Michael Ciaglo/Getty

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) thinks cancel culture has gone much, much too far. Though the definition of cancel culture is extremely elastic and typically only deployed in bad faith attacks, Republicans have created a vast ecosystem of complaining about the horrors of liberals “canceling” others for the crime of merely speaking their minds. But the term is so thrilling, it has now morphed into canceling a conservative who dares to have a different opinion or, apparently, when Democrats demand accountability for inciting an insurrection. If Donald Trump, as the president of the United States, can’t incite a deadly attack on the Capitol after lying for months about the election being stolen from him without being canceled, are any of us safe from cancellation? 

As Gaetz tweeted about a proceeding that is designed to hold presidents accountable for crimes and is enshrined in the Constitution:

Then, just three days after lamenting cancel culture run amok in those seven, eloquent words, Gaetz boarded a plane to excoriate one of his Republican colleagues for having the nerve to disagree with him, and, of course, the former president.

Earlier this month, after then-president Donald Trump encouraged a mob of his supporters to storm the Capitol building, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) joined nine other members of her party and voted to impeach him. To Gaetz, who presumably loves the marketplace of ideas that has been so undermined by cancel culture, Cheney’s vote was beyond the pale. So he decided to take the battle to Cheney’s home state. 

Other Trump loyalist GOP House members, like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), had already begun making moves to do their own Congressional version of canceling the third-term Wyoming representative. They attempted to strip Cheney of her leadership roles in the party soon after the House voted to impeach Trump a second time. But a Florida representative flying across the country solely for the purpose of rallying against his colleague for breaking with Trump is absolutely farcical. And alas, this transparently hypocritical move probably won’t inspire Republicans to stop complaining about cancel culture. But it’s extremely instructive in figuring out what cancel culture really is: Basically anything Matt Gaetz doesn’t like. 

LESS DREADING, MORE DOING

This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

Donations have started slow, and we hope that explaining, level-headedly, why your support really is everything for our reporting will make a difference. Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” or in this 2:28 video about our merger (that literally just won an award), and please pitch in if you can right now.

payment methods

LESS DREADING, MORE DOING

This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

Donations have started slow, and we hope that explaining, level-headedly, why your support really is everything for our reporting will make a difference. Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” or in this 2:28 video about our merger (that literally just won an award), and please pitch in if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate