- The cancel culture movement is a byproduct of political partisanship over every facet of society, from race, gender, freedom, and personal rights.
- Cancel culture is not strictly a leftist action. The far-right engage in this movement as well.
- Our civil discourse needs to change. The monster we have unleashed, if not tamed, will cause great destruction, and it will eventually come for us all.
Cancel culture is real. It does not take an attentive news consumer to recognize how regularly the canceling of the day’s target happens. The frequency over the past year has rapidly increased. Nonetheless, many in the media are downplaying the severity or treating it as a figment of a paranoid personality.
Most recently, the mob targeted MMA fighter Gina Carano for her controversial Instagram comments as the hashtag #FireGinaCarano was trending following her remarks that were met with severe backlash.
This resulted in Lucasfilm firing her from her recurring role on the Disney+ hit The Mandalorian. A Lucasfilm spokesperson said in a statement:
“Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”
The left disagreed with her speech, and so they banded together to get her fired. The growing prowess of this movement is symptomatic of the deep political divide of our time.
Political Polarization and Cancel Culture
The cancel culture movement is a byproduct of political partisanship over every facet of society, from race, gender, freedom, and personal rights. People are now living and breathing everything about politics and adopting their political flavor as a lifestyle. People are now choosing which friends they associate with to which brands they will buy from.
Politics has become a way of life.
According to a new paper in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, researchers observed:
“Political polarization is having far-reaching impacts on American life, harming consumer welfare and creating challenges for people ranging from elected officials and policymakers to corporate executives and marketers.”
These partisan conflicts are creeping into all areas of American life and ruining all our relationships, and damaging societal cohesion. We see this all played out with the illiberal left’s dogmatic push on identity politics and the far-right’s counterpunch trumpeting patriotism, nationalism, and loyalty to Trump.
Both partisan factions seem to be vying for supremacy to be the heirs to rebuild a society they deem more tolerant to their political views, undermining harmony in the process.
However, these two opposing forces create compound fractures violating core principles of a free society that can only end in destruction.
Rejecting Cancel Culture
Let me be clear. Cancel culture is not strictly a leftist action. The far-right engage in this movement as well. Trump loyalists have tried to cancel moderate Republicans for not being loyal to former President Trump during his impeachment hearing. More recently, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was censured by the Wyoming GOP for her vote to impeach Donald Trump. Rep. Cheney was viewed as a ‘traitor’ by the far-right for her dissent.
The root problem with this movement is the intolerance of dissent. Intolerance is the force causing the compound fracturing of our society. A free and unified society cherishes and tolerates the free expression of all views, even the intolerant ones. However, cancel culture is about quashing dissent and censoring free speech.
The irony is these supposed moral crusaders are trying to combat intolerance with intolerance. Those of us who want to live in a free society must reject all forms and manifestations of this movement, and regardless of which side of the aisle we most agree with, we must push back.
Why this Matters
Our society, and more specifically the media, is in denial that cancel culture even exists. Many media downplay the severity as panicking over nothing as if this will blow over if ignored.
Businesses, politicians, media, and brands have turned a blind eye in fear of economic reprisal but are enabling and legitimizing this movement.
Consequently, our European allies across the ocean, such as France, have the foresight to come out against the menacing force of American cancel culture. The world is beginning to slowly awaken to how our cultural disunity has spawned this oppressive contagion that will sweep the world and breed disunity within nations.
As an advanced society, do we want to continue down this path of self-inflicted destruction in the name of political correctness? Our civil discourse needs to change.
The monster we have unleashed, if not tamed, will cause great destruction, and it will eventually come for us all.
Mike Price is the founder and Managing Editor of ThinkCivics. He holds a BA in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Kentucky University. He has been writing about politics, government, and culture for over a decade. When he is not writing about politics, he writes about his faith over on his Christian men’s blog Joshua’s Outpost. Follow him on Twitter at @MPriceMPA or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org