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Letter To The Editor: Resolution On Immigration An Example Of ‘Virtue Signaling’ ...

on April 14, 2017 - 1:03pm
By CHALRES KOOSHIAN
Los Alamos

The letter submitted by Councilors David Izraelevitz and Chris Chandler, “Continuing The Conversation On Treatment of Immigrants and Refugees” (link) is an anodyne statement that we can all subscribe to, as is the resolution by Councilor Pete Sheehey. However, I would like to offer a point of view that hasn’t been expressed.

The resolution is simply an example of the phenomenon referred to as “virtue signaling.” This occurs when an individual, group, or organization attempts to project an image of how wonderful, moral, law-abiding, caring, compassionate, etc., etc., etc. it is, usually without any substance. 

Los Alamos County is populated with a large number of individuals and organizations (nonprofit, charitable, churches, businesses) that expend substantial time and financial resources in their efforts to contribute to the community and the world at large (and serving on the County Council certainly fits the pattern).  Accordingly, I believe the Council can better devote its efforts to increasingly recognizing and supporting the individuals and organizations who are actually doing something than wasting time on nugatory resolutions.

There is no doubt in my mind that Councilor Sheehey is a good guy and well-intentioned.  But this resolution is simply empty rhetoric, just words without backup. As such it deserves a decent burial and oblivion. Then we, the community, should continue to actively demonstrate that our actions outweigh mere words.


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