Cancel Culture has, until now, been pretty much the exclusive signature weapon of the far-left wing of the Democratic Party and, to some extent, of the hallowed halls of the academy. It has served as a coup d’état administered to those whose conduct the left has considered to be beyond the pale. Not anymore.
Now comes the new vindictive Republican cancel culture, which condemns to oblivion any Republican who, essentially, has displeased Donald Trump, the current ringmaster of the party. Sadly, the targets of the new Republican cancel culture are invariably found among those Republicans who put the country ahead of party and who vote conscience rather than fealty.
The Wyoming Republican Party voted last weekend to refuse to recognize Rep. Liz Cheney as a Republican. That bears repeating. Liz Cheney has been banished from the Republican Party in Wyoming. She was also expelled from party leadership in Congress for condemning the January 6th insurrection, for which former President Trump was cheer-leader-in-chief. What folly!
Surprisingly, Republicans from the Equality State didn’t also formally name her a RINO (Republican In Name Only); so bizarre was their action. Liz Cheney is as true-blue a Republican as there is. Few Republicans can match her solid Republican voting record, nor, sad to say, her sense of honor. Liz Cheney is an American first and a political party member second. She is a true American hero who understands that sometimes party loyalty demands too much.
Liz Cheney and a pitifully small group of Republicans (think Representative Adam Kinzinger, Senator Mitt Romney, former Governor, John Kasich, the late Joint Chiefs Chairman and Secretary of State, Collin Powell, Governor Larry Hogan, and, indeed, others) understand that our Country and our Constitution come before party and before allegiance to a former angry and vindictive Republican president who was decisively voted out of office. But why stick with the likes of Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, and Larry Hogan when you can embrace the likes of Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Matt Gaetz.
Apparently, infrastructure is not good for the Country when a Democratic congress enacts and a Democratic President signs the enabling legislation. Trump, who in the past, changed party affiliation five times, incurred near-trillion-dollar deficits as President, established job-killing tariffs, and produced greater trade deficits during his four years as President than his immediate predecessor did during his last four years in office, quickly labeled all of the Republicans who supported the infrastructure bill enacted this week as RINO’s. Really?
Think of it. In March of 2020, Trump supported a $2Trillion infrastructure program, writing that, “This is the time to craft an infrastructure overhaul…It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country!” But that was then when he sat in the oval office. Now, he races to condemn and cancel Republicans who voted for the $1Trillion infrastructure bill enacted and signed into law by President Biden last week.
Maryland’s Republican Governor, Larry Hogan, didn’t mince words. “Trump cancel culture needs to end,” he said. “This kind of purging and silencing of dissent in service to The Dear Leader is what happens in socialist dictatorships and authoritarian regimes—not in America.” Hogan was unequivocal in his criticism of Trump. “Republicans would have taken back the House and won the Senate without Trump and his losing record weighing us down. We need more – not less – of these (Republican) candidates winning in 2022… If we attack candidates who can win, we lose. It appears Trump would rather bring down the Republican Party with him than see the party succeed without him. If we let him, then we deserve the result.”
In the interest of full disclosure, Governor Hogan’s father, the late Larry Hogan, was my dear friend and business partner many years ago when his son, the current governor, was still in junior high school. The senior Hogan, like his son, always put principle before politics. The conservative congressman was banished by his own party (as he knew he would be) when, in 1974, he became the first Republican on the House Judiciary Committee to vote for all three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon. He called me the night before that historic vote to tell me he had no choice but to vote to impeach and that it was going to end his congressional career. Only one other Republican in the entire history of Maryland’s 5th congressional district had ever won any elective office. That was for one two-year term during an Eisenhower landslide. The very conservative Republicans in Maryland’s 5th congressional district were certain to turn him out in the next primary, the senior Hogan said. And, indeed, they did. No Republican has held that congressional seat since.
Just as so many of today’s Republicans are willing to sublimate principle in the service of power, so too will the party reap what it has sown. In America, sooner or later, principle prevails…Doesn’t it?