How Objecting to Cancel Culture Reveals the Flaws in the Alt-Right and Bernie Sanders
Before we begin, let’s get something out of the way real quick; cancel culture is unrelentingly stupid. But not for the reason you may think. While most screeds against the ever-growing phenomenon of cancel culture will preach 1st Amendment and Free Speech rights (the greatest of rights), those attacks are missing the point. The real stupidity behind cancel culture and those that allow it to continue is the completely botched opportunity to let either evil or downright dumb ideas to proliferate. This seems counterintuitive; if the ideas are dumb or evil, don’t you want to shut them down? No. Give the ideas and the people disseminating them as much rope as possible so they can eventually hang themselves.
Cancel culture admits something dark about how we perceive each other. Those that shout from the rooftops about the need to cancel others are tacitly implying their superiority; “this other person is too stupid to tell right from wrong so we must shut down this idea before they fall prey to it.” The other way of phrasing that? “I know better than this other person so I should do their thinking for them.” Those that are giving in to cancel culture are admitting a lack of faith in humanity. And–this might come as a surprise to most readers–I have faith in the intelligence of my fellow man.
Cancel culture relies on the belief that we are so stupid we cannot be trusted to encounter an idea or philosophy that is either dumb or evil. This belief is correctly grounded in the human psyche. Everybody can point to the entire country of Germany from 1925-45 and go, “see? We can’t be trusted.” It was a mob mentality that took over an entire nation and did indeed cross some borders. However, Nazism was defeated by the goodness (and strength) of other people and other nations. It took some time, but it was defeated. And no, the remnants that you see today are nothing like the first iteration. These sophomoric intellectual midgets that you see propagating “white purity” and doubting the veracity of the Holocaust are not as influential as your social media feed might have you to believe.
Nick Fuentes might have some followers and can infect people like Michelle Malkin, but you could easily make the argument that she and his other followers are low-hanging and low-IQ fruit. That is the exact point and danger of allowing cancel culture to continue. If you think your point and belief system or philosophy is strong enough and righteous enough, there is nothing smarter than letting some frozen pole licker continue to run his mouth.
The Connection Between Cancel Culture, the Alt-Right and Bernie Sanders
A good point is a good point no matter who you are talking with. Likewise, an untenable and laughable position is doom to failure no matter the orator. Case in point, Bernie Sanders and those that believe in his (achem), “Democratic Socialism.”
A story: I recently had some beers with a group of friends I hang out with in Tel Aviv, Israel. The city is left-leaning, both in terms of Israeli politics and American politics. This was a menagerie of guys who are all Israeli citizens. They hail from Israel, the U.S., France, Hungary, and South Africa just to name a few. To say the backgrounds were varied would be an understatement. After a couple of rounds, the talk turned to American politics and how people were going to vote in the 2020 election. One friend mentioned how he was going to vote for the Democratic nominee, “no matter if it was Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders.”
This drew the ire of one of the American-Israelis who fired back with, “how can you vote for Sanders when he is anti-Israel and anti-Jewish?” I sat and listened because the question is a great one; anybody that has even an inkling of Jewish pride should not vote for Sanders. There is no defense for a Jewish person who believes in Jewish values to vote for Sanders because he has none. Undeterred, the Democratic-cum-Sanders Defender tried to make a case that Sanders is Jewish and believes in Jewish values. This is demonstrably false. You could point to numerous examples, but my favorite is how Sanders doesn’t believe in charities, which is a foundational tenet of Judaism. He also has a knack for using raging antiSemites as his surrogates, which kind of belies his “I’m proud to be Jewish” claim.
Don’t Pull the Rope Away Provide Them with More
During all this though, I kept my mouth shut (shocker, I know). The reason was simple; the more the man defended Sanders, the worse he sounded. When you are engaged in a discussion with somebody talking nonsense, the best way to prove your point is not by shutting them up, but rather, by letting them talk. If you think Point A is bad, wait for Point J. The same was true for my friend and his Sanders defense. While he kept grasping for straws to prove Sanders’ bona fides, he finally stumbled into a position that was completely untenable when the topic of Russia came up.
Bernie Sanders–the (achem achem) Jewish Democratic Socialist–was and is a big fan of the U.S.S.R. If you’re Jewish, and believe in Jewish values and have pride in your Jewish background, you can’t be a fan of the U.S.S.R. (unless your name is Karl Marx). The U.S.S.R. (and Russia in general) had a terrible history of dealing with their Jewish population. They went so far as to deny their Jewish citizens the ability to emigrate to Israel. These Jews became known as refuseniks. The Jews that the U.S.S.R. refused to allow to go to Israel (get it?). While this was going on, Bernie Sanders was honeymooning in the U.S.S.R. and preaching about how wonderful a place it was. Does that sound like somebody who has pride in their Jewishness?
This is why you should shy away from cancel culture. If you want to reveal to the world the inane or evil positions that some people hold, the best thing you can do is let them talk and talk and talk. Yes, when you hear Michelle Malkin questioning the veracity of how many people died in the Holocaust, your initial reaction is to get her to shut her mouth by hitting her in the face with a two-by-four. However, it will hurt her more in the long run if you let her talk. The pain of being laughed at by 99% of the world is much more impactful than shutting her up would ever be.
Want the simpletons of the Alt-Right to die an ignominious death? Let them on YouTube, let them spout their empty platitudes and laughable conspiracy theories. Sure, they might get a following on Twitter and Gab, but for every five more people with a Pepe the Frog avatar, there will be 5,000 more people making fun of them.
They are the simpletons of the world. People so dumb and intellectually inferior they can only make insights on literally the most surface level of topics. Why do you think they believe in racial purity? Because it’s the easiest philosophy to believe in; “Oooo, me white, they not… me good… they bad… oogah boogah.” These are the people you are afraid of? Give them their platform. Give them their space. Avoid the cancel culture of today and give them the rope they so desperately want. Before you know it, that platform will be on top of a trapped door and they’ll be falling through, hanging themselves and choking on their own idiocy.