The 19th-century poet Charles Baudelaire famously observed that “the loveliest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist.”
A similar aphorism could easily be applied to the most politically correct of people in America, who hide behind the notion that their social justice idiocy is motivated by concern for the underprivileged and vulnerable. Just look at the most vocally outraged actors in our most recent tempest in a teapot: President Trump’s alleged description of certain third world nations as “shithole countries.” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Rep. Maxine Waters, (D-Calif.), CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta, you know the type.
Well, not to insult the devil by comparing him to Durbin or Acosta, but the greatest trick of snowflakes is to persuade you that they care.
In truth, one has only to look at the actions of the most doggedly politically correct figures in American business, culture, and politics to see the opposite: that, in fact, the best the snowflakes have to offer the vulnerable is moral smugness, and the worst is hypocritical misanthropy.
When it comes to culture, I think there’s no need to look beyond the recently lauded Oprah, who practically acted as a brothel madam for the infamous Harvey Weinstein, and yet felt perfectly qualified to start marching in front of #MeToo at the Golden Globes to inflate her own media profile and presidential buzz.
Or, take business, which gave us one of the more vivid examples of this fact just over a year ago, when Timeshare CMO startup founder Melinda Byerley tweeted that middle Americans didn’t deserve jobs because middle America is a “shithole” and the people who live there are “violent, racist, and/or misogynistic” thugs who vote against their own interests because they “don’t want brown people to thrive.” Byerley has since grown fond of referring to Republican members of Congress as “traitors,” and lavishing concern on the plight of “poor, immigrant Black women.” Apparently, it never occurred to her that middle American states like Ohio have a massive Somali immigrant population: they voted for Trump, so they don’t count. And Byerley’s far from alone: the fact that the snowflake barons at other tech companies are now famous for impeccably speaking the language of “woke baes” as cover to gang-press vulnerable young women into sexual servitude.
Then, there’s politics, where a particularly vivid example of two-faced snowflake morality emerged in the form of Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), who recently came under fire not just from conservatives, but from his own side, for selling out to the pharmaceutical industry. And just who did Peters, defender of unlimited Muslim immigration, scourge of “white supremacy,” and champion of transgender military service members, anger?
Why, the anti-AIDS lobby, of all people! Because, as it turns out, AIDS patients—once one of the crowning members of the Left’s victim pantheon—actually need drugs to be affordable in order to stay alive. And Peters’ recent bill to gut one of the few policies that keep AIDS drugs affordable—the $340 billion drug pricing program—would stab right at the heart of that program. Apparently, all that concern for disenfranchised and abandoned minorities is easily purchased away with just over $100,000 in donations to a congressional campaign.
Now, the point I mean to make with these three lurid examples goes far beyond simply calling out the hypocrisy of the politically correct Left, although that is most definitely fun. Point of fact, I don’t think people like Oprah, or Byerley, or Peters actually are hypocrites, because I don’t believe their performative wokeness is motivated by a sincere concern for the well-being of others. Rather, I believe it is motivated by pride. They want to be seen to care, whether to boost viewership, or to attract snowflake baron Silicon Valley investors, or to win liberal plaudits for #Resisting #Drumpf. Or, more than any of these motives, to have an excuse to sneer down their noses at particular people and cast it as fighting hate rather than expressing it.
And if the very people they claim to care about are getting caught in the crossfire? Well, that’s the thing about the greatest tricks—they’re still tricks.