When Yale President Peter Salovey caves again to some irrational demand from SJW Snowflakes, he doesn’t give in because he believes their position is correct. He surrenders because resisting would not be nice.
The Left has weaponized Niceness and routinely intimidates everyone with the threat of being excluded from the circle of the Nice People.
Thales has had it with Niceness.
Popularity and the desire to be liked are at the center of our contemporary political disasters. One of the general rules of rhetoric Iâ€™ve observed is a tendency for the nicest opinion to be preferred to the not-nice, all other things being equal. If, for instance, I were to say that most poor people in America are poor due to bad choices, and another were to say that most people in America were poor due to no fault of their own, the latter is more palatable. It is nicer. And since it is nicer, it is generally preferred by popular opinion irrespective of whether or not it is actually correct.
Socially, it is easier to lay blame on â€œthe systemâ€ or some other non-entity than to lay blame on specific individuals. Itâ€™s not your fault, itâ€™s the patriarchy! Itâ€™s the racists, the sexists, the privileged, the heteronormative system of oppression. Whatever. The specific ephemeral system is not important. What is important is that it is easier to lay blame there, than on the person, especially if the individual in question is yourself.
For example, it is easier to blame white racism for the problems of the black community than to blame the black community itself, irrespective of which explanation (if either) is true. So when a debate breaks out, those who want to stick white racism with the blame have the home field advantage, so to speak. An opponent will have to win by enough to outweigh the rhetorical preference for nice.
This disease has infested our thinking to such a great degree that pacifism is generally accounted as morally superior to self-defense. It is better to die yourself, than to harm the criminal, because harming the criminal would not be nice.
Whether we consciously know it or not, this thinking is everywhere, and at some level all people are aware of it. Watch almost any political debate and you will notice the person espousing a â€œnot-niceâ€ opinion will invariably be apologetic; after all, he is quite sorry that his opinion isnâ€™t as nice as his opponentâ€™s. He doesnâ€™t want the spectators (the real arbiters of debate) to think heâ€™s a big meanie.
Note also that the debate opponent with the â€œnicerâ€ opinion will generally be quite ruthless and cruel to the not-nice debater. After all, since his opinion is not nice, it is permissible to treat him like shit in order to change his opinion into the nice. Furthermore, it exposes his not-niceness for the spectators to see, this winning the debate for the nice. This shows us that this form of rhetorical niceness is conditional. Do not harm the criminal who breaks into your house, but feel free to punch Rightists, because their not-niceness proves they are all Nazis.
This ties into Weaponized Empathy; the notion that your own good nature and desire to be seen as righteous can be turned against you with one sad picture, with one sob story. What, you donâ€™t want to push granny off a cliff, right?