“No, but at least I’m honest!”

– Blue shirt guy, on why it’s better that he do nothing for anyone

Tried to get this out in time for Pride Month, considering the phrase, “virtue signaling,” always seems to get a bump in prevalence every June.

Virtue signaling, to my understanding, is when someone insincerely expresses a moral view in order to gain approval from others. But it’s the “insincere” part that gets me – I highly doubt these internet folk are really verifying whether or not a specific “virtue signaler” genuinely holds their beliefs. And with that in mind, decrying people for virtue signaling starts to look a lot like decrying people for… expressing their opinions on what’s right and wrong?

Sometimes people will say pointing out virtue signaling is more about identifying hypocrisy (e.g. millionaires in jet planes lecturing against fossil fuels) or outright lies (e.g. companies greenwashing their products) – but in those cases, we can already call them hypocrites and liars; what use is there for “virtue signaler?”

– James