William Falk, Editor-in-chief of The Week, comments about the broader social trend of asserting individual expression as epitomized by the trend of taking “emotional support” animals on planes:

As David Leonhardt put it in The New York Times this week [Link], the support animal is one more piece of proof we live in a culture that “fetishizes individual preference and expression over communal well-being.” The credo of this culture is simple and shameless: I am the center of the universe. What I want is what I need, and who cares how what I need affects you? This worldview, unfortunately, is promoted and magnified by technology that encapsulates people in a bubble of personal preferences. Thus it is that public places are filled with oblivious morons loudly running their mouths on smartphones, or plowing down crowded sidewalks with their ears plugged and their downturned heads buried in texts. In fetishizing individual expression, social media has fouled the virtual public square with bile and menace. In national politics, there are no longer any commonly agreed upon facts, no basic standards of decency-just tribes fighting for dominance. If you disagree, you’re an un-American loser.

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