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Our Chance to Move Beyond Cancel Culture Together

There is a great tradition in America of solving our problems with dialogue, not violence and the destruction that we are seeing unfold in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Free speech, enshrined in our First Amendment, has always been our greatest tool and today it is under threat more than anytime in American history.

We’ve overcome some serious obstacles and challenges together before by using our God-given right of free speech to have national conversations about complicated problems. 

Hard issues don’t require that Americans fight another violent and bloody civil war or turn to a government strongman for solutions. Americans use vigorous debate, activism and reason to change hearts and build consensus.

We have a responsibility and a duty to work out what real change looks like and to defend the cherished freedoms that make that change possible without violence. 

Governments can’t solve these problems for us. We need a broad, inclusive, and honest dialogue across this country about race, justice and liberty. Without it, I don’t see how we can make progress.

The question is, are we currently equipped to even have these much needed conversations and where will they happen? 

We are beset by a growing Cancel Culture where irate mobs shout down disagreement with emotional, financial and sometimes even physical violence.

We need to push back against this Cancel Culture and have these difficult conversations to win people over or find common ground, but how? 

Do we have these conversations through politicians? That doesn’t seem possible when leaders from both parties do little more than sling hyperbole to score points with their base with very little substance. 

Nancy Pelosi thinks there shouldn’t even be Presidential debates. If the two men running to be leader of the free world can’t sit down and have an honest discussion, what hope is there for the rest of us? 

Do we have these conversations on College campuses? Not today. Universities that were once at the heart of free speech movements now seem more interested in “safe spaces” and shunning dissent.

Are these conversations happening in the corporate news media? Think again. Too many journalists seem more interested in churning out sensational stories and stirring outrage than earnestly presenting multiple perspectives on complex issues.  

We’ve seen editors fired for approving challenging opinion pieces. The New York Times even apologized for running an Op-Ed from Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) after half its editorial staff threatened to quit.

Surely these conversations are happening on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube though, right? Sadly, they aren’t happening there either. The Internet, intended to be a place of equal access and limitless connections, has been overrun by Big Tech companies who censor and editorialize as they see fit while banning perspectives that don’t conform with their agenda-driven narratives.

So if politicians, universities, the media and Big Tech are part of the problem – part of the Cancel Culture – where do we turn?

We need to turn to each other and ignore politicians who offer nothing but more of the same empty rhetoric. We must seek out honest and objective journalists as well as new alternative media platforms. 

We must leave technology platforms that censor us and tell us what to think. We need to reclaim the Internet as a place of free speech and open dialogue. We need to vote with both our feet and also with our wallets to support new, open and decentralized solutions to the establishment power structures across media, technology, education, and politics. 

I don’t profess to have all the answers, but if we have real conversations, as Americans and as human beings, I bet almost everyone will be able to empathize with Black Americans who fear that they are unfairly targeted by law enforcement while also sympathizing with the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line everyday to protect every American. 

If we have these conversations we can tackle these complex issues together and understand that Americans of every race feel crippled by globalism along with the growing wealth disparity and tyranny being driven by the cancel culture cronyism of the oligarchic establishment. 

Our problems are very real America, but so is our opportunity. We need to move past the establishment systems that have failed us, stop the censorship and cancel culture, and work things out. 

If we commit to defending free speech and working together against our common enemy, the establishment, I know that united together in this cause we can accomplish anything.

Andrew Torba
September 9th, 2020