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Damon Linker
Columnist / Lecturer in the Critical Writing Program / Author: The Theocons; The Religious Test / "Right of the left & left of the right"
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Damon Linker retweeted
Jim Swift 2h
On this week's Beg to Differ with , joins to discuss his new book "Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy.” The group then analyzes cancel culture, the Harper's letter, and Trump's war on immigrants.
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Damon Linker 2h
Replying to @willwilkinson
But they need to persuade people of that before they begin to act on its basis by cancelling people. There are lots of people in the public square who disagree with that claim.
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Damon Linker 2h
Replying to @willwilkinson
You're just begging the question and staking the deck in your favor by reframing the issue that way. "But the conditions for equal freedom requires we don't debate all this stuff anymore." Yes, that is what the social-justice activist side thinks....
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Damon Linker 2h
Replying to @lionel_trolling
This happens to me whenever I engage critically with Jamelle Bouie or Adam Serwer. They have tons of passionate followers who then swarm my mentions for hours denouncing and insulting me. Very unpleasant. That's not the fault of Bouie and Serwer. It's Twitter.
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Damon Linker 2h
Replying to @lionel_trolling
That's where I think the Twitter dynamic plays a big role. It's fine to point to VanDerWerff's tweet against Matt and criticize it. But once that's been done, one's likeminded "followers" can easily become a mob and act horribly, whether or not they've been "whipped up."
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Damon Linker 3h
Replying to @lionel_trolling
Of course, there are always assholes on all sides. Like the pricks swarming Matt Y's trans colleague at Vox.
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Damon Linker 3h
Replying to @lionel_trolling
Fair enough.
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Damon Linker 3h
Replying to @lionel_trolling
I think it's also about thinking a free society is better off to default to the broadest possible conception of acceptable public argument. Except on a very few number of issues, default to "you're wrong, here's why," instead of "you can't say that, you're fired."
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Damon Linker 3h
Replying to @lionel_trolling
Yeah, that's basically how I see it. (Not speaking for any other signatory, of course.)
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Damon Linker 3h
Replying to @lionel_trolling
This is why I think it's important to distinguish between constitutional free speech and what we're debating this week, which is something else. The guy who wrote the John Brown piece can publish it in a niche mag freely available. But it wouldn't appear in a mainstream outlet.
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Damon Linker 3h
Replying to @lionel_trolling
If you mean the Andrews piece and the one about John Brown, I don't think either was exactly that. Andrews certainly not. The Brown piece I thought was bad -- and I'd understand a more mainstream publication not wanting to run things by its author. It belonged where it appeared.
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Damon Linker 3h
Replying to @DamonLinker
The question is: Should they shift now on so many subjects? And do the people attempting to produce the shift have enough cultural consensus on their side to make it stick? The Letter was a way of saying: No, you don’t. Will that change over time? We shall see. 6/6
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Damon Linker 3h
Replying to @DamonLinker
Obviously it used to be acceptable to defend slavery in public without social sanction. In the 1930s, it was acceptable to say nice things about Hitler. These lines do shift. 5/
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Damon Linker 3h
Replying to @DamonLinker
Are people who dissent from positions on race, gender, American history, and related subjects favored by progressive social justice activists (arguably) wrong—or are they evil, morally equivalent to Nazis and slavery defenders, and so worthy of social excommunication? 4/
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Damon Linker 3h
Replying to @DamonLinker
The question is: Should the list of things marked for cancellation be greatly expanded in this moment? Or is our culture healthier, better for its members on the whole, when relatively few things are deemed off-limits for public debate and discussion? 3/
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Damon Linker 3h
Replying to @DamonLinker
All cultures cancel things. I suspect just about everyone thinks it’s a good thing, including most of those who signed The Letter, to cancel outright Nazis, defenders of slavery, and child molesters who would seek to advocate for their vile hobby. 2/
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Damon Linker 3h
A short thread: Criticism is: You’re wrong and here’s why. Cancellation is: You can’t say that and I’m going to try and get you fired or considered a moral monster for daring to say it. 1/
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Damon Linker 14h
Replying to @tkdylan @varadmehta
No they will. I just meant that I doubt it will be very effective against him.
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Damon Linker 14h
Replying to @tomphilpott
No, that’s what people say when they want to dismiss concerns with cancelization. Criticism is normal and accepted. It says “you are wrong and here’s why.” Cancelization says “you can’t say that, so I’m going to get you fired.”
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Damon Linker 15h
Replying to @tkdylan @varadmehta
Yeah Trump’s in video saying 30,000 things and their opposite, so I doubt it will so much damage. I’m very happy Biden flipped on this.
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