‘Cancel Culture’ Is Actually as American as Apple Pie 1

Conservatives love to whine about “cancel culture.” But they’re being ridiculous.

Cancel culture has been around since the Bible (the “mark of Cain”). Conservatives “cancel” people all the time even as they complain about it; and, actually, while there are of course abuses and excesses, what’s called “cancel culture” often protects vulnerable people from danger.

Now, the appeal of “cancel culture” kvetches is obvious. They whip up anger, which seems to be the raison d’être of Fox News and its mini-mes. It galvanizes opposition to the insidious Other that has obsessed the American right since the days of the founding: those liberal, urban elites selling out good, Christian America to Europe, emancipation, communism, multiculturalism, whatever. It is the paranoid style in American politics ready-made.