The politicians of the Republican Party may not be good at governance, honesty, or overall competence, but they are certainly aces at rolling out talking points to be disseminated across the entire right-wing media ecosphere, or more accurately, the “echo”-sphere.
The latest buzz word in trendy use by those of the Trump-supporting persuasion is “cancel culture,” their newest term for the type of political correctness that rightfully shames those guilty of shame-worthy behaviors and often leads to the offenders’ public reprobation, quick unemployment, and the cancellation of any lucrative media deals they may have had in their pipelines.
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) discovered this after his promotion of Trump’s “big lie” that the presidential election was “stolen” from him by massive ballot fraud on the part of the Democrats resulted in the cancelation of his lucrative book deal.
In truth, what the GOP is now referring to as “cancel culture” is merely the latest skirmish in the ongoing culture wars between the left and the right wings of society and is a tactic utilized as frequently by Republicans as it is by any progressive zealots — as the numerous censure motions by their own fellow party members against GOP lawmakers who dared to pay attention to the evidence and voted to convict Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial demonstrate.
Still, conservative extremists like Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) dutifully make appearances on Fox News and rage about how combatting cancel culture is “the number one issue for the country to address today,” as if the 486 thousand-plus people who have died from the COVID pandemic is chopped liver.
Republicans like Representative Jordan and his ilk may believe that they are delivering a message that will resonate with ordinary Americans and stoke their outrage against the wave of cultural change in ideas of what sorts of behaviors are acceptable in polite society.
A new poll conducted by HuffPost and YouGov, however, suggests that the effectiveness of the term as a pejorative applied to Democrats may have a very limited political value because only half the country even has any idea of what they are talking about.
According to HuffPost:
“The poll, conducted in late January, found that 52% of Americans had heard of the term “cancel culture,” a number that’s virtually unchanged since last fall. Only 22% of those who’ve heard the term ― roughly a tenth of the public ― say they’ve ever used it themselves. Among those who are familiar with the term, 67% say it is a “very” or “somewhat” serious problem.”
In other words, only less than 35% of Americans — about the same number of people who have consistently viewed Donald Trump’s performance favorably during his presidency — think that the latest GOP talking point is even an issue at all, much less “the number one issue for the country to address today,” as Congressman Jordan claims.
Anyone with half a brain who thinks it through will realize that anyone advocating an end to “cancel culture” is truly seeking authorization to lie, cheat, steal, and engage in any other sort of sordid behavior without the consequences of public condemnation
No wonder Republicans like Congressman Jordan, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) & Marco Rubio (R-FL), and other culture war exploiters are so anxious to try to make “cancel culture” the latest subject of their fear-mongering tactics.
Perhaps when Republicans stop manufacturing bogus outrage in their own attempts to cancel ideas that they don’t like and start concentrating on practical and significant issues relating to the pandemic, our faltering economy, and the obscene level of income inequality in our society, they can be taken seriously again as a political party.
Until then, they are nothing more than a well-funded bunch of internet trolls making life miserable for all whom they encounter.
Original reporting by Kevin Robillard and Ariel Edwards-Levy at HuffPost.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.