By Jonathon Van Maren
“As I got older,” Ed West writes in his recent book Small Men on the Wrong Side of History: The Decline, Fall and Unlikely Return of Conservatism, “I came to accept all my political stances are effectively based on irrational feelings of annoyance about smugness and sanctimony.”
West’s sentiment is widespread to the point that it may be one of the factors driving today’s populism—and the United Nations’ hilarious attempt to lecture all of us on how to speak earlier this week is a nearly perfect example of the sort of priggishness he’s referring to.
“What you say matters,” tweeted the person running the UN’s Twitter account, surely aware that he was about to be ratioed by a tsunami. “Help create a more equal world by using gender-neutral language if you’re unsure about someone’s gender or are referring to a group,” the tweet continued.