Rather than arguing that it doesn’t exist or that fears of it have been overblown, a recent New York Times op-ed from Sasha Issenberg said that “cancel culture works,” citing the LGBTQ community’s victory with same-sex marriage.
According to Issenberg, same-sex marriage coasted to mainstream success because LGBTQ activists like Fred Karger stopped mobilizing people to vote for a specific cause and instead mobilized them to protest individuals that gave money to measures like Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state of California. One of the first targets of this was businessman Doug Manchester.
“Doug Manchester’s $125,000 donation was not the biggest to the pro-Proposition 8 cause, but he was the most substantial public-facing target Mr. Karger could find,” noted Issenberg. “He began picketing Mr. Manchester’s pre-eminent holdings, including the namesake downtown convention hotel, with a boycott that would endure for years. It was the first time gay-marriage activists adopted a strategy of scaring their most well-heeled opponents away