Megan McArdle, the lone sane non-grifter at the Washington Post, joining the effort to save the Democrats from going completely insane while commenting on that ridiculous Senate farce.
In even tones, Bridges replied that while many cisgender women have the capacity for pregnancy, many don’t, while some trans men and nonbinary people do. But after a little back-and-forth, she gave up. “So, I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic,” she said with an exasperated laugh, “and it opens up trans people to violence.”
Why, then, did so many articles and tweets cheer the way she “SHUT DOWN” Hawley?
Because there is one place that snickering, eye-rolling and so forth are very effective: within an insular group, where they help delineate the lines of acceptable belief. A sufficiently incredulous “Are you suggesting … ?” effectively signals a silent corollary: “… because if you are, we’ll shun you.” It tells people that this topic is not up for discussion.
Within progressive institutions, “that’s transphobic” is another such signal, and it works … within progressive institutions. In fact, it works too well; it leaves them unprepared to argue with outsiders.
McArdle argues that lefty cancel culture also creates an artificial echo chamber that creates a false sense of numerical superiority while leaving them unready to debate.
They were, however, a fearfully silent majority, which meant Thomas’s supporters never had to come up with good arguments. Instead, many of my questions got essentially the same answer as the one Bridges ultimately gave to Hawley: Even asking the question is transphobic and dangerous. Within a narrow set of media and academic circles, this was a devastatingly effective tactic that made it impossible for opponents to organize an effective response. Outside those circles, however, it failed utterly
Gorbachev was no doubt surprised to find that most Russians didn’t want to be Communists.
Cancel culture is a prop for emotionally weak and intellectually lazy minds. It helps maintain the manufactured consensus that what was once a crazy position is now the view of the majority. Meanwhile the only way lefties seem to be able to win arguments is to silence the opposition. Gorby could have told them how that would work out.