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It is the age of conformity. We see it in the cancel culture around us, the vaccine mandates pushed by the president, the move to turn parents at school board meetings into domestic terrorists. Speaking out, speaking up, gets scarier all the time.
For a long time, the cultural enforcement was happening by the left for the left. They impose speech codes on each other and change language on a whim. “Latinx,” 76 gender names, were how you knew you belonged with the in-group of the left.
Most canceling was left-on-left, too. The person being canceled would often try to defend themselves with their leftist credentials. I’m one of you, they would plead, as the axe came down.
It was much harder to cancel public conservatives. Prominent conservatives can rile up the left weekly, have their names trend on Twitter, but ultimately would only grow in prominence from being the left’s targets.
The pandemic emboldened the survivors of the circular firing squad to turn their attention to the rest of us. It was a particularly difficult time for free thinking and speech.
Last year, when schools were