Pete Riehm
Is cancel culture finally cracking?
By Pete Riehm
January 31, 2022

Cancel culture is simply censorship in its snarkiest form. Freedom of speech is a threat to dictators or those just trying to dominate or oppress others. Criticize the crown and you may lose your head. Rulers and rogue governments use censorship to hide their duplicities or failures. Modern democratic nations embrace freedom of speech to empower the citizens and keep government power in check by exposing corruption. Freedom of speech became the foundation and hallmark of free and open societies.

Those craving irresistible power in western democracies realized oppression by the government was too obvious and western cultures with their Judeo-Christian principles were inherently adverse and resistant to any attempts to usurp and consolidate totalitarian power. Therefore, power hungry leftists changed their strategy from overthrowing free democratic governments to undermining western, specifically Christian, culture. Attack and destroy the Christian culture that teaches morality, virtue, and that God created all men equal and free; and the people will devolve into a chaotic immoral miserable mess ripe for tyranny.

Tyrants have always employed double standards and double speech to dupe or subjugate their subjects. They hide the truth, but also insist the people accept and swear to their self-serving falsehoods. In George Orwell’s 1984, the ruling elite developed a new language called “Newspeak;” it was designed to eliminate unnecessary words that could lead to independent thought and create new words to disguise falsehoods intended to hide nefarious intent. Reality has come to imitate fiction; we know that concept as “political correctness.”

Political correctness was foisted on Americans as an innocuous regulation of language to ensure no one is disadvantaged or offended my mere words. It masqueraded as inclusion of everyone and everything (good or evil) when really it was intended to exclude anything that did not support the collective or advance leftist goals. Political correctness has unfortunately permeated society with too many examples. Euphemisms like “gay” rather than “homosexual” and its negative connotation, or the incredibly misleading “Pro-Choice” instead of “Pro-abortion,” or the heinous “Reproductive Rights” to conceal “Infanticide.”

Political correctness has metastasized into a malignant cancer choking free speech. At first, it was just to distort truth and suppress expression. For instance, it’s unacceptable to claim there are only two genders, so we get mired in silly arguments about pronouns. But now political correctness has given rise to “cancel culture” which specifically intends to banish and/or punish any dissent. Say anything that disturbs our ruling elite and you will be ridiculed and ostracized.

However, cancel culture has made a disturbing leap. It has gone beyond just being banned from Twitter or put in Facebook jail. The government now openly asks big tech and social media to censor any opinions or even facts that do not conform to liberal dogma or government propaganda. They will not allow ANY debate about COVID19.

Americans have had a bellyful of these immature out of control tantrums by sinister leftists or people simply too stupid to know the difference between male and female. The frustration is compounded by the fact everything about the Chinese virus remains uncontested or unknown. The origin has been hidden, discussing treatments has been forbidden, and acknowledging problems with the vaccines is not allowed. Americans are fed up with the distortions and deceptions; and particularly annoyed with arrogant celebrities adamantly swearing to government misinformation and smugly scolding us just for asking.

Joe Rogan has become a folk hero for plain speaking truth and a pariah to the politically correct police for relaying to his millions of followers that he used Ivermectin to recover from COVID19. Despite Ivermectin saving the Asian sub-continent from COVID, Fauci and big Pharma are incensed that Rogan or anyone else deviated from the party line. Biden’s moronic Surgeon General even asked social media to redouble their efforts to silence anyone that disagrees with his government sanctioned disinformation.

The fascinating aspect about cancel culture is the endless supply of useful idiots lining up to do the governments bidding to censor a free people. Hippie rocker Neil Young took it on himself to challenge Joe Rogan for the government. He threw down the gauntlet to Spotify; they either remove Rogan or remove all Young’s music. It was an easy swift decision; Spotify deleted Neil Young’s music. Young’s music is okay, but Rogan has millions of loyal followers. So, freedom of speech won.

Another example of the folks having enough of nonsensical cancel culture unfolded in south Alabama. The Azalea Trail Maids are an elite group of High School senior girls from across Mobile County, Alabama that represent Mobile as goodwill ambassadors in their colorful intricate antebellum dresses. They have participated in college football’s Senior Bowl in Mobile most of the past seven decades, but this year the NFL apparently determined the Maids are politically incorrect and failed to invite them.

The NFL erroneously tagged the antebellum attire as akin to slavery and therefore deemed another tradition should be cancelled. The Azalea Trail Maids represent Mobile’s history, its genteel society, and most importantly our civil and polite culture rooted in manners and mutual respect. Ironically, the Maids have been integrated since the 1970s and even represented Alabama at President Obama’s inauguration. Sure, there was slavery when those dresses were worn, but the moral victory is that we came together as a community to embrace what was good and shun what was bad, so now regardless of color the finest young women represent all of Mobile.

The people of Mobile were furious. Mobile County Commissioner Randall Dueitt stood up to the Senior Bowl and told them if our Azalea Trail Maids were not good enough for them neither was the county’s money. After some testy exchanges, the Senior Bowl backed down and invited the Azalea Trail Maids. Some criticized Dueitt for being ham-handed, but what about the gross misrepresentation of the Maids and insult to Mobile? Perhaps the commissioner was harsh, but no more than the insidious arrogance and stupidity of the NFL and Senior Bowl. Enough rewriting our history and maligning our traditions. Americans must push back or there won’t be any recognizable America left. Hopefully, these are cracks in the hopelessly deleterious cancel culture.

“All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin” (Psalm 56:5).

Pete Riehm is the host of Common Sense Radio heard 8 pm every Thursday on FMTalk106.5 or streaming at Email him at or on MEWE @PeteRiehm or read all his columns at

© Pete Riehm


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Pete Riehm

Born to German immigrants, Pete Riehm grew up in Texas as a first generation American. Working his way through college, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After graduating from the University of Houston, Pete was commissioned into the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He also earned a Master's Degree in National Security from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas... (more)


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