Former Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard lambasted “cancel culture” during a Fox News interview on Tuesday, comparing it to the kind of suppression often utilized by terrorist organizations like the Islamic State caliphate.
In opening the segment, “Fox News Primetime” host and former South Carolina GOP congressman Trey Gowdy said noted it’s important to actually define the phrase as well as investigate whether it’s a concept new to American society or if a version of it has been practiced for years.
He recalled how his mother forced him and his three sisters to walk out of the movie “Grease” after about a half-hour, and that he and his siblings were also not allowed to watch shows like “Happy Days,” “Sesame Street,” and “Gilligan’s Island” growing up because his mother forbade it.
“My mom canceled the rest of that movie for me,” he noted. “And she was not the only parent I had who engaged in cultural cancellation.
“Was that the cancel culture? Or was that my parents deciding they wanted to control what their children were exposed to?” Gowdy said, noting further that his wife is even more controlling over what their kids watch than his mother was with him.
After suggesting that people should be able to pick and choose what they want to watch, read, or engage in and that others should not have the right to prevent people from making their own choices, Gowdy brought in Gabbard and asked her to define cancel culture and “why we should be concerned with it.”
The former Hawaii Democratic lawmaker and 2020 presidential contender agreed that the country was founded on the principle of “freedom” to allow Americans to share all views and ideas, and then “to debate them.”
“In this free marketplace, we then have the right to then defeat” ideals with which we disagree and discuss them using “superior” arguments.
But taken to its extreme, cancel culture has been utilized by “Islamic terrorist groups” who punish and even behead their critics, Gabbard went on to explain.
“Let’s look down the path and say where does this cancel culture lead us? You see the final expression of cancel culture in Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda who basically go and behead those who they deem to be infidels or heretics in order to silence them, in order to protect others from being misled by those heretical ideas in the eyes of ISIS or Al Qaeda,” she said.
“And so, when we look at cancel culture here at home, we see those efforts to cancel or silence those that they don’t want the people to hear from. Those who may offer a different idea than the one that those in power want people to see or to hear or to be exposed to,” Gabbard noted further.
“When we look at the foundations of our democracy, this is the danger of where this path leads us unless we as individuals stand up against it,” she added.
Gabbard closed by saying the best way to push back against cancel culture is to be true to herself and understand that “life is short.”
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