Scott Cawthon Can Spend His Money However He Wants, Are You Allowed To Do The Same?
Scott Cawthon, the man behind the Five Nights At Freddy’s video game series, has recently gotten into some controversy. According to the Federal Elections Commission, during the 2020 Election cycle Cawthon donated money to the campaigns Elise Stefanik, Kevin McCarthy, John Cornyn, Devin Nunes, Tommy Tuberville, Cory Gardner, Bill Cassidy, Mitch McConnell, and — of course — Donald Trump. Because of this, some on the left are talking about boycotting any future games Cawthon makes because of their disagreements with Cawthon’s political views (and how he expresses those views through donations to candidates with money they gave him).
Of course, those who are boycotting Cawthon are now being accused of the dreaded “cancel culture.” It makes sense that boycotts are so controversial, we do live in a world where it’s considered bad to deprive yourself of material enjoyment for the long-term benefit of your nation. Could you imagine something like Cesar Chavez’s grape strike or Martin Luther King Jr.’s boycott of the Alabama bus system happening today? The media would be quick to declare both of them “social justice warriors” and “radical leftists” (although, to be fair, both men were) who are trying to “cancel” their targets for “being politically incorrect.” Welcome to America in 2021, where there’s only one sin and that’s someone trying to create a society that agrees with them — unless you’re a billionaire of course, then you can just donate to whatever politicians you want without anyone knowing who you are.
There’s a bizarre paradox in the modern world where political donations are considered a basic duty while political activism is seen as taboo. Back in April, when various corporations started boycotting Georgia over their controversial election bill, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell explained this paradox in a speech, to quote The Washington Post:
“My warning to corporate America is to stay out of politics,” McConnell said at a news conference in Kentucky on Tuesday, before adding: “I’m not talking about political contributions.”
Of course, the wealthy can donate much more than the poor can, but since their are many more poor than their are rich, the poor can engage in basic activism better than the rich can. The rich are well aware of this, hence why they do everything possible to demonize political activism. McConnell himself a prime example of this, although he demonizes political activism, he still opposed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (also known as McCain-Feingold, named after Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold) later leading to the Supreme Court case McConnell v. Federal Election Commission. McConnell was also in firm agreement with Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed corporations to have much more influence over American politics.
This is because it’s not about stopping corporations from buying politics, it’s about making sure it only happens behind closed doors. Politics is supposed to be nothing more than a game for rich people, hence why McConnell will do everything possible to make sure corporations can stack the game in their favor as much as possible. However, if corporations go public, that means it’s possible that us proles might actually be able to impact how politics works in our country — we might become rather uppity, and McConnell can’t have that.
However, what’s especially notable about the Scott Cawthon situation is that those “canceling” him are asking for nothing more than the same rights Cawthon gave himself. Cawthon is an adult who’s allowed to spend his money however he wants, including on people who politically agree with him. However, the people who gave him his money — his fanbase — are also (mostly) adults who can spend their money on people who politically agree with them if they so choose. The first statement is considered obvious, the second one is considered “cancel culture.” Once again, this is for no other reason than most of the people who are boycotting Cawthon being poor. According to society, poor people aren’t supposed to be concerned with how those in power use their money. They’re supposed to mindlessly consume products and not care about who made that product or what the money they spent will be used for.
Cawthon himself is actively engaging in this newspeak. In a Reddit post published on 6/12/2021, Cawthon said of this situation:
All [of] this [is] because I exercised my right, and my duty, as an American citizen, to vote for and support the candidates who I felt could best run the country, for everyone, and that’s something that I won’t apologize for.
Of course, nobody is criticizing Cawthon just for voting for and supporting Republicans, they’re criticizing him for making donations to specific Republican candidates. Even then, nobody is denying him the right to make donations to whatever candidate he chooses, but they are denying him the privilege of giving him their money to do it. Just as Cawthon was not “cancelling” Joe Biden by giving money to Donald Trump, Cawthon is not being “cancelled” because some of the left do not want to give their money to Republicans by proxy. Nobody is saying that Cawthon cannot however much of his $60 million in net wealth to donate to as many Republicans as he wants, we’re simply saying we won’t give him more money to donate to Republicans with.
Look, I’m sure Cawthon is a good person who supports the rights of all people — and I’m sure of this because nobody is denying it. In the same vein, I am against the doxxing and harassment of Cawthon, because I’m against the doxxing and harassment of everyone.
However, Cawthon and his fanbase are being very dishonest on what the actual controversy is here. It’s not that Cawthon is a conservative, a Republican, or a Trump supporter. Even if Cawthon were a vocal conservative as oppose to someone who has until now kept his political views to himself, that would not be an issue.
The issue is that Cawthon is using his money to donate to Republican candidates. Cawthon did not get that money from nowhere, he got that money from those who bought his games, many of whom did not want their money to go to Republican candidates. As such, all they are asking for is the same right Cawthon has, the right to give their money to people who share their values and not to those who will fight those values tooth-and-nail. I understand that these days so much as having a political opinion can be seen as “cancel culture,” but some of us do actually value politics enough to allow that to effect our spending habits. If you don’t, that’s fine, but please stop acting like the idea of someone actually caring about the world around them is a thoughtcrime.