McConnell Rails Against Cancel Culture, Quotes Salman Rushdie

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media after weekly policy luncheons on Capitol Hill July 21, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) spoke out against cancel culture on the Senate floor, referring to it as “the grievance-industrial complex” that is infringing on free speech rights.
Fox News reported McConnell referred to a “cycle of nonsense” that has caused people to lose their jobs, which has “eroded” the rule of law.
“The author Salman Rushdie, who was himself threatened with death for controversial speech, once said this: ‘Two things form the bedrock of any open society — freedom of expression and the rule of law. If you don’t have those things, you don’t have a free country,’” McConnell said, according to Fox. “Free expression and the rule of law. Exactly the two things we’ve seen eroded in recent months.”
“Rushdie recently signed an open letter with other intellectuals, many liberals, sounding the alarm on this cultural poison,” McConnell added. “‘Editors are fired,’ they wrote, ‘books are withdrawn … journalists are barred from writing on certain topics … professors are investigated … steadily narrow[ing] the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal.’”
“You can guess what happened next. The grievance-industrial complex came after the letter itself. The authors were accused of advancing bigotry. And the cycle of nonsense started all over again,” he continued.Salman Rushdie wrote the novel “The Satanic Verses” in 1988, leading to death threats and even a fatwa by the then-supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who claimed the book made fun of the Prophet Muhammad.
The letter McConnell referred to was signed by multiple academics earlier this month, but after some people complained about certain signees, others removed their names and wrote a counter letter.
More from Fox:McConnell cited the recent resignation letter of Bari Weiss from the New York Times opinion section protesting alleged orthodoxy in acceptable viewpoints, and attacks on Princeton University professor Joshua Katz over an op-ed.
McConnell said, “The United States of America needs free speech. We need free expression. And all of us, from all perspectives, need the courage to speak up and defend it.”
Supporting free speech is politically popular, according to poll results released Wednesday by Politico. Only 27 percent of voters said “cancel culture” had a positive impact on society, while 49 percent said it had a negative impact.
The Senate majority leader spoke as Congress negotiates a new coronavirus pandemic relief package. He did not directly address developments in the talks.
McConnell has been a regular target of protesters over the years. Most recently, The Daily Wire reported that protesters chanted “No justice, no sleep,” outside McConnell’s home.
“No justice, no sleep Mitch. You let our economy tumble into free-fall, our people be gunned down in the streets by killer cops, & our planet be ravaged by your oil CEO friends. This #Juneteenth, we’re wide awake. In November when we vote you out, maybe you’ll wake up, too,” a group known as the Sunrise Movement, which is verified on Twitter, tweeted.

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