GOP "Cancel Culture" has its Guns Blazing Against Democracy

Their target is anything that isn’t white, male or associated with a gun

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So let me get this straight.

Republicans tried to cancel democracy in Georgia, and got called out on it. So now they’re trying to cancel Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines.

All of this, according to Fox News, has something to do with “left-wing cancel culture.”

In reality, Republicans have spent the better part of the last 60 years doing their best to cancel everything in America that isn’t white, male or associated with a gun.

In the 1960s, they tried to cancel the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Their appointees to the Supreme Court took care of the latter when, in 2013 in the Shelby County decision, they declared that racism no longer existed in America because we had elected a Black president, so we could once again let Southern states cancel Black voters.

This goes way back, and a lot of it is grounded in long-term projects to cancel America’s Middle Class that started in the 1970s and came to fruition during the Reagan administration.

In the 1970s, for example, Republicans were all hysterical about wanting to cancel affirmative action and use of the metric system advocated by scientists. 

After 50 years of hard work, they now have a Supreme court case coming up this year, Students for Fair Admissions, that may give them a chance to finally cancel affirmative action. 

On science, Chuck Grassley famously gave a speech in 1977 saying he wanted to cancel the metric system: “Forcing the American people to convert to the metric system goes against our democratic principles.”

Reagan, following through, canceled our full participation with the international scientific community in 1982 by canceling our participation in the metric system. He did it in part because it had been pushed hard by President Kennedy, and the new post-1980 obligation of every Republican president is to cancel any successes of his Democratic predecessor.

It was why one of Reagan‘s first official acts in office was to take down the solar panels previous President Jimmy Carter had put on the White House. This was nothing new with Trump.

Around that time, the GOP was also working to cancel the Brown v. Board (desegregation) and Roe v. Wade (abortion) Supreme Court decisions of 1954 and 1973. Reagan had assigned one of his top lawyers to the job, a young white man with impeccable credentials who wrote an extraordinary dissertation arguing that Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln were right and Congress, using Article 3 Section 2 of the Constitution, could simply write a law that would cancel a Supreme Court decision.  

They never canceled those two decisions because it became so politically explosive and, really, the longer they could keep both topics alive the longer they could use them in campaign after campaign, particularly abortion, which they’ve been using for fundraising and winning political office for decades.

But that advice from Reagan’s then-lawyer and now-US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is still around, as I lay out in detail in my book the Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America. And finally they have such a “conservative“ reactionary majority on the Court that they may be able to fully cancel both Brown and Roe.

The GOP has spent the last 60 years doing everything they could to cancel workers’ rights to unionize, and now that President Biden wants to use union labor to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure, they want to cancel his infrastructure deal as well.

They repeatedly tried to cancel unemployment benefits for out-of-work Americans, even taking a whack at those benefits last year during the pandemic, trying to reduce the number of out-of-work people eligible by the millions.

They’ve been working so hard to cancel Social Security that the leftover Trump appointee who’s still running the agency tried to cancel people’s Covid emergency relief checks, slow-walking their data over to the IRS so a lot of people still haven’t gotten their payments and rightwing pundits can complain about it on the radio and television.

Trump’s guy, Louis DeJoy, tried to cancel the Post Office just in time for the election, and, failing that, he’s now planning to cancel the Postal Service’s plan to expand the largest single-organization fleet of vehicles in America with electric cars and trucks. 

Which is one more example of how Republicans are trying to cancel our children’s and grandchildren‘s future. Every Democratic effort to do anything consequential about climate change, dating all the way back to the Carter administration, has either been blocked and canceled by Republicans in Congress, or reversed and canceled by later Republican presidents. The fossil fuel industry that funds them doesn’t care how many lives are canceled, just so long as the profits keep flowing.

Similarly, Republicans are responsible for canceling the lives of tens of thousands of Americans every year via guns and mass shootings. And for the same reason: the billion-dollar weapons industry does a great job of funding GOP politicians.

When Reagan was elected governor of California in the 1970s he canceled free college in that state; soon, Republican governors around the country followed him, and since then Republicans have been canceling the ability of middle-class and lower-income students to afford anything beyond a high school education without mortgaging their futures.

And if Betsy DeVoss had her way, they would’ve canceled even the remaining remnants of our public high schools, replacing them with money-making opportunities for education-hustlers like the primary school versions of Trump University.

And with Trump and his MAGA movement, they’re now trying to cancel democracy itself and replace it with unelected strongman authoritarianism or even full-blown fascism.

How did they pull this off for 50 years and then get most of America’s media talking about “left wing cancel culture?”

Psychologists tell us there’s something called “projection,” where people assume that everybody around them is doing what they would do if they had a chance.

It seems the GOP and rightwing media have a pretty severe case of it, which may explain why they’ve turned their two-generation effort to cancel democracy in America into a complaint about Democrats.

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