My Anti-Cancel-Culture Manifesto

common (adjective):
1. belonging equally to, or shared alike by, two or more or all
2. pertaining or belonging equally to an entire community, nation, or   culture
3. joint; united
widespread; general; universal

logic (noun):
1. the science that investigates the principles governing correct or reliable inference
2. a particular method of reasoning or argumentation
3. the system or principles of reasoning applicable to any branch of knowledge or study
4. reason or sound judgment, as in utterances or actions
5. convincing forcefulness; inexorable truth or persuasiveness

Author’s Note: I’m going to read this manifesto to you in two parts. And I’m going to read it in my best politician’s voice. I’m going to clench my right hand in a fist, with the exception of the index finger. I’m going to bend that finger with the middle knuckle pointing at you, so you’ll know I’m trying to make a very serious point.

In the first part of the manifesto, in deference to Cancel Culture, I’m going to list all the things I’m not, all the things I don’t or won’t do or own. In the second part, in deference to the First Amendment, which is on its way to the ash heap of history, I’m going to list all the things I will do. Here we go.

Ahem …

My fellow Americans, let me be perfectly clear:

  1. I‘m not a Republican.
  2. I don’t support big government or Big Brother, but I repeat myself.
  3. I don’t own a gun.
  4. I don’t want to own a gun.
  5. I don’t belong, nor do I wish to belong, to the NRA.
  6. I don’t belong, nor do I wish to belong, to any ethnic, religious, nonbinary sexual-identity, or any other politically special-interested group.
  7. I don’t belong, nor do I wish to belong, to any paramilitary, pseudo-military, faux-military, or ersatz-military militia.
  8. I don’t own a pea shooter, a water pistol, a slingshot, or a NERF Rocket Blaster.
  9. I don’t advocate or condone violence, destruction, looting, burning, littering, jaywalking, or spitting on sidewalks, especially during cold flu COVID season.
  10. I don’t think it’s a good idea to tell people — “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness … That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it …when a long train of abuses and usurpations … evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security” — then treat them like helpless, utterly dependent infants. Just sayin’.

With those things made clear, let me also say:

  1. I will presume something that seems wrong actually is wrong until it’s empirically demonstrated to be correct.
  2. I will presume something that seems to make no sense and hasn’t been thought through by responsible adults actually makes no sense until it’s empirically demonstrated to make sense and to have had all of its implications and potential consequences thought through by responsible adults.
  3. I will presume all politicians or political appointees who are more accomplished at talking like Porky Pig or Ralph Kramden or this guy than they are at telling the truth are unfit to hold office.
  4. I will presume all politicians or political appointees who can’t explain clearly how their promises will be paid for are unfit to hold office.
  5. I will presume anything said to us by any and all politicians or political appointees should be questioned unfailingly, examined rigorously, and proven absolutely before believing a single word.
  6. I will presume any and all things enacted by politicians or determined by political appointees will be subject to the Law of Unintended Consequences inevitably and expensively.
  7. I will presume that all votes cast by elected officials will ignore or contradict the actual interests of their constituents to a degree that’s in direct proportion to the number of terms they’ve held office.
  8. I will presume that no elected officials presently holding office will ever vote in favor or term limits.
  9. To eliminate the alleged need for safe spaces, trigger warnings, micro-aggressions, mini-aggressions, or itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie-aggressions, I will act as if we have a First Amendment.
  10. I will treat all individuals — regardless of ethnicity, religion, sexual identity, ideology, or political affiliation — with dignity and respect for their sovereignty unless and until they don’t treat me with the same dignity and respect for my sovereignty. At that point, all bets are off.

I won’t rest until this manifesto is published in The Washington Post or The New York Times, after which I’ll be able to die a happy man; although, that won’t matter because my entire life would thereafter be cancelled if there were a Cancel Culture, which I’m assured there is not.

It might be best to say our goodbyes anyway.

Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. In area after area – crime, education, housing, race relations – the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation. The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them. (Thomas Sowell, Is Reality Optional?, 1993)


Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brien
I’m a business owner. My company — O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) — is a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm that helps companies position their brands effectively and persuasively in industries as diverse as: Insurance, Financial Services, Senior Living, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nonprofit. We do our work so well that seven of the companies (brands) we’ve represented have been acquired by other companies. OCG is different because our business model is different. We don’t bill by the hour or the project. We don’t bill by time or materials. We don’t mark anything up. We don’t take media commissions. We pass through every expense incurred on behalf of our clients at net. We scope the work, price the work, put beginning and end dates on our engagements, and charge flat, consistent fees every month for the terms of the engagements. I’m also a writer by calling and an Irish storyteller by nature. In addition to writing posts for my company’s blog, I’m a frequent publisher on LinkedIn and Medium. And I’ve published three books for children, numerous short stories, and other works, all of which are available on Amazon under my full name, Mark Nelson O’Brien.

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