In the Southwest, we enjoy the wide-open spaces, relish the bright sunlight, respect our multicultural differences, and are not bashful about sharing our opinions with whomever will listen. All these attributes make us proud to be New Mexicans, and some of our families are proud to have called the Rio Grande Valley home for centuries. Yet our basic freedom of being able to express our viewpoints and opinions without fear of retaliation is being threatened daily by the growing power of today’s cancel culture.
Thankfully, President Donald Trump is standing up for America and our freedom of expression.
In far too many cases, college kids are losing hard-earned scholarships, family providers are getting fired, friendships are ruined – all because a vocal minority on social media have crowned themselves the grand gatekeepers of permissible speech. The result is that if you make a comment or express an opinion that is deemed to be “inappropriate,” the cancel culture mob will do everything in their power to shut you down.
This public shaming by the cancel culture mob is the greatest threat to our fundamental rights of freedom of speech. While it may feel like this cancel culture is a passing fad, the reality is that, left unchecked, these destructive social media voices will undermine our democracy and threaten our fundamental liberties.
Our democratic society is strengthened by allowing people to express a wide range of viewpoints. Our nation would have never been formed if our founders lacked the courage to speak against permitted norms. Sadly, our country has been transformed from one that debates the merits of unpopular viewpoints into a nation that fears retaliation and economic harm. Post the wrong thing on Twitter, and your life can quickly devolve into a state of chaos.
Young people across our country have been taught in school and then reinforced during college that they have the right to shut down any conversation they personally find offensive. No rational person approves of violence, but too many of our fellow citizens equate speech with violence, and as a result are silencing opposing viewpoints.
This thinking is simply antithetical to the principles inherent in a free and open society. Many of us, however, probably think the cancel culture is not a real problem as it does not affect me or my family. Well, are you afraid to put a campaign sign in your front yard? Worried about posting a meme you found funny last weekend? Losing sleep over accidentally offending a co-worker? If any of these situations apply to your daily life, you are a victim of the cancel culture.
Cancel culture’s purpose, often championed by Joe Biden’s Democrat Party, is not just to get you fired or publicly shamed, it is to prevent you from speaking up in the first place. Until the majority finally stands up to this verbal bullying, it will only get worse. We need to take back our freedom of speech and feel once again that voicing opinions is our God-given right to do so. It’s time to cancel the cancel culture.
Rep. Alonzo Baldonado serves on the advisory board of Latinos for Trump.