Have you noticed how each generation creates its own lexicon of words and phrases to describe things that already had words and phrases to begin with?
The current generation has taken this to all new heights.
“Speaking truth to power,” “safe spaces,” “micro-aggressions,” “gender-normative” or “cisgendered,” “heteronormative” – you get the idea.
I blame it on the arrogance of youth.
Every generation needs to believe they’ve invented certain concepts. When really all they’ve done is find new ways to define things that always existed.
As Solomon said millennia ago, there’s nothing new under the sun.
But each generation wants to think they’ve come up with something new.
Take the expression Virtue-signalling.
You’re probably thinking that’s misspelled since generally, the common spelling is “signaling.” But that’s how they spell it.
The definition from Wikipedia is this:
Virtue signalling is the expression or promotion of viewpoints that are especially valued within a social group, especially when this is done primarily to enhance the social standing of the speaker.
A man named James Bartholomew, writing at the British Spectator, claims he’s the genius who “invented” the phrase.
As if the concept behind it didn’t have a name before he came along.
In fact, even Jesus knew of “virtue signalling.”
He told this parable about a Pharisee and a Tax Collector. Maybe you’re familiar with it:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’
But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’
I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 18:10-14
For the younger generation out there, let’s call that Jesus’ “Virtue-signalling” Parable.
There are definitely better ways to describe this self-righteous behavior.
Personally, I like “moral preening” much better.
“Preening” has such a negative connotation. “Signalling,” on the other hand, is too antiseptic and neutral for me.
I hear the word “preening” and I can picture someone strutting around acting as if his shit doesn’t stink.
“Signalling” only makes me think of a guy in a hostage video blinking out SOS in Morse code to let us know he’s speaking against his will.
And the people who indulge in virtue signalling aren’t being that subtle, are they?
No They’re “preening.”
Take, for example, Kellogg’s.
The breakfast cereal giant made a big fuss over pulling its advertising on Breitbart News.
Like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable, Kellogg’s made sure everyone knew just how morally superior and noble their decision supposedly was.
That’s not “signalling.” That, my friends, is moral preening.
Worse still, it’s opportunistic moral preening.
Kellogg’s is sticking its finger in the wind to see which side of a debate to come down on.
Breitbart News isn’t an “Alt Right” site. Speaking of invented words. I have no earthly idea what “Alt Right” even means.
Breitbart News isn’t a “white nationalist” site.
It isn’t even an “anti-immigration” site.
But Kellogg’s saw the smear campaign against Breitbart and decided to take the coward’s way out.
And they did so by pretending they had no idea they were advertising on such a hateful, bigoted site. And as soon as they realized they were, they were shocked! Shocked, I tell you!
Kellogg’s isn’t being virtuous or courageous.
Instead, they’re doing nothing more than bowing and scraping to the intolerant Left.
And I’m certain they’ll regret it.
Breitbart News is keeping us up to date on the #DumpKelloggs campaign.
So far, nearly a quarter of a million people have signed the petition to boycott Kellogg’s products.
Since announcing its self-righteous decision, Kellogg’s stock has lost 2% of its value. And I’m sure that loss will continue.
By trying to appease the intolerant Left, Kellogg’s is losing ground with the people who actually would purchase their products.
Kellogg’s decided to join the war against Conservatives armed only with self-righteous opportunism.
That’s worse than bringing a knife to a gun fight.
Look, it’s a free country. Kellogg’s is more than welcome to pick and choose on what media it will spend advertising dollars.
Had they simply quietly stopped advertising on Breitbart, this wouldn’t be a big deal.
But this was not a sound business decision; it was a politically motivated one.
Worse still, it was a cynical and opportunistic one.
Kellogg’s wanted to use this as an opportunity to get in good with one segment of the country by very vocally smearing and alienating the larger population as a whole.
That isn’t virtue signalling.
That’s moral preening.
And if they lose business and customers because of it, that’s just Grrrrrreat!.
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