”  Extraordinary discovery, is it not?

Her epiphany was almost too much.  One liberal decried where extremes lead.  “We are in danger of reinvesting in the idea that race is real and that it cannot be escaped,” and “defines us.”  Making those alive pay for past sins is “not a world that I want to create,” said a panelist.

Finally, the panel host chimed in. He offered a timeless nugget: “Being able to speak freely is the lifeblood not only of democracy, of really just our way of life.”  Remarkable, liberals are now teaching liberals high school history – and why the First Amendment counts.

To be clear, there is nothing new about free speech being good, socialist intimidation bad. That is not news.  The news is recognition by liberals – as they turn on one another – that free speech matters, and that canceling socialist “cancel culture” might be a good idea.

Does this represent a bend in the road for liberal thinking?  Could we be returning to the idea that free speech protects societies which protect it? Maybe. Predictably, liberals who signed that letter are facing intense criticism from the left.  The only thing worse than not being a pure socialist, of course, is calling out those who are.

What we are hearing, for the first time, is some liberals discovering “cancel culture” is a bad choice.  Empowering socialist intimidation is dangerous. Suppression is catchy. Wisdom often comes to individuals and societies slowly, but this is a start.  Small steps toward enlightenment are worth noticing – and this was one.  Now, our nation must awaken to the profound risks of socialism in Congress, and stand firmly against it.

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2 years ago

This effort needs to start in our Schools, from Elementary all the way to our Universities and Colleges. Freedom of Speech is stifled at the very base of Freedoms Guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

Organizations like the AFL/CIO, Labor Unions.. NEA National Education Association, Teachers Union … AFT, American Federation of Teachers, all are nothing more than a Union PAC for the Socialist Democratic Party. And they are in charge of Teaching our Kids. Our Children are not taught, they’re Indoctrinated and it continues for over 12 Years of their Formal Fist Level Education, then they are further Indoctrinated by Socialist Educators in an attempt to control the Political Narrative and who gets to speak at Campus Functions. In fact so much so, the Socialist Students will stop at nothing; Violence, Personal Assaults directed towards any Speaker that dares to speak out against Socialism, Communism or Anarchy.

America needs to Stop Socialist Advocating Professors from Indoctrinating our Children. Fire the Regents and Administrators that sit by and do nothing to Stop this organized effort to control America’s Capitalist System of Economic Governing. Socialist as a Political Party, along with the Communist Party need to be Banned from America

2 years ago

Wow. This is amazing. The liberals finally got the attention of other liberals with differing views. Finally someone got their attention.

Eldridge C Koppen
2 years ago

At last–some “woke” liberals!

David Joseph Haldeman
2 years ago

Right on!

Alan Lovejoy
2 years ago

By claiming that offensive speech or offensive ideas authorize violence, you authorize violence against yourself when others find your speech or your ideas equally offensive. And that can only lead to civil war.

Cynthia J. Campbell
2 years ago

We knew liberals would be a problem as early as the 60s. We should have acknowledged it and started killing them then. It only have taken a few, prominent individuals and the nonsense would have ended. LOCK AND LOAD!

Timothy Hughes
2 years ago

Well written article and so many great comments! I pray that we as a people turn back from the path of destruction.

2 years ago

If Bari Weiss thinks the cancel culture is bad now, wait until Nov 3rd when the entire demoncRAT party will be canceled.

2 years ago

The USA is quickly/unfortunately becoming a Puritanical country again. Next we’ll see the rise of “witch trials”. Just have an opinion counter to the ultra-liberal, misinformed (by our own ‘educational system) and spiteful crybabies running rampant through our society (you know; the one that enabled all these rights they want to remove), and stand by to get smeared as a Nazi fascist for DARING to have a counter opinion. Here is a newsflash for those folks. The world is NOT a ‘safe room filled with puppies’.

2 years ago

The Buzzards have come home to roost and the left doesn’t like it. Suck it up buttercup your little monster has turned on you.

Bob Olden
2 years ago

It’s a dream come true— leftists awakening to what their world view leads to. My dream goes on…leftist university teachers and administrators waking up or being cancelled, leftist media moguls waking up or being cancelled, leftist mayors and governors waking up or being cancelled, leftist teacher’s unions waking up or being cancelled, and so on until every element of our culture is liberated from their clutches.

Peter K
2 years ago

All this “sounds” good, however, what we hear from weak republicans “sounds” good also. Our president has few allies in Congress and THAT is a problem. If we were to see the tax returns of EVERY MEMBER, the country would go berserk,. I believe one of the deepest money pits is foreign aid which I suspect accounts for large sums of “thank you” money being part of the process. Public service at the federal level has become an insult to any right thinking person. These thieves and life losers all act as if they are the Billy Graham of Congress when they more closely resemble Elmer Gantry.

2 years ago

Any social construct with foundational lies cannot survive. The occasional hard and sometime brutal realities must be recognized and dealt with. This is the principal reason socialism as an economic construct simply cannot work. It relies on the most optimistic assumptions while ignoring human nature or trying to villainize it. Ultimately, the only way it can survive is through autocratic rule and tolerating a black market. Even then it will eventually fall in on itself…always has.

Terry K.
2 years ago

Man’s creation of Socialism denies the existence of God. God created the circular firing squad to punish socialists and to remind them that our Constitution was built on His Laws, starting with the 1st Amendment.

2 years ago

I have said it before and I will say it every chance I get.

For all you lefties out there, someday they will come for you to.

Best way to convert a leftist infected liberal? Let them PERSONALLY expirience the consequences of their own ideology. Just recently, how often have we seen a lefty mayor, journalist, or activist do a complete 180 when those “mostly peaceful protesters” show up at their house? It’s really rather amusing in a dark way. Unfortunately, a good deal of damage must be done to open the eyes of otherwise intelligent and good people.

Richard Leon Shelton
2 years ago

I love how the Left calls us ‘Nazis’ while they practice being a ‘Nazi’. They continually call us what they are. They know this, but do it anyway because they know no one will hold them accountable.

Richard Anderson
2 years ago

2 years ago

Pending #WalkAway membership, I see!

Joanna Johnson-Smith
2 years ago

WOW! seasoned Liberals seeing some LIGHT?!?!?

Dennis Math
2 years ago

Too late leftists………your dog has bitten your own backside so live with it or have it put down. My God how stupid you clowns can be.

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