If there’s one thing Leftists love to do more than spending other people’s money, it’s playing with the English language. With the advent of “cancel culture,” the Left got caught off-guard a bit, but have since rolled out a new term to describe people getting rightly called out for bad behavior, either in the past or right now. Enter Hunter Biden and a couple of emails where he used a word that can be construed as negative towards blacks. Oh, and did I mention Hunter is white?
While we wait on the Left to try to walk out of the rhetorical minefield they’ve created, let’s take a closer look at this revamp of cancel culture.
What the Left thinks it means – holding people accountable for bad words and actions
What it really means – cancel culture with no time limit
Although it’s nice to see the Left embracing consequences for bad actions, as opposed to trying to federally subsidize them, let’s not fool ourselves. The Left believes in consequences…for everybody else. And they are the only ones who can determine what constitutes an offense and how severe it is. But the best part? They are the only ones who can determine if someone is forgiven. That’s a pretty sweet gig if you can get it, and if it has a good dental plan.
So, where does the consequence part of consequence culture come into play? If you’re a conservative or even a libertarian like me, it always applies. Even if your only crime is not being as Leftist as the hivemind, you can be a target. Just ask Ellie Kemper. She was crowned Queen of Love and Beauty at a debutante ball in 1999 connected to the Veiled Prophet Organization. As a result, she was attacked last week on social media for participating because the group had “an unquestionably racist, sexist, and elitist past,” according to Ms. Kemper’s apology.
Here’s the issue. By the time she was part of the pageant, the group had integrated. Gone were the days of white supremacy and/or exclusivity. Ms. Kemper was punished because she won a pageant from the wrong group at a time when that group had become more racially diverse. Why they chose Ms. Kemper to attack is beyond me, but then again most Leftist thinking is beyond me these days.
So, why does Hunter “I Prefer Coke to Pepsi” Biden get a pass for being a racist and Ellie Kemper get lambasted for not being one? Well, we’d better call Saul. Alinsky, that is. In his book Rules for Radicals, Alinsky gave us 13 rules that the Left continue to use. Without going into a diatribe on all 13, the basic ideas come down to how to hurt your political enemies while ensuring your allies don’t get bored with your agenda.
One of these rules in particular strikes me as apropos in the aforementioned instances: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” For the purposes of this sketch, the enemy is anyone who isn’t a hardcore Leftist. The key to this rule’s effectiveness comes down to appearances. If the Left wants you to think it has the power to hurt you personally, professionally, or monetarily, they will project an air of invincibility and popularity in the public circle. An example of this is their “right side of history” bullshit.
The obvious weakness with that argument, as well as their use of the Left’s version of The Art of War, is its reliance on illusion. Once you pull the curtain back and see who Oz really is, their strategy goes the way of disco. After that, the Left will only have the power you let them have. And with their ANTIFA and BLM squads LARPing as revolutionaries, the only card they have left in their deck is threat of violence. Then, it becomes a value decision: are you willing to ruin your life and the lives of your family members to hold a particular point of view?
That’s where the Left’s concept of consequence comes into play. Their goal is to silence the opposition by any means necessary. Knuckle under or be brought to heel. Of course, you could always pull a David Brock and become a rabid Leftist. Then, you can have all the coke binges, illegal firearms, and criminal activity you want. The Left will go out of their way to ensure you are protected from those mean ole conservatives! I believe the Mob has something similar. I believe it’s called…protection?
Wait. Is that what is at the heart of consequence culture? Why, yes! Yes it is! With a little help from Uncle Saul, the Left has perfected the art of the shakedown to the point Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton may want to take notes, and not C-notes for a change.
But remember what I said earlier about this approach’s fatal flaw. As long as the Left has to deceive to make their point, they are never going to argue from a position of power unless we give it to them. On top of that, the more they play fast and loose with who is eligible to be held accountable, the harder it becomes for them to argue in good faith. These two strikes alone are enough to undercut the Left, but the third strike come from us. The Left needs us to act emotionally so it plays to their strengths, but they will get thrown off if your reaction doesn’t match their expectations. Their overconfidence becomes their Achilles heel because it limits their ability to see other options besides the ones they assume will be the ones we will take. Deprive them of their actual strength and deny them the power they want you to think they have, and they are weaker than Logan Paul’s fight game.
Then, really surprise them by holding them accountable to the rules they set up for everyone else because…well…consequence culture.