by Shelt Garner
There continues to be a false equivalency between the soft power of the “woke cancel culture mob” and the rise of MAGA Republicans. This happens, of course, because we are “both sidesing” ourselves into autocracy. We simply can not, will not address the rise of fascism in the United States because fascism is popular.
The idea that the “woke cancel culture mob” is just as bad as what MAGA Republicans want is going to be very quaint when MAGA Republicans start murdering people like me for political reasons en masse. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if we somehow manage to make it to the other side of history and have some sort of Second Reconstruction in the United States that one of the things we’re going to all be the most sheepish about is how much weight we gave to the “woke cancel culture mob.”
Now, let me be clear — there are definitely some illiberal elements to the center-Left and it really is easy to frame all our problems as a battle between the “woke cancel culture mob” that wants to “turn everyone gay” and MAGA Republicans. But, in the end, we have to also accept that the soft power of the woke cancel culture mob in no way compares to the inevitable political violence that will come about when MAGA Republicans either turn the United States into an autocracy or force us into civil war. (There is the third option, of course, of a military junta.)
And, yet, I suppose that such conflation between soft and hard power is inevitable. It goes with how modern American journalism feels absolutely compelled to be “objective” to the point that it’s complicit in the rise of violent fascism.
I believe that in the end, the worst of the woke cancel culture mob will simply burn off as a result of us taking one of the three options I mentioned above. It’s difficult to be worrying about your gender pronouns when things are suddenly far more existential.
Or, to put another way, when push comes to shove, history, as my father would say when I was a child acting up really will give us “something to cry about.”