Cancel culture is hurting America, and this pandemic has only made it worse. As we dialogue less in person and more online, we are seeing the damaging effects of cancel culture. How quickly do we categorize people/friends/viewpoints based on what they share or support without fully seeking to understand them? We are quick to label them or “cancel” them without seeking to understand the reason they hold that viewpoint. “Disagree with me and I’ll unfriend you, block, you, report you”; cancel culture is attacking the very diversity that made us Americans in the first place.
Also read: Crying wolf over cancel culture
The sense of security in being able to vocalize your viewpoint is threatened in this cancel culture. Bernie, Biden or Hilary sticker on your car? You probably do not worry about backlash for your viewpoint. If it were a Trump sticker on your car, you would be worried about your vehicle being vandalized or being yelled at while you drive (both have personally happened to me). Today, cancel culture supports only the left’s ability to safely share their political viewpoints without criticism or fear of retaliation. Cancel culture has led us to believe that only one acceptable ideology on society's main social/political issues can exist, and if you differ from it, then you are wise to keep it to yourself.
People engaging in discussions today no longer listen to understand, but to respond. Or they attack your view with no desire to ever understand your side. They disagree and somehow feel threatened, then degrade the conversation into personal attacks, emotional responses and are unwilling to allow the argument to be walked out to a logical conclusion. They say, “I’m offended.” Well what if I am offended as well? Are their feelings somehow more valid than mine? Why can’t they be equal? We are losing the desire to voice our opinions in this cancel culture because we simply do not want to engage with such irrational and exhausting emotions. We should all want to have a dialogue, share the principles from which our viewpoint is rooted, hear others, and then form our own conclusions.
If something is offensive to someone, they feel that they must attack and make that person’s life miserable until they think just like them. In the past, we would read or view something we disagree with, have a discussion, and then let it be. Or, better yet, choose to not even engage in the first place. With cancel culture, if you do not think like the masses or whoever is the loudest on that topic then you will be yelled at, ridiculed and made to feel stupid for having your opinion, even if you remained respectful in your discussions (this also has personally happened to me). This is unacceptable and only the left has this strength and safety in persuasion for their view. It demonstrates how our society is regressing toward a herd mentality, without a solid rationale as to why a certain opinion, lifestyle or viewpoint is perceived as non-negotiable or accepted. It is peculiar how we are so adamant to stop bullying in our schools but allow the left to display it across our Facebook, protests, and twitter feeds.
Moreover, it becomes dangerous when everyone thinks they are the moral police, especially when morality is subjective. When each of us has determined our own moral compass of right and wrong we should be allowed to speak from that in civilized discussion and leave it at “agree to disagree.”
We should all feel safe in expressing our views and the principles on which we stand; cancel culture aims to take that away.
Jason Jorgenson is a Colorado Springs native, father, husband, financial adviser, outdoor enthusiast and Colorado Springs School District 11 Board member. The views contained here are his own and do not represent the views of any organization with which he is associated.