For the second time this week I find myself grafting substantial sections of an archived Ethics Alarms post to a new one. (I promise not to make a habit of it.) The occasion is the appearance on one of my Alexandria, Virginia neighbors’ lawn the idiotic sign above. Once again I was seized with the desire to ring the house’s doorbell and cross examine the residents. Can they explain and justify what’s on that sign? I am almost certain that they cannot, just as my other neighbor who STILL displays a medieval suit of armor next to a 5 x 4 hand-made, painted wooden sign reading BLACK LIVES MATTER in block letters could not justify that obnoxious lawn ornament, since it is, after all, more indefensible than ever now that the movement it stands for has been exposed as cynical hustle.
In 2021, New York Times’ woke propaganda agent Amanda Hess was given a rare slot on her paper’s front page to opine on the sign above, which was apparently the beginning of the the viral Announce to your neighbors that you’re a smug, simple-minded idiot!” epidemic. Ethics Alarms has had several posts about similar signs, but I did not realize that I had missed Patient Zero.
Hess’s analysis by turns informed readers that the sign has “curious power” (to make me detest the homeowner?); that the mottoes are “progressive maxims” (so progressives really are that facile and shallow!), that “Donald Trump is out of office…But nevertheless, this sign has persisted” (Oh! It’s all Trump’s fault?), that the sign is “directed at the adults in the room, reminding them of their own mission” (Really? Open borders? Man-boy love? Anti-white discrimination? Marxism? Why is a sign aimed at adults so naive and childish? ), that it is “the epitome of virtue signaling: an actual sign enumerating the owner’s virtues. There is something refreshing, actually, about the straightforwardness of that.” (There is something refreshing about smug idiots placing signs on their laws that say, “I am a smug idiot”?).
I learned other things from that article: