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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/18/21

GOP Cancel Culture (update)

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** The draft of this article was published instead of the finished article so I am resubmitting the corrected version. If this was my error I apologize**

A frequent refrain of conservatives these days is their manufactured outage over "liberal cancel culture". I wonder, as with many conservative talking points, how their blatant hypocrisy is so invisible to them. I suppose the lack of self reflection, which seems to be a hallmark of conservatism these days, probably helps, but given that "cancel culture" so abhorred among them it is astounding they can't see it when it occurs in their own ranks.


Now, hypocrisy is nothing new to politics and the practice of cancel culture in the GOP has a long, well established history. But I couldn't help but notice the dramatic increase in conservative cancel culture specifically since the Republican party became the party of Trump. There are strong indications this trait has its origins in the evangelical wing of the party and has how it continues to "drive out" the impure elements in its ranks.


As state legislatures across the country produced a "censure" against any Senate Republican who fails to protect and defend Supreme Leader Trump, it bends the mind to hear them complain about the left censoring of conservatives. There is no freedom of thought or speech - there are no votes of conscience in their new authoritarian regime. You WILL obey Supreme Leader Trump or be punished by his minions. The Matt Gaetzs who will run to your state or district, as he did Liz Cheney, to issue the proclamation of your cancellation.


This week in an open exercise of their disdain for free speech and their own complicity in specifically censoring conservative political views, Dave Bell, chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party explained the legislature"s censure of Pat Toomey after his vote to convict Trump, " We did not send him there to 'do the right thing,' or whatever he said he was doing. We sent him there to represent us." The question is - Who is "us".


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This dynamic is a shift from the GOP norm.

To be clear, conservatives have always believed they should censor and control liberals and have relentlessly pursued that same object through legislation. Remember the moral majority? The political arm of the religious right that sprang up in the 70s determined to wage a culture war? They openly endorsed the "cancelling' of gays, feminists and Jews, not just through social pressure, but via legislation that gave favor to straight Christian men, pushed for "family values", patriarchy and the conversion of Jews to Christianity.


Remember when, not so long ago, One Million Moms, a conservative Christian organization tried to "cancel" Ellen DeGeneres by threatening a boycott JC Penny? Their unforgivable sin? - simply featuring an openly gay woman in its ads. OMM never once argued that anything in the ads was amoral or harmful in and of itself, they simply opposed the depiction of a gay person as "normal".

These hard right Christian organizations are woven deep into the Repubclican party and have continued this thread, emerging publically from time to time with new cancel culture attacks. In a very similar campaign to the 'cancel Ellen' movement, OMM wages a recent attack on Uber Eats for its recent commercials featuring Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles and non-bianary "Queer Eye" star Jonathan Van Nees.

In a USA Today article addressing the controversy OMM states that their "goal" is to "stop the exploitation of our children especially by the entertainment industry"

Hmm... so these moms are so inept at managing their own children's exposure to "perversion" that they feel the need to ban it from every area of life where it might be seen -or God forbid, depicted as anything other than dangerous.

The OMM goes on to say, "Supporting the LGBTQ agenda rather than remaining neutral in the culture war is just bad business. If Christians cannot find corporate neutrality with Uber Eats, and Uber, then they will vote with their money and support companies that are neutral."

This statement on its face is a lie. The OMMs, who never stop waging the culture war don't want neutrality, they want surrender. They want capituation. Silence is only their first objective. Once they win that battle they will press forward to the next battle to cancel someone. Neutrality means that everyone not like them needs to go back into the shadows.

When Twitterites engage in cancel culture, it usually does so in the form of collectively expressing discontent with something they feel is wrong, a racist rant by some unknown subway rider that goes viral on social media for example. Someone like Amy Cooper, whose 15 minutes of internet infamy came after she was asked by a black man in a public park to put her dog on a leash and her response was to call the police and falsely claim that the man was threatening her. Sometimes they bring their mass criticism on famous individuals, like Gina Carano of the Mandelorian series, after she made severa offensive tweets which mocked the gender pronouns used by some and tweets that compared the persecution of conservatives to that of Jews being rounded up by Nazis for execution.

Twitterites often call for consequences. "I think this person should be fired" and sometimes, when the event is publicized enough, the the criticism is loud enough, the individual in question does suffer a repercussion. Carano was fired from the show. But even then, this does not infringe on anyone's right to free speech. Cooper and Carano, even after the consequences were leveled against them, can speak all they want. There is no guarantee of protection from any and all consequences of your speech. I'm pretty sure if you called a person of color by a racial slur while at work, and your boss overheard it, you would be fired. There are social consequences for speech, but cancelling is NOT the same as the government infringing on speech.

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Michele Goddard Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter Page       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I was born in 1970 in Wheeling, WV and have lived here all my life. I come from mostly Irish Catholic coal miners and railroad workers. My original academic interest was in teaching foreign languages studying both French and Spanish in High (more...)
 

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