How the PC Infection Spreads

How the PC Infection Spreads, by Jonah R., a reader of Rod Dreher.

In recent weeks, I’ve watched as people I’ve called friends since I was a teenager suddenly turned into rabid Jacobins. Six weeks ago they were middle-aged white suburbanites who didn’t care about much but superhero movies, video games, and sports. Most of them haven’t read a book in 20 years. But now, as if a lightning strike gave them superpowers, they’re all authorities on Civil War history, black culture, and race relations, and they see it as their job to preach to the rest of us.

I finally realized the other day why they all seem … possessed. They’re using language that isn’t their own. They’re using poetic turns of phrase and vocabulary they’re just not capable of coming up with themselves. They have instant rebuttals to even the most gentle criticism, as if there’s a central site where they can cut a pre-fabricated response and then paste it to Facebook under their own names. …

I can handle different opinions, strong opinions, and even crazy opinions. Back when we were young, our group of friends spanned the ideological spectrum. We used to debate all sorts of issues in our idiotic, ill-informed way, sometimes with ad hominem attacks, but then we’d all go out to Denny’s and bond until 3 in the morning.

But something has changed forever. After 35 years of friendship, I no longer trust these people. When I say things like, “hey, guys, maybe we shouldn’t ban ‘Golden Girls’ episodes or tear down statues of abolitionists,” I’m usually met with stony silence, which tells me that behind the scenes on social media, they’re speculating about the other forbidden opinions I surely must hold, even though I support all of the police reforms that were supposed to have been the point of all this crap in the first place. If I don’t say anything, they post memes informing everyone that “silence equals complicity.” For the first time, I believe these people I thought were my friends would sell me out for a nanosecond of woke social media glory.

Fortunately, I have a great wife and plenty of other friends, and my social media activity has always been extremely limited anyway. I’ll be fine. But there’s a growing hole in my heart where most of my oldest friends used to be. I literally don’t recognize them anymore. They’ve joined a new religion, and I’m a heretic. When things settle down and return to some semblance of normal, having seen what I’ve seen, would I want to be friends with them again in the first place?

Yep, been there, done that. The family I grew up in did that too. They have the excuse that they work professionally in a milieu where you must have PC opinions or you don’t get jobs or promotions.