Politics In the Era of Symbolic LiberalismLiberal issues are always tribal identity signals first and foremost. In order to maintain tribal purity, their faux issues must be outrageously outside any moral or logical boundaries that might restrain rational people. That's why creeping eugenics starting with voluntary killing of unborn progeny is a mandatory signal. Anything that does actual harm is OK; unprovable potential harm is reason for hysteria; and unprovable, magical materialist origins stories are made legal. No amount of sexual perversion is considered harmful no matter the death rate from AIDs and suicide; and personal responsibility in the form of abstinence is just humanly impossible and a violation of human rights. And of course all liberals and their camp-followers are Victims, it's just that only they can see the violations that they are victims of. The thumping and thundering is reminiscent of prairie chickens in rut. It's how they identify each other as moral enough to be in the clan.
"Even issues of supposedly earth-shaking importance, like global warming, are in fact entirely symbolic. I don’t know a single liberal who has stopped driving a car, or who doesn’t expect to be able to turn lights on with a flip of a switch. Most liberals are not willing to undergo even minor inconvenience for the sake of, supposedly, saving the planet. (Al Gore is a notorious example.)
Liberals are right not to go out of their way to fight global warming. Assuming the alarmists’ models are correct, terminating all emissions of CO2 from the United States, which would require not just cessation of all transportation and industrial activity, but the death of all Americans, would affect global temperatures only imperceptibly. Liberals don’t yammer about the climate because they think they can do something about it, they are merely taking a symbolic stand, mostly to distinguish themselves from conservatives.
The fact that liberalism has become almost entirely a symbolic exercise doesn’t mean that liberals can’t do harm. For one thing, they can block important conservative policies. And the one thing liberals do take seriously is spending money, unless it’s on defense or infrastructure. Although here again, they are concerned mostly with appearances (and, often, financial self-interest), not impact. Liberals care deeply that money is spent, but are generally indifferent to whether it actually does any good."