Skepticism and Silence: ‘Cancel Culture’ and America’s Growing Political Crisis

Skepticism and Silence: ‘Cancel Culture’ and America’s Growing Political Crisis. By Robert Stacey McCain.

Fear of reprisal — indeed, mob violence — has introduced into our public discourse an element of dishonesty and hypocrisy. The consequence is a loss of trust. When people are compelled to endorse beliefs that they do not actually believe, they become suspicious and skeptical about the sincerity of others. One reason the news media are so widely despised in America is because partisan prejudice so controls what is reported in the media that every intelligent person recognizes their dishonesty: …

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 52% of Likely U.S. Voters think many news organizations ignored the Hunter Biden story to help his father’s presidential campaign. …

Fifty-six percent (56%) believe it is likely Joe Biden was consulted about and perhaps profited from his son’s overseas business deals including at least one involving a company in mainland China.

CNN broadcasts lies 24/7, but anyone who calls them out about their falsehoods is subject to denunciation as a “right-wing extremist.” To be identified as such can destroy your career — ask James Damore about his experience at Google — and therefore smart and ambitious young people learn to keep their mouths shut. Open dissent is nearly non-existent among the elite.

In a recent paper titled “Keeping Your Mouth Shut: Spiraling Self-Censorship in the United States,” political scientists James L. Gibson and Joseph L. Sutherland reveal that self-censorship among Americans has soared.

In the 1950s, at the height of McCarthyism, 13.4 percent of Americans reported that they “felt less free to speak their mind than they used to.” In 1987, the figure reached 20 percent. By 2019, 40 percent of Americans reported that they didn’t feel free to speak their minds.

This isn’t a partisan issue. “The percentage of Democrats who are worried about speaking their mind is just about identical to the percentage of Republicans who self-censor: 39 percent and 40 percent, respectively,” Gibson and Sutherland report.

What are the consequences of this continuous self-censorship? In his book “The Great Terror,” the British historian Robert Conquest suggested one possible answer. In a passage about Soviet show trials, Conquest was troubled by something: Why did innocent people falsely confess to appalling crimes, even when most Soviet citizens themselves didn’t believe these people when they confessed?

Conquest’s chilling answer: Soviet citizens grew so used to lying that expressing one more falsehood was no big deal. People grew conditioned to accept the ever-changing standards and even to affirm support for them.

People are not merely afraid to express their opinions, but have become accustomed to ignoring actual facts.

It’s political correctness versus reality. That CNN broadcast at the airport is telling you the lies you must appear to believe in order to avoid being cancelled.

Think democracy might save you? It hasn’t yet:

You might suppose that Republican politicians would notice this, and say something about it, but our GOP “leaders” are either hopelessly stupid or lacking in courage. Or perhaps both. Stupidity and cowardice manifest themselves as an unwillingness to speak the ugly truth, in the mistaken belief that there is safety in silence. Republican politicians seem to agree with Hillary Clinton that GOP voters are “deplorables,” and therefore Republicans will not speak up on behalf of the people who elected them.

Is it any wonder that 40% of Republican voters worry about another civil war? Our political system is breaking down because of the dishonesty of the media, and the cowardice and stupidity of our politicians.

We are expected to believe in the Liberal Myth of Social Progress, that America has become “a more perfect Union” as the result of enlightened progressive reform. Skepticism toward these claims is not permitted, and so we are all required to pretend we believe in “progress.”

Yes comrade.