Sometimes we have to give republican pundits and lawmakers credit.
They’re really good at herding their right-wing hate media flock away from the issues.
Seeing how effective their principal currency of fear, outrage, and xenophobia (FOX) is on their audience, they have manufactured a system designed to repackage irrelevant”fluff” into “need-to-know” national security stories the “biased liberal fake news media” isn’t reporting.
And every system comes with its own vocabulary.
Turn to most media catering to right-wing audiences today, we will find a lot of outrage about the “ critical race theory” boogie man.
At the beginning of the year, though, republicans were in a tizzy over Dr. Seuss Enterprises refusing to continue publishing six Dr. Seuss books that “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.“
They couldn’t get over toy manufacturer Hasbro’s decision to reduce “Mr. Potato Head” to just “Potato Head.”
So they rail against “cancel culture.”
But if we pay attention, we will also find that for all their sturm and drag about “cancel culture,” republicans have no problem “cancelling” anyone they feel is no longer viable to their obsequious Trump agenda.
Republican voter suppression efforts are essentially cancelling millions of African American and minority votes.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney has been cancelled for criticizing Donald Trump and his toadies, and for sitting on the Jan. 6 Commission investigating the act of domestic terrorism intended to subvert the constitutional process of certifying the presidential election for Joe Biden.
Senator Joni Ernst and Rep. Ken Buck came right out and said so.
In May, former Vice President Mike Pence’s former staffer Olivia Troye admitted in USA Today:
“The Republican Party doesn’t have a governing agenda. It’s a pathetic predicament but obvious to anyone who stepped foot in Trump’s White House. One reason congressional Republicans are focused on cultural issues – Dr. Seuss, fake red meat regulations and a handful of transgender high school athletes around the country – might be to avoid judgment on how they used power: no health care reform, no infrastructure package, heading toward 600,000 dead from the pandemic, and the attack on the Capitol. The strategy is simple: obfuscate, lie, change the subject and hope voters hold the other party to a higher standard.”
But possibly the worst display of GOP “cancel culture” is playing out right now over the Washington, D.C. Metro police officers testifying on Capitol Hill over the attacks and injuries they sustained from frenzied Donald Trump supporters during the fateful January 6 domestic terror attack.
Just look at some headlines from leading right-wing hate media outlets:
- “Capitol Cop Who Lied During Jan. 6 Hearing Is a Raging Leftist” (Western Journal)
- “A Capitol Police Officer Who’s a BLM Activist?” (American Thinker)
- “Officer Dunn Who Testified That Jan. 6 Trump Supporters Chanted “N” Word Is a Huge BLM Activist” (Gateway Pundit)
Incidentally, the D.C. police officer each of those articles is about is Harry Dunn, who is African American.
And, of course, there’s Fox so-called “news”:
Watch Tucker Carlson literally laugh at DC cop Michael Fanone saying he's "been left with psychological trauma and emotional anxiety" from the Capitol riots.
Fanone was nearly beaten to death and suffered a heart attack!
This is truly sociopathic behavior here. pic.twitter.com/VA2QN3Rk5T
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 28, 2021
“Cancel culture” is a ruse.
It’s a canard.
Insert your own synonym for “red herring”.
Republicans are very good at certain things.
Rallying their base is one. This is something Democrats can learn from them.
They are able to accomplish this by tossing out wedges of red meat, like Dr. Seuss, Potatohead, and, of course, anything that threatens to shine the light on the fact they have nothing of benefit for the middle class or poor, only the rich.
And the oligarchs are laughing all the way to the voting booth.
Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, & Third Wednesday. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, Liberal Nation Rising, and Medium.