While some Republicans build their campaigns around cancel culture in the form of a broad bumper sticker slogan or rebuke the party for seeking leaders dissimilar to neoconservatives like Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the issue of standards—and what those standards ought to be—should be at the heart of the cancel culture discussion on the right. It’s time for conservatives to make morals a focal point and not overgeneralize by invoking free speech as an end-all, be-all.
Cancel culture, which Federalist writer Tristan Justice aptly defined as “the deliberate de-platforming or ultimate unemployment of an individual for views fraudulently held to be outside an increasingly turbulent public square,” is no doubt one of the consequences of a society controlled by woke millennials intent on eradicating any dissent. The zealots champion “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” but prepare to be excluded if you do not believe in systemic racism and other extremist dogma. It’s a catch-22.
In the left’s crusade to capture all of America’s institutions—which happened as Republican lawmakers twiddled their thumbs and preached about the holiness of the free market—the leftist mob has pushed to realign the culture within its censorious, morally arbitrary, and deficient philosophical framework.
The left has flipped the script on what moral standards warrant negative social consequences and put in place material outcomes for conservatives that ought to instead be implemented for legitimately immoral actions. Hence, the left seeks to transform what is socially permissible, and the right must make an attempt to re-align the culture to what they know already is.
Valueless Freedom Messaging
What is behind cancel culture, and why is it wrong? To libertarian thinkers, such as Reason Magazine’s Robby Soave, or some on the neoconservative right like The Dispatch’s David French, the phenomenon is often communicated as an issue of freedom and free speech. So, it goes, the forcible removal of Americans from the public square is wrong predominantly because speech is sacred, not because both free speech should be encouraged and the particular speech under discussion is, in fact, positively good or at least neutral.
“Illiberalism on the left is not confronted and
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