‘How Is That Conservative?’

When Americans go to the polls every other November, they’re ostensibly voting on dozens of different policy priorities, electing public officials that will make hundreds—if not thousands—of decisions on their behalf in the coming years. But political campaigns (and the outlets that cover them) only have the bandwidth to emphasize a handful of these issues in any given year, particularly during midterm elections. 

In 2010, Republicans reclaimed control of the House of Representatives running primarily on a platform of cutting federal spending; Democrats retook the House eight years later pledging to protect the Affordable Care Act.

It’s still early in the 2022 cycle, and officials in both parties are still honing the messages that will determine whether Democrats’ incredibly narrow congressional majorities hold. But Republicans seem to be circling in on a theme they sense could be an electoral winner: cancel culture.

It’s an ambiguous term; one that has come to serve as a catch-all phrase describing a wide assortment of perceived progressive overreach. “It’s sort of like the old Supreme Court line,” Rep. Jim Jordan told The Dispatch when asked how he defines the phenomenon. “You know it when you see it.”

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