Introduction to My Take on Faked Outrage and Victimhood By GenerazionZConservative:
Welcome back to this running series on what it’s currently like to be a conservative college student. Part 1 was on the state of free speech on college campuses, Part 2 was on political segregation, and Part 3 was on liberal virtue signaling. This piece is on how both liberals and conservatives fake outrage and victimhood to try to gain the upper hand in debates and score political brownie points with their radical bases. For me, it is an incredibly frustrating issue because it shifts debates away from reason and towards emotion. Once people start complaining about their “victim” status, despite being at an elite private college, it is hard to take them seriously or have a thoughtful and reasonable debate. Often, it just turns into two people trying to show how hurt they have been by the current political system. Unfortunately, the problem is only growing worse. But once we recognize it, we can begin to fix it. Or at least halt its growth.
What does fake outrage look like?
Anyone who watches the news or reads it online has seen many examples of fake outrage. It is hard to miss, but perhaps you don’t notice it anymore because it has become so prevalent. My definition of fake outrage is when someone pretends to be offended or hurt by something so that they can claim “victim” status and thus garner the sympathy of the audience and use emotion to shut down the arguments of the other side. It is an issue that has become near ubiquitous on college campuses. Minority students using injustices against family members generations ago to claim that they need special privileges. Liberal students “taking offense” at past remarks a speaker has made so that the administration will force a speaker to leave campus or cancel his visit. Conservatives pretending to be outraged by inconsequential administrative actions. Those conservative provocateurs fake outrage so that they can reignite the culture wars and turn a small issue into a large and contentious one. Both sides are to blame, but currently our friends on the left seem to be faking outrage more often.
I’m sure you have all seen at least one of those examples in the news. They are as ubiquitous as they are exasperating. When President Donald Trump was elected, incidents of fake outrage and moral preening were particularly frequent, so now many people began to tune them out. That is certainly understandable; listening to some spoiled child rant about their victim status while they study (often for free) at one of America’s top universities is incredibly maddening. However, I think that you need to watch and listen every time those incidents occur. By doing so, you will be able to see through the emotion-based arguments of both sides and start coming to your own conclusions. Once the emotional shell is discarded, then you can get to the consequential parts of an issue and start developing your own thoughts and reasoning. Afterwards, you can make good arguments in defense of your opinion and learn how to debate well. But to do so, you first must recognize which arguments made are based on emotion and fake outrage. You can do so by learning what that fake outrage looks like and calling it out when you see it.
Fake Outrage is Getting Worse on College Campuses:
Since Trump’s election, incidents of liberals and conservatives faking outrage to avoid having a substantive debate have skyrocketed in frequency. During the Obama administration it was bad enough, but now it is far worse. Every time President Trump speaks someone is “offended” and feels the need to let the whole world know how outraged they are. While those of us who wish to have substantive debates and discussions might be annoyed by that, the constantly up-in-arms base of both sides finds it entertaining and unproblematic. Because the base of both sides is ok with how their self-appointed spokespeople act, faked outrage is only increasing in frequency.
Additionally, the issues people are getting “outraged” about now are becoming more and more frivolous. It used to be issues like “hate speech” that would provoke outrage. Although the level of outrage commonly seen in response was often out of proportion, at least anger over “hate speech” can be understood. But now insignificant issues like not having ramps for people in wheelchairs or having a margarita on Cinco de Mayo provoke just as much outrage as “hate speech” ever did. Ableism and “cultural appropriation” are the new buzzwords of the far left and its faux outrage specialists. As if having a certain cocktail is the reason for all the evils in the world. It is utterly ridiculous and counter productive for those of us that want to thoughtfully discuss and debate differences of opinion. But for those that only want to pander to their base, the latitude they are given to express their outrage enables their ridiculous behavior and has made fake outrage all the more common on college campuses.
What can be done to fix the fake outrage problem?
While I’m not entirely sure what the solution is for the fake outrage problem, I do have one suggestion. Call people out. Conservative or liberal, all people who are “outraged” over relatively insignificant things are doing so just to earn a few political brownie points. They don’t care about the issue at hand or solving problems, they just want a few cheers from their base and to avoid an in-depth discussion that would show their ignorance. Call them out on that and force them into a debate where others can see how little they really know. Sure, that might not eradicate the problem. But it might arrest its growth and help Americans return to substantive, reason-based discussion rather than emotional, faux “outrage” over insignificant topics.
Thanks for reading and make sure to check out www.genzconservative.com if you’re interested in reading more articles like this one.