Hypocrisy is an essential element in politics.
Nobody likes a hypocrite including the hypocritical. Yet the disease inflicts everyone, and nearly everyone denies it. Statesman Patrick Henry was a rare exception, noting in a letter to a noted abolitionist that in regards to slavery “I will not — I cannot justify it, however culpable my conduct.” Perhaps I inherited his genetics via my Henry ancestry because I confess that despite my libertarian predisposition, I do enjoy the side effects of smokeless barrooms.
Examine your life closely enough, and you will uncover countless moments of ideological inconsistency.
No party or persuasion is immune. Many small government Republicans remained silent during the Bush administration’s race to outspend all previous administrations, though they have been very vocal as Obama made Bush’s fiscal excess seem miserly by comparison. Recently the political left showed it twice in amazingly sinister forms.
Last year San Francisco elected a new sheriff who shortly before taking office physically abused his wife. San Francisco is neck deep in women’s rights, making battered women a social cause second only to homosexual rights (which makes bruised lesbians the most sacred protected class here). The perp who wanted to wear a badge was a local champion of all thing left of Mao, a veritable Gawd in the local liberal pantheon. This put women’s’ rights advocates squarely between Joe Biden’s brains and a hard place, by needing to publicly assail the new sheriff and demand he not be allowed to enforce laws he himself ignored.
This proved unnecessary with the aid of silent hypocrisy. The “man” will take office thanks to left-leaning city supervisors who are giving him a pass on assault and wife battery.
A more insidious form of hypocrisy appears when personifications are reversed. For reasons too numerous to catalog, branding someone as a racist has become the favored defamation of the intellectually weak. When finding someone whose opinion they disagree with, some lefties with insufficient dendra density immediately brand opponents as racist. Even innocent and indirect policy disagreements with our transient mocha latte president cause volcanic eruptions of racist allegations.
Even against a black/Latina/Caribbean actress.
The theory is that political hypocrisy is necessary because the moment one admits to personal imperfections in politicians and alliances, one hands the opposition a weapon and shows weakness. Bill Clinton didn’t invent plausible deniability, but practiced it with fervor because admitting to sins, crimes and bad judgment would have weakened his image and made dictating difficult. Many Republicans pinched their noses fiercely in 2004 despite Bush the Lesser governing in ways repugnant to traditional Republican theory.
Yet hypocrisy increases the burden on the hypocrit, weighing heavily on his conscious and causing the public embarrassment of defending the indefensible. Would politicians keep faith with the constitution, their positions and constituents, many men would be saved the desperation of such duplicity.