Cancel culture has become a hotly debated topic, as so-called progressives are increasingly using it to target their political opposition. The practice has become so pervasive that most Americans now view it as a threat to their freedoms.
Many fear winding up on the wrong side of the cancel culture cudgel, which could result in damage to their reputations and loss of income. But is it possible that conservatives have made the mistake of believing this political tactic is unstoppable? Perhaps there are ways to push back against this societal cancer that they have not considered.
Fight Fire With Fire
Some on the right have suggested using cancel culture against the hard leftists that have embraced the tactic. The woke assembly has deployed this weapon by having its adherents dig through the social media timelines of members of their political opposition for any post that might be ripe for exploitation. After finding the ammunition, it launches a widespread campaign to have those people fired from their jobs and subject them to online harassment. This was evident in the firing of actor Gina Carano.
But could this tactic be used against leftists? The firing of Disney director James Gunn indicates there is a chance such an attack could be effective, depending on the target. Trump-supporting commentator Mike Cernovich used the hard left’s favorite tactic against an individual within its ranks when he found tweets making sexually suggestive jokes about children. After the tweets were posted, the usual outrage followed and Gunn was fired.
However, Disney later rehired Gunn because the company doesn’t actually believe in the values it espouses. It does not appear that the same will happen with Carano. But still it stands to reason that if people on the right are willing to fight fire with fire, as the saying goes, they will be applying one of Saul Alinsky’s most important guidelines: “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”
This would not be incredibly difficult. After all, despite pretending to oppose bigotry, hard leftists can be just as racist as those they claim to despise. At some point, the left won’t be able to continue protecting those who make problematic remarks on social media. The tit-for-tat could result in a cyber version of “mutually assured destruction” that could make both sides hesitant to embrace the practice for fear of having it used against them.
It might also be appropriate for conservatives to consider coming up with new ways to combat, or diminish the impact of, cancel culture. This might be most useful for conservatives working in industries that are heavily occupied and dominated by the hard left. Hollywood is a prime example of the type of business in which a conservative might need some protection.
Carano’s firing, while devastating for the actor, was not the end. Conservative news site The Daily Wire has begun delving into the entertainment industry for situations just like hers. The site and Carano recently announced that they would be partnering in a new film project.
“The Daily Wire is helping make one of my dreams — to develop and produce my own film — come true. I cried out and my prayer was answered,” Carano said in a released statement. “I am sending out a direct message of hope to everyone living in fear of cancellation by the totalitarian mob. I have only just begun using my voice which is now freer than ever before, and I hope it inspires others to do the same. They can’t cancel us if we don’t let them.”
Conservatives and others who value free speech would benefit from taking similar steps in the entertainment field as well as other industries. Projects such as these can provide a safety net for those who are targeted by the cancel culture community and render their efforts impotent.
Allow Cancel Culture to Cancel Itself
While it is important to find ways to push back against cancel culture, it is also essential to recognize that there is evidence that those using the tactic might have reason to regret it sooner rather than later. The truth is that there is no way that this societal phenomenon can sustain itself at this level forever. People simply can’t countenance living in a society in which they must fret over every single word or social media post that could potentially be used against them.
A culture that involves everyday citizens watching one another for signs of cancel fodder can only persist in an environment similar to that in North Korea or China. For the time being, the U.S. government is not enforcing cancel culture; it is purely a social trend. To put it simply, people will inevitably become fed up with the foolishness and start pushing back more aggressively. This is especially likely to happen when people on the left start canceling each other more often.
There are already signs that the cancel culture community is turning on its own. The recent case of Alexi McCammond, a black woman who was fired from her job as editor at Teen Vogue after ten-year-old bigoted tweets surfaced, shows that the hard left is turning on itself instead of targeting only conservatives. Given the fact that these people just can’t help themselves, it is evident that this will only get worse. Conservatives can simply let it happen.
Of course, it might make sense to do all three; none of these options is mutually exclusive. Conservatives can make the hard left suffer its own tactics. Each time progressives cancel someone on the right, conservatives can target someone on the left. This can be done while those on the right build their own platforms and companies to mitigate the impact of cancelation. All this can be undertaken while the cancel culture community disintegrates into a puddle of tears and regret. Maybe then American society can go back to normal.
Read more from Jeff Charles.