Cancel culture is cowardly.
Usually, satire is inspired by real life, but today a real thought was inspired by satire. The Babylon Bee released a satirical article titled “Liberals Worried That Without Cancel Culture They’d Actually Have To Defend Their Ideas.” In it, they quote a leftist expressing horror over having to actually put time and effort into defending their ideas:
“Imagine how horrible it would be if instead of just canceling someone, we had to discuss differing viewpoints and then defend our ideas,” said one journalist as he searched a Quiznos employee’s old tweets. “It’s much easier to simply silence them through cancelation, guaranteeing that we’ll never have to examine our own views, come to a better understanding of the other side, and maybe even change our position sometimes.”
It’s a funny joke, but whoever wrote the joke is basing it off of very present but often unspoken of reality.
Much of what the leftists argue only survives in a vacuum. Shutting down those who offer debate or express a different point of view has been a time-honored tradition of the left since time immemorial. They’ve been trying to cancel Rush Limbaugh since he first spoke into a microphone about politics decades ago. If possible, the left would have Fox News shut down without another word but the best they can do in the meantime is scare off anyone who might advertise with them.
Cancel culture has gone to a new kind of level in our day and age, but it does mask the simple fact that those who engage in it oftentimes don’t really hold much knowledge on the positions they take. What they do know is that they’re angry because people think they should be listening to are angry. They trust that the people in charge aren’t telling them anything but the truth and in an age of moral ambiguity, seeing someone else that seems to know more than you do be outraged is good enough.
Ignorance is an easy recruitment tool. So long as the people you’re telling to be outraged don’t know much about what they’re outraged about, keeping them in your camp becomes much easier. Anyone looking to offer information or debate must be looked at as an absolute evil so that way hearts, minds, and ears are shut to them. What’s more, like Ender’s Game, you damage your opponent so badly that they can’t ever be a threat to you again. You use the very people who you convinced are standing against evil to go one step further and demand that this person’s life be destroyed.
Now you’re free to move about the cabin without worrying about turbulence.
Cancel culture has many uses, but one of them is definitely the fact that putting someone’s livelihood (sometimes even life) on the line makes for a good way to silence someone indefinitely. Not only do they get relegated to the societal trash heap, everyone else watched it happen to and are thereby warned not to cross you and your mob.
After that, you might even be given the option of becoming a loyal and obedient foot soldier, but rest assured, you’re still canceled. Now you’re just canceled and useful.
Free speech is dangerous to the left and free speech means a free exchange of ideas leading to open debate. If you’re trying to control society, your first task is to control discourse. Since that’s not something that’s going to happen thanks to a pesky First Amendment right to free speech here in America, the next best thing you can do is make pariahs out of innocent people.
Thus cancel culture.