That the lawyer and commentator Joe diGenova is the latest critic of George Soros to be trashed as an anti-Semite on Twitter is yet another reminder, as if one were needed, of the Left’s grand project, ably abetted if not led by the media, to delegitimize all opinion dissenting from or contrary to their own orthodoxy. This they are able to do by associating such heterodox views, usually through the magic of “intersectionality,” with a cardinal sin against one or more of the putatively oppressed minorities most favored by the Left. An attack on one member of a victim-group can be regarded as an attack on the group, and an attack on the group can be regarded as an attack on all victim-groups as well as those who claim to speak for them.
The tactic is particularly blatant in this case because the minority in question—the Jewish one—nearly always appears in leftist mythology as one of the oppressors rather than one of the favored oppressees. “Zionists” are invariably the bad guys vis-à-vis the Palestinians, and there’s nothing easier for an Ilhan Omar or a Jeremy Corbyn than to elide any distinction that might exist between “Zionist” and “Jew.” But Jewish lefties like the fabulously wealthy Mr. Soros—particularly if they have done as much as he has for the radicals and revolutionaries who now dominate the Democratic party—can don the vestiture of victimization at will as a convenient method of discrediting their critics as racially motivated.
That this transparently cynical tactic still works to the extent that it does, if only in mobilizing an army of Twitter trolls, suggests to me that public opinion is well along the way towards being molded by the Left in their own image. The populace must now regard with tolerance and, by degrees, with favor the cancel culture’s favorite sport: that of identifying among our public men and (occasionally) women hidden enemies needing to be exposed and shamed, and suppressing their dangerous opinions.
Just look at the proliferation of disfavored groups on their way to becoming enemies of the people—not for anything they do or say, but just for who they are. Their opinions and even their facts can be dismissed solely because they are among the newly deplorable. It is now all but taken for granted on both sides of the Atlantic, for example, that any woman can defeat any man in argument, as a Labour MP in Britain recently did the co-leader of the Green Party merely by referring to his words as “mansplaining.” This has become the kind of all-decertifying cry that “whiteness” or “white privilege” already was.
The latest oppressor-demographic to be identified by the Left is the age cohort to which I also belong. “OK, Boomer,” the witticism of a junior member of the New Zealand Parliament, is now said to be sweeping the English-speaking world as an unanswerable put-down dismissing the views of someone a generation older as obsolete, particularly if such views have anything to do with “climate change.” Having already found myself to be delegitimized by my whiteness and my maleness, I now find that I am triply excluded from holding licit opinions by the year of my birth.
Why such redundancy of dismissal? I guess it’s a bit like the hanging, drawing, and quartering of exemplary members of the disfavored punditry of yesteryear: any one method of execution would suffice to do the job of cancellation, but it’s safer to use all three—pour encourager les autres.