From Kevin Williamson in National Review, The Distraction Storm:

What we do at the personal level, we also do at the political level. That is why we are so fixated on statues put up a century ago and on the average daily temperatures a century hence — anything to avoid looking soberly at our real troubles in the here and now.

What is necessary to understand in the present is that our current cultural convulsion — the constant, distracting storm of outrage and panic and hatred and denunciation that plays out over social media and in real life every day — is being used as moral camouflage for failing institutions, from city governments to federal agencies and from the college campus to the commanding heights of media and technology. The burghers of the Bay Area won’t be around to comment on the weather in 100 years, and they’d much rather not talk about what’s happening down at the corner drugstore right now.

It is important for governments to look to the future and to understand history — planting trees under the shade of which we never will sit and all that. But governments at all levels also have a responsibility to the here and now, to the clear and present, to the local and the ordinary — a responsibility to see what is in front of their noses and, when necessary, try to do something useful in response to it.


Virtue signaling trumps the grinding work of governing.  The more the local government focus on existential problems which they can affect little impact the more they neglect the problems they were elected to solve. The more they address climate change, the less likely the potholes will be mended.

This parallels the advice of Jordan Peterson; before you lecture the world how to mend its ways get your own house in order.