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The Roundtable: Cancel Culture and the New Puritanism

The American right used to be known for panicking over provocative issues. Have conservatives and liberals traded places?

"Cancel culture" has become a buzzword of our time, a shorthand for a particular set of political postures and social media strategies. But what attitudes really lie behind the rash of online campaigns against public figures? How is it reshaping our society and public discourse? A panel of commentators joined Roundtable to talk cancel culture, free speech and contemporary taboos. In this segment, they discuss how cancel culture surged from the political left.

While liberals used to champion overriding the cultural taboos of the right, Joel Comm argues that today's liberals now represent the repression of controversial speech.

"The pendulum always swings from one side to the other and it goes to extremes," he says. "I consider myself politically an independent or libertarian at best, not a conservative. I just want to be left alone and let people have equality of opportunity."

Michael Loftus notes that the association of moral prudishness with conservatives dates back to the rise of the religious right.

"When Reagan became president and really embraced evangelicals, then you really had a great fodder for comics on the left," he says. "That's where I think that really got started."

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Watch the full discussion below:

Roundtable Guests:

Joel Comm, Host, The Bad Crypto Podcast

Taylor Ferber, Host, Cancel Me, Baby! Podcast

Michael Loftus, Editor-in-Chief, The Loftus Report