The politicization of morality is not a new phenomenon,
but it has gained a new vehemence in recent decades as the traditional sources of moral authority — the church, the family, the local community, etc. — have declined in influence, and as bourgeois virtues (sobriety, chastity, industry, thrift, etc.) have been undermined by the counter-culture.
the AIDS crisis of the 1980s spiraled out of control in part because liberals were unwilling to shut down the gay bathouses that profited by facilitating the anonymous promiscuity which spread the pandemic. (David Horowitz and Peter Collier include an amazing chapter on this in their 1989 book, Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties.) The AIDS issue became a moral crusade for liberals, who saw themselves defending the “rights” of an unpopular minority in a battle against oppression, as if the “right” to commercialized sodomy trumped legitimate public health concerns.
So in the wee hours this morning, when I noticed people on Twitter giving Dave Weigel grief over something written by John Derbyshire, my reaction was, “What the hell is this about?”
After investigating, I wrote a post:
While it is impossible to imagine any scenario in which Lowry won’t be forced to fire Derbyshire now, I’m actually more fascinated by the Left’s attempt to bully Weigel for failing to denounce Derbyshire in strong enough terms.
This is a familiar ritual, The Denunciation Derby, in which liberals demand that everyone compete for the Sweepstakes Prize offered for whoever can express the most indignant outrage against the target
Meanwhile, Lowry has fired Derbyshire, describing the offending column as “so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation.”