The logic that animates both cancel culture and broken windows is fundamentally shallow and also fundamentally fear-based. It acts on the assumption that something that’s not necessarily harmful in and of itself but that somehow has the flavor of harmfulness — be it an edgy tweet or some tipsy neighbors hanging out on the stoop — must be rooted out for the good of society, unintended consequences be damned. Just as one unrepaired window will lead to nothing but broken windows, one problematic remark that goes unpunished will lead to an irreparably problematic world. As sad as it is to lose J.K. Rowling, taking her down is taking one for the team. It is on this twisted premise that left-wing purity police enact their own special form of brutality.
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