I know that Cancel Culture is passé now, and that my former tribe has moved on to Critical Race Theory.
But it hit me during this morning’s romp through sundry news and commentary sources that cancel culture is both alive and bipartisan in America.
First, Bari Weiss tells the story of Maud Maron, an impeccably liberal Legal Aid attorney who was canceled by her colleagues for not drinking their latest Kool-Aid:
“None of this would have happened if I just said I loved books like White Fragility, and I’m a fan of Bill de Blasio’s proposals for changing New York City public schools, and I planned to vote for Maya Wiley for mayor. The reason they went after me is because I have a different point of view,” she said.
That difference came out most starkly in education, and in Maron’s role on the school board and as a candidate for city council she was outspoken in her views.
“I am very open about what I stand for. I am pro-integration. I am pro-diversity. And also I reject the narrative that white parents are to blame for the failures of our school system. I object to the mayor’s proposal to get rid of specialized admissions tests to schools like Stuyvesant. And I believe that racial essentialism is racist and should not be taught in school,” she told me.
This apparently didn’t sit well with some of her colleagues.
None of her colleagues, who know that the charges against her are bullshit, dare speak up for fear they’ll be next.
(Bari Weiss, A Witch Trial at the Legal Aid Society)
So far, so perfectly consonant with conservative talking points.
But this, on the Trumpist Right, is harder for me to look at, as it involves my former tribe, involves cancellation of a pubic official precisely because he upheld the constitution and laws he swore to uphold, and cancellation by party officials many of whom took the same oath:
To many Americans, Brad Raffensperger is one of the heroes of the 2020 election. Georgia’s secretary of state, who is a conservative Republican, refused then-President Donald Trump’s direct pleas to “find” the votes that would overturn his defeat in the state. “I’ve shown that I’m willing to stand in the gap,” Raffensperger told me last week, “and I’ll make sure that we have honest elections.”
As he bids for a second term as Georgia’s top election administrator, however, Raffensperger is not so much standing in the gap as he is falling through it. A Trump loyalist in Congress, Representative Jody Hice, is challenging him in a primary with the former president’s enthusiastic endorsement, and the state Republican Party voted last month to censure him over his handling of the election. GOP strategists in the state give Raffensperger no chance of prevailing in next May’s primary.
“I would literally bet my house on it. He’s not going to win it,” Jay Williams, a Republican consultant in Georgia unaffiliated with either candidate, told me. Another operative, speaking anonymously to avoid conflicts in the race, offered a similar assessment: “His goose was cooked the day Georgia’s presidential-election margin was 12,000 votes and Trump turned on him.”
(Russel Berman, Trump’s Revenge on Brad Raffensperger in Georgia – The Atlantic — italics added).
Few Republicans, who know that Trump’s charges against Raffensperger are bullshit, dare speak up for fear they’ll be next.
I could multiply examples were I willing to ruin my day. But I’m retired, and I need not ruin my day to produce more publishable words.
I just wanted to share these two signal cases. And to say that having public officials, or former public officials, so willful as to do what Trump and the Republicans are doing in Georgia, and so powerful that nobody seems willing to stand up to them, is more ominous than some crazies at the Legal Aid Society. You’ll never convince me that a majority of Republicans would have protested had Trump announced that he was cancelling last November’s election because the Democrats were ‘up to no good.’ There is no line Trump could cross that would lose him many of his supporters.
Oh. This too: To the
cowards courage-impaired: You are at little more risk of assassination for speaking out than you already are for being public figures. You are not, in America in 2021, at risk of prison for speaking out. You are only at risk of getting primaried (or cancelled by frenzied colleagues if you’re on the Left) and having to find some other work to do. Buck up, bunky! You can do this!