Cancel culture is running rampant in America. The practice of shaming and protesting something or someone that a group or even an individual deems unworthy of existing isn’t new. What has changed over the years is that it used to be a fringy right-wing thing. Now, the extremes of the political spectrum on both sides fully embrace the power of cancel culture. Of course, both of those extreme fringes think of themselves as righteous and the other side a bunch of misinformed and misguided sheep who want to destroy America.

On the right, we have folks who want to ban books, hate M&Ms in the wrong footwear, and a relentless hate of “gay beer.”

On the flipside of that, folks tread lightly as to not offend someone who is triggered because the wrong pronoun got used or might not be sold on the fairness of letting transgender women compete against women who were born as women.

It is probably a safe bet that someone was offended or triggered by the words in the previous 2 paragraphs. Cancel culture rears its head without warning and can take even sincere questions and innocent gestures (or even jokes) and turn them into the demon that is wrecking our society.

In this week’s “New Rules” segment, Bill Maher looked at cancel culture. After giving a brief history lesson on how both political extremes have used and embraced it, Maher suggested that maybe it is time to celebrate the folks brave enough to stand up to those who want to squash all debate and any belief that disagrees with their own.

He then put that into the context of an awards show like the Emmys, Tonys, and Grammys … this one would be the “Cojones.”

His 1st award went to Cornell President, Martha Pollack. When some students petitioned that before each and every lecture at the university, that it would be required that any possible triggers be disclosed in advance, Pollack politely declined the demand. She didn’t cave in or hire a new “Dean of Sensitivity” but rather reminded everyone that college is a place where new and adult ideas are talked about. It isn’t a place to cater to everyone’s special little perceived offense.

Next, he turned the spotlight onto Trader Joe’s. One teenager was offended by their branding a beer as “Trader Jose” and started a petition to cancel the brand because someone felt it was “racist.” Trader Joe’s didn’t burn all their stores to the ground and kill themselves, instead, they put out a statement saying the brand wasn’t racist and they don’t make their decisions based on a petition signed by a small group of people who probably didn’t shop there in the 1st place.

Finally, he celebrated Netflix CEO, Ted Sarandos. He stood up for stand up, as in stand up comedy. When a handful of Netflix employees threatened to quit because Dave Chapelle did comedy on his comedy special, but comedy they found offensive, the CEO told them that maybe Netflix wasn’t the right fit for them and they should feel free to move on from their employment there.

The political extremists have been driving these “culture war’ debates for too long. Whereas an awards show probably won’t happen, more Americans rejecting the calls from the cheap seats to cancel the things that they hate is long overdue. Beer won’t make you gay, banning books is never done by “the good guys,” people have different opinions on things like identity and gender, and in a nation of 330 million people, someone, somewhere, is going to have an opinion that someone else will be offended by.

Maybe it is time we start granting everyone else the freedom we expect for ourselves when it comes to having and expressing our personal beliefs, opinions, and jokes.

Check out Maher’s New Rules segment from his HBO show, Real Time With Bill Maher below. Some might take offense to some of the explicit language or the opinions expressed in the clip, but like Maher, we don’t care and expect anyone who watches it to do so with mature and tolerant eyes and ears.