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Why Liberals Love Virtue Signaling More Than They Love America

  • The phrase “virtue signaling” was coined by British journalist James Bartholomew in April of this year, but the phenomenon is as old as Facebook. Virtue signaling is engaging in behaviors that are designed to give one the appearance of being virtuous, and it is typically displayed by the Left. It’s easy to see the appeal of this behavior. Without taking time out of their own lives to volunteer, to canvass for candidates, to donate any money, or to otherwise work or do anything useful or effective, through the act of virtue signaling Liberals can show that they are better than those who are less “woke” than they are because they share “approved” views.


    What Does Virtue Signaling Look Like?

    Here are some typical examples of what it looks like in social media over the last few years:

    • Changing your profile picture to Je suis Charlie without doing the bare minimum to support the journalists you claim to care about, like, say, subscribing to publications you support.
    • Ranting about Trump online when you didn’t show up to the polls, didn’t canvass for your own candidates, and didn’t do any volunteer work for your political party.
    • Tweeting your support for a $15 minimum wage when you aren’t a small business owner, you’re earning more, and you are underpaying your own staff or relying on unpaid interns. (Ahem, Congress.)
    • Melting down over migrants and President Trump's border wall online without donating any time, money, or supplies to said migrants. Often literally without personally knowing or living near a single poor, non-white immigrant.


    If you use Liberal-owned Facebook chances are you have already seen or even participated in virtue signaling online, because the popular social media site and others have features designed specifically to do so built in. Every time we change our profile picture, use a photo filter, or accept a challenge that has gone viral to support a cause we have actually done nothing tangible to advance, we are virtue signaling.


    When Liberals express opinions like these publicly without accompanying actions that contribute toward positive outcomes, they are deluding themselves into believing they are doing so for reasons other than likes and selfies. They are signaling to other Liberals that they are conforming, and they are getting positive attention and affirmations in the process. But are they actually changing anything for the better? Almost without exception, the answer is a resounding no.


    Virtue signaling involves the willful ignoring of the consequences of beliefs. For example, the Democrats who are visiting the border for photo ops are doing more to harm the migrants than the Conservatives who want a border wall. They know the migrants will not be welcomed with open arms in the current political climate, but they are giving the false impression that they will to sway voters. They know the more caravans arrive, the more people will be risking their own lives and their childrens' lives to make the dangerous trek north. They also ignore the fact that caravans are nothing new. The only thing new about it is the fact that Democrats suddenly care. 


    Why is virtue signaling so important to Liberals? According to one 2018 study the answer to this question is simple: giving the public appearance of moral superiority makes them feel good. This is because humans have a need for uniqueness and we use information we gather online to compare ourselves with and to impress others. This same study determined a “significant relationship” between those who engage in virtue signaling online through making sure everyone knows you’ve just donated to a charity—as opposed to, say, donating without posting about it—and the purchase of counterfeit luxury goods. Which, I may remind you, is illegal. So science has proven these do-gooders are just as willing to do bad for the sake of raising their public profile.


    All too often the opinions expressed during the act of virtue signaling would be harmful to the country if they were made law, but Democrat voters tend to be younger voters. Many of these voters have grown up entirely in the internet era, and they seem not to be aware of the difference between accomplishments and posts.


    What Conservatives Can Do to Stop It

    The next time you see a Liberal virtue signaling online, consider doing one of the following:

    • Ask them bluntly what they have done in real life to change the thing they are unhappy with.
    • Point out what you have done in real life to change it to put the spotlight on the big bunch of nothing they did.
    • Challenge their perception of reality by pointing out what President Trump has already done for their issue and how their candidates are causing harm.
    • Remind them how much time they waste on online outrage each day without actually accomplishing anything.
    • Remind them if they didn’t vote it’s time to STFU.
    • Leave Liberal-owned social media altogether so you don't have to deal with it. Why are we still giving our personal information to sites and making their corrupt owners rich instead of switching to sites that support Conservative thought?


    It’s time to put an end to virtue signaling. If the Dems really cared about the migrants, the country, or any of the rest of it, they'd take action instead of whining online. They’d crack down on the media that deliberately turned America into a three-ring circus for ratings. However, this would involve them doing two things they're incapable of: considering minorities instead of using them for Liberal guilt points, and admitting the media that affirms their hysteria and bias is fake.


    Liberal virtue signalers of America, I promise you are not helping. It’s time to try something different. Spend time educating yourselves about what’s really going on in the country today, and you may be surprised by what you learn. Despite different American decades being known as more or less conformist than others, psychological research has determined rates of conformity have remained roughly the same. When it comes to Liberals, whether something actually is or is not virtuous is not the point. The point is it makes them look good to the rest of the herd.

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