Congressman Jim Jordan has doubled down on his claim that “cancel culture” is the biggest threat facing the United States, as a deadly pandemic which has killed nearly half a million Americans rages on.
The Ohio Republican congressman, a Trump loyalist who has risen to national prominence through his frequent appearances on Fox News, repeated his statements about cancel culture on Sunday, the day after Donald Trump was acquitted at his impeachment trial for inciting the insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January.
“This is the number one issue for the country to address today,” Mr Jordan told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo.
“If we don’t push back on this and stop it and stand up … for the constitution, the First Amendment, it will only get worse,” he said, referring to the constitutional amendment that protects free speech in the US.
Ms Bartiromo chimed in: “It’s true.”
Mr Jordan was discussing the negative public reaction to Mr Trump’s defense lawyer Michael van der Veen. The Philadelphia-based personal injury attorney’s driveway was vandalised this weekend with the word “TRAITOR.”
Conservative lawmakers and pundits have latched onto the term “cancel culture” to describe public, and sometimes official, backlash to controversial words and actions.
During the interview, Mr Jordan gave one example of what he viewed as cancel culture.
“The San Francisco Board of Education said that Dianne Feinstein Elementary School will no longer be named after Senator Feinstein, a liberal icon — not good enough because 37 years ago she said something that cancel culture doesn’t like. That’s how ridiculous, that’s how dangerous this is,” Mr Jordan said.
The school board cited two controversies during Ms Feinstein’s time as mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988.
For six years, Ms Feinstein allowed a Confederate flag that had been flown outside San Francisco’s convention centre since 1964 continue to be on display. She ordered the flag’s removal in 1984.
The re-namers of the school also took issue with the mass evictions of Filipinos living in a hotel in San Francisco in the late 1970s — which happened before Ms Feinstein became mayor.
At Mr Trump’s trial, Mr van der Veen took aim at cancel culture, saying that Democrats’ desire to bar his client from running from public office again in the future was offensive.
“This unprecedented effort is not about Democrats opposing political violence,” Mr van der Veen said of the trial. “It is about Democrats trying to disqualify their political opposition. It is constitutional cancel culture.”
Mr Jordan has previously decried cancel culture following the vote in the House of Representatives to strip Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments due to her previous comments and posts on social media endorsing violence against Democratic politicians.
Rep Greene has said that she regrets her social media activity, but she has not apologised for the comments.
She was stripped of her committee assignments on a mostly party-line vote earlier this month.
“Once this starts, tell me where it ends,” Mr Jordan said in an interview with Fox News last week. “Where does it ― who’s next? Think of the cancel culture.”
Mr Jordan added: “This will never end. And if we don’t stop it now, every single American is at risk, and that’s what concerns me.”