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The Dreaded Cosmopolitans

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey appears on a monitor as he testifies remotely during the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing ‘”Does Section 230’s Sweeping Immunity Enable Big Tech Bad Behavior?” on Capitol Hill, October 28, 2020. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via Reuters)

I enjoyed Michael’s piece on high-tech cosmopolitanism this morning. But I wonder if he doesn’t have it backward.

Twitter et al. are very concerned about the actions of Donald Trump, and a good deal less interested in the antics of the former prime minister of Malaysia or official Chinese government communiques, true enough, but it seems to me that that double standard is not the product of excessive cosmopolitanism but its opposite: excessive parochialism.

Call it the soft bigotry of low geopolitical expectations. Nobody in these United States really gives a rip what the powers that be in Kuala Lumpur think about French current events or expects the Iranians to be anything other than beardy Team America caricatures, and Silicon Valley is a very, very American place. Not one American in 300 could tell you who Muhyiddin Yassin is, much less keep up with the pronouncements of his predecessors.

American cancel culture is obsessed with Americans to the exclusion of the rest of the world because American culture is obsessed with Americans to the exclusion of the rest of the world.

When it comes to acting as speech police, Twitter says: America First. I would think that would warm the heart of a nationalist such as MBD.

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