With respect to Kaepernick, Trump is now saying he should get a second chance, but his habit of viciously attacking Republican lawmakers who oppose him has prompted scores of them to remain silent or permanently quit politics — in other words, self-cancel. And he has explicitly called for the firing of journalists and dissenters that stand up to him. Even before he became president, he was into cancellation, calling on the Scots to boycott Glenfiddich because the brand honored a farmer who refused to sell his property for a Trump golf course.
But Trump is hardly alone. The conservative establishment itself is doing a masterful job. Far from allowing the full range of opinions to be expressed about the president, conservative publications are canceling anti-Trump voices left and right.
One of the raps against liberal cancel culture warriors is that, unlike in the past when the pressure to fire writers came from irate readers, now woke colleagues on the inside are pushing out dissenters. As proof, critics point to the recent departure of conservative editor Bari Weiss from The New York Times. She published a scathing resignation letter slamming her liberal colleagues for “constant bullying” in response to her heterodox views. But Weiss was also a refugee from the opinion section of the Wall Street Journal that she along with several of her anti-Trump colleagues quit after Trump’s nomination made their views verboten. Meanwhile, Sol Stern, a former fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, has revealed that he resigned in protest two years ago after the institute’s flagship publication, The City Journal, started muzzling anti-Trump voices, thanks to donor pressure. Indeed, David French, a former writer for National Review and current editor at The Dispatch, notes that “every single dysfunction you’ve observed from the Online Left and progressive media more broadly applies to the Online Right and conservative media as well. Except in conservative media, the focus isn’t on intersectionality and social justice but rather Trump and his followers.”