The “Cancel Culture”

I term that has gained prominence with the election of Trump….a vague turn of a phrase…..but the Hell does it mean?

The 2020 Republican National Convention kicked off with an evening of programming that seemed deeply fixated on one of the odder ideas to snowball its way into the zeitgeist: cancel culture.

Within the turbulent past several years, the idea that a person can be “canceled” — in other words, culturally blocked from having a prominent public platform or career — has become a polarizing topic of debate. The rise of “cancel culture” and the idea of canceling someone coincides with a familiar pattern: A celebrity or other public figure does or says something offensive. A public backlash, often fueled by politically progressive social media, ensues. Then come the calls to cancel the person — that is, to effectively end their career or revoke their cultural cachet, whether through boycotts of their work or disciplinary action from an employer.

The argument that this phenomenon has spun out of control loomed over the RNC during its first few days of programming. Prior to the first night of speakers, delegates voted for a number of resolutions in meetings that were closed to the press, one of which specifically targeted cancel culture. The resolution described “cancel culture” as having “grown into erasing of history, encouraging lawlessness, muting citizens, and violating free exchange of ideas, thoughts, and speech.”

All this silliness from the Trumpites makes me think of the days of yore when a term like “revisionism” or “Revisionist” were popular….again

The simple definition is…..Advocacy of the revision of an accepted, usually long-standing view, theory, or doctrine, especially a revision of historical events and movements.

In essence it is the selling out of principles.

When used as a criticism in everyday conversation, “revisionist history” refers to conscious, intentional misstatements about things in the past, whether distant or recent. It can be used in the context of personal lives and relationships—the cause of an argument, for instance—or in political and cultural discussions. At the time I was writing this, for instance, it was being used in Twitter conversations about Tom Brady, Obama’s 2008 campaign strategy, and the Iran nuclear deal. Unlike saying someone is being forgetful or getting confused about what happened, accusing them of practicing “revisionist history” is accusing them of being a bad actor—a liar—by playing fast and loose with the past.

For those allergic to reading….I can make it simple…..

Does any of that sound familiar from the past four years?

The use of fear in politics helps feed the revisionism…..this is a good article by someone who studies fear in politics….

Fear is arguably as old as life. It is deeply ingrained in the living organisms that have survived extinction through billions of years of evolution. Its roots are deep in our core psychological and biological being, and it is one of our most intimate feelings. Danger and war are as old as human history, and so are politics and religion.

Demagogues have always used fear for intimidation of the subordinates or enemies, and shepherding the tribe by the leaders. Fear is a very strong tool that can blur humans’ logic and change their behavior.

I am a psychiatrist and neuroscientist specializing in fear and trauma, and I have some evidence-based thoughts on how fear is abused in politics.

Make NO mistake….this is GOP bigotry and hatred….and yes it is hatred….hatred for blacks, immigrants and Dems.

Fear and revisionism is destroying this country from within…..if something does not change and soon this country will be destroyed from within….and that could possibly end the great system that we have now.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

9 thoughts on “The “Cancel Culture”

  1. We have seen such people becoming much ‘bolder’ because of Trump. If the president can get away with it, why not them too?
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Reblogged this on In Saner Thought and commented:

    This is a post from my op-ed blog…..more propaganda from the weird Right…..while the country divides more and more and these toads try to make the divide even wider…..

  3. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I agree that Republicans are definitely latching on to this to promote their brand of revisionism, but on the other hand, I wonder if when something like the Dr. Seuss fiasco, which resulted in six of his early books no longer being published is the right answer.

      1. Dr. Seuss Enterprises made the decision after consulting with educators. I’m not a fan of censorship and I wonder if perhaps this could have been better used as a teaching moment. Whenever a new “canceling” scandal erupts, it’s become red meat to conservatives. Jimmy Kimmel actually gave an interesting monologue Tuesday where he warned “cancel culture” could help Trump get re-elected in 2024.

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