Rep. Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican, thinks “cancel culture”—the ill-defined practice of punishing people for saying stupid things—has gone too far. For an example, he cited Congress’s vote on Thursday to strip QAnon-promoting Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R–GA) of her committee assignments.
As someone who has written frequently on the subject of cancel culture—popularizing the term in my book, Panic Attack, and on cable news— I believe that there are many sympathetic victims of this impulse to sic social media mobs on the undeserving. But I admit I’m both mystified and dismayed that the concept is now being used to excuse behavior that is absolutely worthy of condemnation.
Greene previously promoted conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook and Parkland shootings; she claimed the Democratic Party was run by a cabal of pedophiles; she even suggested that the California wildfires were started by Jews. Should a political figure be held responsible for expressing insane political views as recently as two years ago? Not according to Jordan, who thinks this represents some kind of slippery slope.