On Wednesday, The Washington Examiner published an op-ed by Kimberly Ross, “No sacred cows: Don’t tolerate Tucker Carlson’s indefensible words just because he’s conservative.” Ross starts off on a reasonable note:
Outrage mobs are nothing new and have grown in popularity as the country grows more politically and culturally divided.
Nearly every week, something sets off one side that is often applauded by the other. The following week, the same thing will occur, albeit with the roles reversed. It’s yet another part of this exhausting, 24-hour news cycle society that we’re immersed in.
There is much to be said about not fanning the flames of each and every little annoyance, faux spectacle, and indignation. After all, it’s bound to occur again, and probably very soon.
This is well said. Very little “outrage” is worth the trouble. Most of it is unnecessary, serving no constructive purpose but only making life more difficult.
There are times, however, when the offended majority is correct. In these moments, it does no good to fold back into tribalism and declare them wrong simply because they’re the opposition. This kind of consistency is what ultimately brings about much-needed credibility. Taking each incident as it comes, and weighing whether or not to vocally criticize, is important.
Ross is certainly right that we shouldn’t allow our perceptions and evaluations of matters to be determined by “tribalism.” For if we want to understand the truth and advance the good, it is necessary to be disinterested and try to understand things in their particular contexts.
The problem, though, is the implication that just because “the offended majority is correct,” it is therefore worth criticizing someone or something. Notice that Ross doesn’t provide any criterion for distinguishing between when “the offended majority” should criticize moral wrongs and when it should avoid “fanning the flames of…indignation.”