To Cancel or Not to Cancel
Many opinion pieces have been written about Cancel Culture, what it is and whether it is positive or negative. Vox wondered in 2020 whether we can’t stop fighting about it, and whether it “is a mob mentality, or a long overdue way of speaking truth to power”? An opinion piece in the New York Times a year earlier was titled “I’m a Black Feminist. I Think Call-Out Culture Is Toxic.”, suggesting that those for and against Cancel Culture may not be representing a simple partisan divide.
So, we decided to figure out what the country really thinks about Cancel Culture. We asked the ActiVote users the question and gave them five answers to pick from:
- Cancel Culture should be illegal.
- Cancel Culture should be discouraged.
- Cancel Culture should be restricted to public figures.
- Cancel Culture as it is today is fine.
- Cancel Culture should be expanded.
It turns out a majority of 63% is not happy with Cancel Culture: 44% believe it should be discouraged, while 19% believe it should even be illegal. A minority of 28% believe it is either fine (19%) or should be expanded (9%). The remaining 9% believe only public figures should be subject to Cancel Culture.
It is sometimes suggested that “Cancel Culture” and being “Woke” is synonymous with being a Democrat. FiveThirtyEight published an opinion piece titled “Why Attacking ‘Cancel Culture’ And ‘Woke’ People Is Becoming The GOP’s New Political Strategy”. Upon reading the article it is clear that FiveThirtyEight is onto something when they claim that Republicans could unite behind their opposition to Cancel Culture, while it could be a divider of Democrats. Our poll shows that there is very little support for Cancel Culture among Republicans (78% opposition) and Independents (83% opposition), while Democrats are split on the topic, with 40% supporting current Cancel Culture or even wishing it expanded, while 45% oppose it.
Regardless of what we all might think of Cancel Culture and its unpopularity in general, it divides Democrats and unites Republicans (and Independents). So, don’t be surprised if especially Republicans will keep talking about it in the foreseeable future.
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