Outsized outrage

Demonstrations of outsized outrage have become our national pastime. One reason that social media shaming is so popular is that it’s so easy. But we should remain mindful of the difference between ranting and relevance, and between what is meaningful and what is just mean.



December 7, 2020 - 9:11 AM

So much of what grabs the public’s attention or passes as news these days is just banal trivia.

I don’t mean to be too harsh because we Americans — and probably all the world — have always enjoyed the occasional diversion from our bigger, more difficult troubles.

In 1801, for example, President Thomas Jefferson created one of those “international incidents” at a diplomatic dinner by choosing to escort Dolley Madison to the White House dinner table, rather than the wife of the British ambassador.

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