Several things have kicked off sooner than I expected, using the George Floyd case as a pretext. One is what I call “The Great Silencing” which is an effort to block political dialog and information that is contrary to the goals of the progressive block. I was expecting to see it truly start up around late July/early August, but never let a crisis go to waste…
It’s not just about silencing on social media. It is about shutting down blogs and other alternatives to major social media. It is about discrediting information and sources, or providing a pretext of such so that the mainstream media can use that pretext to deny coverage or to discredit information from individuals and independent sites to shape the narrative.
I see the effort to get Professor William A. Jacobson fired from Cornell as the opening offensive of this operation. As others have noted, he has done important work on a variety of high-profile and important events. His Legal Insurrection Foundation is a novel and needed approach to investigative journalism. I note that I check Legal Insurrection blog daily for the well researched and documented stories they post.
For now, Eduardo M. Peñalver, dean of the law school, is saying his job is safe, though he provided what the progressive’s need both by what the Volokh Conspiracy notes is “an entirely gratuitous, and somewhat unfair condemnation” as well as what could be considered a deliberate mischaracterization of what Professor Jacobson wrote. Even if he does end up keeping his job (something I have doubts about), the media can point to the statement by Peñalver to discredit Jacobson and any/all work from Legal Insurrection.
This is not what some call battlefield-preparation, that’s been going on for years. This is the opening shot in the next major campaign to silence free speech and to censor opinions before the election. You can expect to see a LOT more of this, as the cancel culture is turned on any and all major voices not promoting the party line, especially those opposed to the party line. Any individual or group blog that is in opposition that has anyone who can be gone after will find themselves targeted. Even if they can’t collect a job or otherwise destroy a life, cover will be given so that they can be dismissed in the mainstream media.
Keep in mind that these are people who are going back over years of posts to destroy people for ever having a wrongthought or expressing a wrongposition on any issue. There is no forgiveness, no Grace: a sin is forever (unless you cave to the mob and even then you really aren’t forgiven). They are not doing this just to the prominent, like Professor Jacobson. They are doing it to average people, like this student in Florida.
My advice to all: grow a spine, a pair of reproductive organs of your choice, and stand up to the mob. Embrace the power of “No!” when it comes to demands to kneel, beg forgiveness, and otherwise kowtow to the mob. If you do it there WILL be a temper tantrum as they are spoiled children who have been coddled too long. Let them scream, cry, roll on the ground, and hold their breath until they turn blue. Even if those around you cave (like I expect Cornell and others to cave), even if those you thought friends turn on you (as happened to Professor Jacobson), stand tall, stand firm, and hold on. It is not easy, but also keep in mind that apologizing tends to inflame the mob.
As for what’s next for Professor Jacobson and other targets: Expect to see the firing push extended to getting both him and Legal Insurrection (and all authors there) banned from Twitter and Facebook. While there are alternative outlets (and they are growing), they do not have the marketing push that Facebook and Twitter have. Again, this will happen to all targets. The firing push itself will be expanded and promoted via the media until either Cornell stands firm (unlikely IMO) or caves. Then, they will turn to any and every other facet of his life they can attack, and do so. Cancel Culture is about totally destroying a person and their life.
To that, I can only say: #CancelCancelCulture