‘Cancel Culture’-Obsessed GOP Just Canceled Future Debates

For a party so incensed over so-called “cancel culture,” republicans sure have been doing a lot of canceling lately.

They want to cancel the teaching of “Critical Race Theory” in schools even though schools aren’t teaching it.

They cancel any member of their caucus who refuses to support the big lie that Donald Trump won the “rigged” 2020 election.

They want to cancel women’s reproductive rights.

They’ve made their disdain for free and fair elections well known.

Ditto any acknowledgment of LGBTQ Americans.

They’ve been trying to cancel social safety nets like Social Security and Medicare for decades.

In January, the Republican National Committee (RNC) flirted with the idea of prohibiting future candidates from participating in the Committee on Presidential Debates (CPD)-sponsored exchanges.

Well, they’re out.

Last Thursday, the RNC voted to withdraw from the CPD that has been organized debates between every leading presidential candidate since 1988.

RNC chairperson Ronna McDaniel explained:

“We are going to find newer, better debate platforms to ensure that future nominees are not forced to go through the biased CPD in order to make their case to the American people.”

Back in January McDaniel delivered a litany of complaints to Fox so-called “news” host Laura Ingraham, referring to the 2020 debates between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, claiming:

“They picked a moderator that had worked for Joe Biden, and then they switched one of the debates to virtual to let Joe Biden stay in the basement. So Republicans know when we have a free and fair forum and when we have an exchange of ideas, we win. That’s why we said to the debate commission we want to guarantee that debates will start before twenty six states start voting. They said no thanks. We don’t want to work with you and now we’re going to go fight to give our nominee that fair forum that they deserve.”

What neither McDaniel nor Ingraham mentioned is that the first debate between Biden and Trump was in person–despite Trump being infected with COVID.

Fox News’ Chris Wallace moderated that debate at which Trump and his family refused to be tested for COVID or wear masks.

They also failed to explain the second debate was changed to a virtual format (“to let Joe Biden stay in the basement”) after Trump was hospitalized and he refused to participate virtually.

McDaniel suggested the RNC and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) appoint representatives to attend CPD’s board meetings, and have input into debate moderators.

The CPD was reportedly considering these proposals, but McDaniel’s accusing the organization of refusing to negotiate “until it is too late to matter for the 2024 election” threatened to derail any pseudo attempt at bipartisanship.

Looks like she got her way.

As Steve Benen reported:

“If recent history is any guide, it’s easy to imagine Republicans creating an alternative debate schedule, with Republican-approved moderators, to be held in Republican-approved cities and venues. When Democratic nominees respond that they prefer the existing model overseen by the non-partisan commission, the RNC will balk and ask why Democrats are afraid of the alternate model.”

We mustn’t ignore the fact that there was no republican platform in 2020 other than “whatever Trump wants.”

Republicans know their policies are unpopular with most of America, so the only way they can win is to cheat.

That’s what they want to do with elections.

They want to fix it so Americans have no information or alternatives.

Interestingly, they never cry “fraud” when they win, only when they lose.

They’re working overtime to make sure they never do.

Then they will insist elections are “fair.”

Spare us the outrage over “cancel culture.”

Image credit: Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, and Medium.