"South Park seemed to teach that it was always cooler to be reactionary and contrarian, and anyone who criticizes anything is 'offended' and that's the *real* problem. ... [B]oth sides are equally terrible so the only correct thing to do is nothing, while mocking it all from your position of intellectual superiority."
"[T] he animated series has always been gleefully nihilistic in its politics, skewering both the left and the right — and anyone who believed in anything — as equally ridiculous. The smart people were those detached enough to know that everyone was full of it, that every election came down to 'giant douche' vs. a 'turd sandwich' and South Park gets to be the voice of reason for pointing that out.
"'Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right,' the show declares smugly, spewing racial slurs and casual homophobia."
"Parker and Stone reject the idea that the show has any underlying political position, and deny having a political agenda when creating an episode. The two claim the show's higher proportion of instances lampooning liberal rather than conservative orthodoxies stems simply from their preference for making fun of liberals. While Stone has been quoted saying, 'I hate conservatives, but I really fucking hate liberals', Stone and Parker have explained that their drive to lampoon a given target comes first from the target's insistence on telling other people how to behave. The duo explain that they regard liberals as having both delusions of entitlement to remain free from satire, and a propensity to enforce political correctness while patronizing the citizens of Middle America. Parker and Stone are uncomfortable with the idea of themselves or South Park being assigned any kind of partisan classification. Parker said he rejects the 'South Park Republican' and 'South Park conservative' labels, feeling that either tag implies that one only adheres to strictly conservative or liberal viewpoints. The duo has in the past reluctantly labeled themselves libertarians and fans of government gridlock."
"[W]ell beyond the 'alt-right,' South Park’s influence echoes through every modern manifestation of the kind of hostile apathy—nurtured along by Xbox Live shit-talk and comment-board flame wars and Twitter—that’s mutated in our cultural petri dish to create a rhetorical world where whoever cares, loses. Today, everyone with any kind of grievance probably just has sand in their vagina; expressing it with anything beyond a reaction GIF means you’re 'whining'; cry more, your tears are delicious."
"By training an entire generation to believe obnoxiously not taking a stand and mocking both sides is peak bravery, South Park has helped usher in a terrifying political landscape where caring about other people isn’t an expected responsibility in society but a revolutionary act"
"Parker told Rolling Stone in 2007, 'As far as I'm concerned, I've got a computer, the Internet, an Xbox and PlayStation 3, so fuck off.' When you see the world from that childish vantage point, it's easy to de-prioritize anything beyond your own enjoyment of life. Political disputes are just grating background noise that have no real impact upon their lives beyond distracting them from their video games.
"... The truth is that no one seems to have really made much effort to censor South Park in quite some time. They are no longer the outsiders fighting back against the establishment: They are the establishment, two of the world's richest comedians whose signature show cost Comedy Central $192 million to renew back in 2015. But so long as they position themselves as underdogs, they risk empowering those who seek to use their invented victimhood as a smokescreen for bigotry. This is Fox News' gambit when they talk about the war on Christmas, Trump's angle when he attacks the 'fake news' for criticizing him—bullies acting like victims to spark that particular, put-upon sort of outrage that ignites their base. When South Park acts like it's still the rebel throwing rocks at the establishment, rather than a platform for the grievances of two insanely rich straight white men, it's playing the same game."
"The question is whether the show had an unintended political influence, too, creating a kind of anti-PC chic that curdled into what is now the populist right. Through no conscious design of their own, did Parker and Stone invent a monster?
"At some indistinct point in the recent past, the left lost its monopoly on rebellion. To rebel was to be conservative or libertarian. It was more transgressive to buck the sensitivities of the age on race, gender, sexual preference, climate change, civil liberties, mental health and religion than to walk on eggshells around them. This shift in what it meant to be a radical was the price of the left’s success in the culture wars. The more it policed language, the more it inadvertently glamorised anyone who gave voice to unreconstructed sentiments — even if, as you sense with the mischievous creators of South Park, they almost never mean them.
"It is not such a great leap from there to the alt-right, which can resemble an extended South Park episode for people who have forgotten that it is meant to be a joke. There is the same anti-elitism, the same appeal to educated young men who resent being trammelled in thought and speech. But none of the same lightheartedness and humanity, none of the same rigorous equidistance between the absurdities of right and left.
"... At bottom, Parker and Stone are just contrarians."
"Comedy will inevitably age, so this is not me saying that it needs to be 'canceled,' but just being more aware of how the show enjoys being contrarian for the sake of it. Satire is effective if the audience is able to see the actual targets of the joke. With South Park, despite its legendary equal opportunity ethos, it is sometimes very dubious to pick out what the series really stands for.
"Especially when Cartman, the racist, xenophobic murderer, is the most popular character."
"South Park externalized a long-extant but little-acknowledged tendency with American culture, and particularly within American conservative political culture. It is the old 'I got mine' ethic that views with contemptuous suspicion any person or group that comes along and asks for a share of the rights, privileges, and material advantages that those who already have them simply know that they deserve based on their own skills and innate merit. All these jockeying newcomers, well, they’re clearly running some kind of scam."