The riot that produced the U.S. Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump has its analogue in the cancel culture rampaging through North American institutions. Neither cancels the other, of course. Both are horrid, each in its especially hideous way.
The Jan. 6 attack on America’s federal Capitol destroyed institutional property, mobbed and halted the democratic life of a people, and took human life.
Cancel culture draws its malignant power from the simmering destruction intrinsic to mobs as well, though most of its violence is rhetorical rather than physical. It spares lives but slaughters reputations, leaving its victims to endure financial uncertainty, isolation, bewilderment and psychic pain equivalent to being hit by a truck.