Several years ago, I defined a condition known as Huffingtonistis, in honor of that ubiquitous political celebrity Arianna Huffington:
Huffingtonitis, when one defines his political views and makes public statements in order to win social approval and/or acceptance.
Blogger Roger Simon, whom I cited in that post, offers a different spin on Ms. Huffington’s motivations to sell her eponymous Post to AOL:
Arianna Huffington is a brilliant businesswoman with an extraordinary sense of timing — first riding the feminist wave to write a best seller accusing Picasso of womanizing, then going conservative to marry a multi-millionaire Republican, and then switching to the liberal/progressive side and founding the most successful new media news and opinion site extant. . . .
Arianna has read the tea leaves. Progressivism, which was riding the crest of popularity on the election of Obama, is over. It is no longer good for business. And just as the stock market is said to be a leading indicator on business cycles, I submit Arianna’s track record has shown her to be a leading indicator on the zeitgeist. She knows when to get out. Obama, and by extension progressivism, is fini.
Read the whole thing. Is Ms. Huffington then more interested in following the zeitgeist (as is the pop star Madonna in following the latest musical fads) than in currying favor with the liberal social and cultural élite who dominant her current hometown?
In such case, she defines her views not in order to win social acceptance, but to head whichever way the wind blows.