The Virtue Signal Brigade may not have stormed the beaches at Normandy or cleared the streets of Fallujah, Iraq, but it is comprised of men and woman who willingly lay down their social media lives for a foot on a soapbox.
Whatever the political or cultural debate, they engage in the battle spaces of Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and whatever else is the social media flavor of the month. Its members raise enough racket to topple the walls of Jericho a few times over, and they hope you follow their every tweetstorm during a national crisis.
The VSB recruits from all sects of the political spectrum, as well as all races, creeds, and religions. The brigade comprises itself of all ages, from a college cultural warrior to an established public figure.
Scholars contend that a correlation exists between media popularity and virtue signal output, though additional data is still required.
In times of political divisiveness, VSB recruits look to gain their Social Media Infantry Badge (SMIB), where they send out multiple tweetstorms or rapid-fire Facebook posts that fulfill the following combat objectives:
- Convey the maximum amount of outrage about a contentious topic, no matter the level of willingness to personal involve yourself in the solution. This is useful for a bevvy of reasons. First, the action establishes the VSB as a man or woman of honor, someone who “tells it like it is” and “really sees what no one else does.” The recruit solidifies his moral superiority simply through overwhelming application of fury. Second, it provokes the enemy, who will inevitably call out this grandstanding. The enemy’s reaction creates a prime target from which a VSB recruit can claim that he is being victimized by the enemy simply for speaking truth. Third, the recruit will rally others to the cause, since the righteous indignation will hold onlookers’ awe.
- A recruit must remind everyone that issue [X] is inherently more complex than anyone else can imagine and proceed to give vague ideals as fix-alls. A recruit must lay down a heavy base of fire of ideals and principles while skirting around the edges of these ideals’ practical implementation.
- Accuse those who challenge your solutions of “not doing enough” to combat problem [X]. The enemy will ask you to play out the idea you suggest and ask what is your policy prescription for problem [X]. Do not give in, but rather, remain general. In the VSB, principles do not inform and guide a man’s conduct and conscience; instead, they are cudgels to beat your enemy away from the threshold of moral superiority.
- When the enemy counterattacks with his own practical solutions, assault his character and label him one of the following or a combination thereof: a racist, a sexist, a bigot, a homophobe, etc. Follow the assault with a call to surrender and ask him, “Have you no decency?” After this, call for a national dialogue on the topic, then promptly stifle any dialogue that you disagree with as hate speech or discrimination.
- Disinformation is better than problem solving. You don’t have to come up with a solution of your own. Merely mischaracterize your enemy and pretend to predict his true intentions.
The SMIB is the first step toward the brigade’s proverbial medal of honor, the Sanctimonius Merit Award for Columnists (SMAC). The SMAC is the for extreme valor, and history demonstrates that, to earn such an honor, one often must write a syndicated daily political or cultural column that nobly wags a finger at the ruffians who require a daily reminder of how to stay on the right side of leftist groupthink.
The recipients of the SMAC complete the same mission as those who gain their SMIB, except on a more visible platform. They use the same five steps to target the enemy’s infrastructure and hijack the national conversation, control the narrative, and slander any who resist.
The VSB publicly discharges its opinions so that it might exhibit its ranks’ superior moral character to its opponent when engaged in the debate. The appearance of morality, not the practice, is only necessary.
Instead of resolve in the face of crisis, the VSB stresses rage, victimhood, and accusation. No boot camp is required, so join the ranks. The VSB’s time on target is instant, surgical, and loud. Just bring your insecurities and fragile temper to the discussion, because the Virtue Signal Brigade needs you to shout down the opposition.
Kevin Cochrane is a writer and college student. Like what you read? Follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC, find him on Facebook, or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to get Town Crier’s latest updates. Want to read more? Visit his blog at restandrefuge.wordpress.com which offers a Christian perspective on the surrounding culture. You can contact him with comments or questions at email@example.com.