Chilton Williamson Jr, editor at Chronicles Magazine, provides a definition of what the British call “virtue signaling,” in the November 3 issue of the magazine. The article is “The Easiness of Being Liberal”:
Virtue signaling is an act of affirmation of some liberal value or shibboleth, intended to establish or reaffirm the sender’s reputation as a socialized, politically correct, and tolerant person. Even the strongest political conservatives—people who believe in the free market and resist statism, support a strong military defense, and go to church every Sunday—participate in virtue signaling to display their generous intentions, maintain social harmony, and compensate for their illiberal opinions regarding fundamental political, economic, and social issues. In this way they unconsciously grow acclimated to liberal society until they are no more aware of it than of the natural atmosphere they breathe—even if the reality of liberal social dominance breaks in upon them occasionally, like a bad-tasting, bad-smelling, choking smog.
Virtue signaling is one aspect of the urgent exhortative tone characteristic of modern liberal society—the “OK, guys—let’s all go out today and do our ethical thing!” society.