I just heard of Maren Morris yesterday, because two of my daughters are going all the way to Nashville for her concert. I decided to find out whether I too would like her music. One of the first things that came up via my search engine, DuckDuckGo (I highly recommend it, no tracking you) was this tweet: “Country artist who loves gay people, hates Trump agenda, adores capitalism at its finest, wants equal pay, education, and healthcare.” Hmm, I thought, lots of lessons here. The Twitter feed relating to this post was a microcosm of our societal fractures. Naturally, yours truly couldn’t just let this be, so here goes my children, a lesson from your curmudgeon dad.
The first lesson is about why people use Twitter at all. It’s the Id of culture, allowing anybody to broadcast to the widest possible audience—everyone in the world with internet access—their immediate emotionally driven……what? Thoughts? Feelings? Philosophy? Marketing image? They say, “cream rises to the top”, but that does not apply to tweets. Years ago, I operated a sewage treatment plant, yup and yuck, and I noticed that what always rose to the top was scum—a combo of grease, hair, body excretions which were too noxious for even the bacteria to dissolve—you get the gist. That applies to tweets; yes, that includes many of our President’s. While Ms. Morris’ tweet is not scummy—it’s kind of adorable—the main point is, she wants everyone to know where she stands, but using Twitter to do so is a mass marketing campaign, and that’s what her tweet was.
Virtue signaling point #1: Regardless of what you actually write, the use of Twitter itself is usually a giveaway that you are about to signal your virtue. If I were to build a home for a family via Habitat For Humanity, I could do it quietly, or I could broadcast it via Twitter. One way is virtuous, the other signals “I’m virtuous.” One of my favorite people, Marcus Mariota, not only builds H for H homes, but enlists his parents in the endeavor. He doesn’t have any social media accounts. I only found out about it through the Tennessee Titans website, and it was someone else writing about it.
Point #2: Ask yourself, “if I were to interpret this action, the tweet, in the most positive way, was the tweet even necessary?” By saying she’s a country artist and loves gay people, given that virtually everyone who receives her tweets knows what she does, the tweet would serve no purpose. But by juxtaposing country artist with loving gay people in the same sentence, the implication is that most country artists are either dismissive of or hostile to gay people. This is borne out by other statements she has made. She is big on trying to make them feel included in country music. Okay, fine, write songs about homosexual romance then, kiss a girl onstage, use the men’s bathroom (never mind this last one, she’s welcoming gays, but not trans). Has she done either? I don’t know, but I doubt it. That’s not the kind of behavior that country music fans applaud. Who exactly is her tweet playing to?
Point #3: Whom or what you hate determines what audience you are playing to. The part about hating Trump’s agenda, without specifying what his supposed agenda is nor what she dislikes about it is what raises her tweet from a short statement of sympathy for a specific group to the level of virtue signaling. Her statement was gratuitous, and actually contradicted by her adoring “capitalism at its finest”, whatever that means. Does she think that means “equal pay, for education, healthcare?” Equality of outcome is NOT capitalism, it’s totalitarianism. People do not have equal abilities, ambition or perseverance. I have said enough about her tweet and about virtue signaling. Rather, I want to examine her last point about “Trump’s agenda.” There are a lot of things that lots of people dislike about Trump, but the ones the big money media “axis of asinine”—CNN, MSNBC, WaPo, NY Times, LA Times—harp on are what uninformed folks like Maren hate. None is more vituperative than the treatment of immigrant children, so let’s take a closer look at the cage controversy.
For those still trying to blame President Trump, Barack Obama’s former ICE chief, Thomas Homan, has a reality check for them. Homan, who ran Obama’s successful deportation operation, gave Democrats a reality check, when they question Trump immigration officials on the Obama-era idea. He cited one Democratic chairman who asked a Trump official, “You still keeping kids in cages?” Homan, at the conference hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies, said, “I would answer the question, ‘The kids are being housed in the same facility built under the Obama administration.’ If you want to call them cages, call them cages. But if the left wants to call them cages and the Democrats want to call them cages then they have to accept the fact that they were built and funded in FY 2015.” Homan explained that the fencing that separates kids from adults is done for safety reasons. “It’s chain link dividers that keep children separate from unrelated adults. It’s about protecting children,” he said. He also added it’s only temporary accommodations until they are moved elsewhere by the Department of Health and Human Services. These uninformed “useful idiots” (Lenin’s term, not mine) who are moaning about cages don’t even realize that many of these kids were deliberately separated from their parents, in their country of origin, and used like “human shields” to enable narco-criminals and terrorists to try to force their way into our country. More are being separated from their captors than from their parents.