Monday, December 10, 2018


In the New York Post, F.H. Buckley, a law professor and former Trump speechwriter who's no relation to William F., concludes that his liberal neighbors are engaging in hate speech, which he knows because he can read their minds:
Why ‘No Hate Here’ signs are actually pretty hateful

My walks with my dog take me to a quiet off-street, with middle-class houses made expensive because they’re inside the Beltway. Their owners are mostly youngish attorneys who work as assistant-deputy-director-somethings in some government department or other.

Two of the homes feature “No Hate Here” signs.

... What’s going on?

Someone came up with the label “virtue signaling” to describe the psychological impulse behind these signs. The idea is that people who put them up want to tell you how noble they are. But that doesn’t sound right. Virtue-signalers aren’t in any way in doubt about their own virtue. What they really want to do is signal how depraved others are.

It’s about vice signaling, not virtue signaling.

A couple of people on the block are Trump supporters. Those signs are likely meant for them.
Buckley hasn't asked the people who posted the signs why they posted them. He hasn't asked them whether they're motivated by Trump specifically -- or exclusively. It's a plausible theory, but there's a lot of hate in the world.

Buckley continues:
There’s no interaction between the two groups, and the signs are meant to keep it that way.

A couple of years back there used to be Fourth of July street picnics there. But the shindigs haven’t happened the last couple of years, and I don’t think I’ll see them again soon. Vice signaling breaks up communities, and there’s a lot of it today.
Buckley offers no evidence to support his assertion that the signs are the reason there haven't been July 4 picnics in the neighborhood. It could just be because the Fourth fell in the middle of the week the last couple of years, or it could be because whoever organized past picnics moved away, or didn't feel like doing it anymore.

But liberals are haters, and you know who else they hate? The military, according to Buckley. How does he know that? He just does.
One of the people on the street is an ex-Special Forces veteran, with a Purple Heart from Iraq. That used to be a real signal of virtue. Now I’m afraid it marks him as a prime example of “toxic masculinity.” He’s the sort of man about whom freshmen are warned in college classrooms across the land.

The courses are meant to help men examine their own biases and behaviors in order to cut down on misogyny and gender-based violence. My veteran friend is a hero, but I expect that progressives would think him a prime candidate for toxic-masculinity brainwashing.
Buckley "expects" that that's true, and that's all the evidence he needs. (I have no idea what this has to do with "No Hate Here" signs.)

And what about trans people? Liberals only stick up for them because they're haters.
When the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, there were no great protests from social conservatives.
Except from the conservatives who refused to comply with the ruling, but whatever.
What is curious, however, is how social liberals turned on a dime to take up transgender rights. After their victory, they immediately took up the cause of a vanishingly tiny number of Americans, the better to blame their opponents. In the permanent cultural wars against conservatives, there’s always one more river to cross.

What these examples have in common is vice signaling. I can’t see inside their hearts, but what I do know is that the people with their “No Hate” signs sow more division than they do comity.
Buckley says he "can't see inside" liberals' "hearts," though he certainly writes as if he does -- he just knows that support for trans people was merely a ruse to allow us to keep hating. He's never asked anyone about this, and he offers no other evidence supporting the assertion, but it's true.

And liberals do all these things because we secretly know everyone hates us.
Vice signaling is a defense mechanism, meant to displace liberal guilt. There was a moment, shortly after the 2016 election, when liberals realized that ordinary Americans had turned against them, and that they had reason to do so.
What was the evidence of that? The fact that our candidate won the popular vote in the presidential election?
Allied to the teachers unions, the liberals had permitted our schools to descend to Third World standards. They supported an immigration system that imported economic immobility. They welcomed a regulatory morass that gave elites jobs but that placed a stumbling block in the path of those who sought to get ahead.

Liberals saw all that — and then they forgot it. Rather than blame themselves, it was much easier to transfer the guilt to conservatives. That’s how vice signaling became the language of liberal politics.
Man, this guy is the greatest mentalist of all time!

Buckley is an editor at The American Spectator, where his recent pieces have included "Mean Girl" (an attack on The New Yorker's Jane Mayer), "Venomous Fish-Wife" (a brief appreciation of Kim Jong-un's insult of Hillary Clinton), and "Failure to Pass the Manliness Test" (a swipe at Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau). I think Buckley himself is rather fond of "vice signaling." In fact, his entire Post column is an example of it. He really wants to signal how depraved others are. Why does he want to break up communities this way?

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