Tucker, a former bow tie enthusiast, got in a snit about it. Ivanka, an author, huffed about it. Donald, a former reality show host and failed lifestyle magazine mogul, railed against it. Behind all that bluster, though, is a fair question: When did it get to the point where a person can’t say or do whatever they feel like without pushback? Can’t folks just live their best lives without an angry mob of liberal snowflakes getting all up in their feelings about it?
The answer is no. No, they can’t, at least not without getting cancelled.
There’s an expression for that, cancel culture, and we are finally seeing the real-life consequences of it writ large when climate change-deniers like Lou Dobbs are getting literally, not just metaphorically, cancelled. It turns out that being a notorious slinger of disinformation on a wide array of topics from birtherism to election fraud wasn’t enough to stop his employer from providing a huge platform for amplifying Dobbs’ propaganda but the threat of massive lawsuits from well-resourced voting technology companies was. Cancel culture scored a major victory with the news last week that Dobbs, a cable show host who has featured guests slinging dangerous anti-Semitic tropes, had been de-platformed. Voting tech companies are a little sensitive about baseless defamation, it turns out. Dobbs would have been smarter to keep his disinformation centered on those who don’t have the deep pockets for the best legal counsel money can afford.
My question is, though, who’s next? If a rich but personally unaccomplished trophy hunter who thinks his daughter’s Halloween loot is an appropriate lesson on the evils of socialism isn’t insulated from being ostracized by the nefarious forces of cancel culture, who is?
Could it be that guy you see once a year at the block party who happens to be a white supremacist on the weekends? Could it be your former gym teacher who was a little handsy with the girls at soccer away games? Could it be the lady who threatens essential workers because she doesn’t like wearing a mask during a deadly pandemic?
Who is next?
Is there no bottom to cancel culture? Better not pinch that bottom or you might get cancelled, fella…