February 14th, 2018

Hypocrisy is a common theme between both progressives and conservatives. People don’t like being told that they are bad because of a certain trait or behavior when the accuser exhibits that particular trait or practices—often secretly—that particular behavior. Think the phrase: The pot calling the Kettle Black (fascinatingly attribute to Michael Cervantes’s Sancho Panza).

Progressives, in my experience, are quick to marginalize or eject hypocrites from their own ranks, but conservatives are less so. Sin is acceptable as long as the offender: A. maintains a sufficiently low profile, B. mouths the right words and B. casts the right votes. Two issues are prominent in this debate: family values, i.e. sexual impropriety as defined by conservatives and abortion. Conservative may break either taboo with impunity as long as they do so in secret.

Dan McLaughlin, writing in Hypocrisy Is Better Than Its Opposite for National Review, explains:

As I’ve argued for years, what is far worse than hypocritically standing up for good in public while doing bad in private is to let your own private sins deter you from doing good in public. I would much prefer to see a wicked man be a hypocrite and vote for what is right and good, rather than choose consistency and advocate for wrongdoing. And if he finds himself without the courage to be a hypocrite when right and wrong are on the line, well, that’s exactly why private character always matters in public officials.

McLaughlin’s argument, of course, is all about defending against this threat: If you condemn Roy Moore, Rob Porter, &c. &c., then how can you defend President Donald John Trump? That inevitable comparison scares the bejesus out of conservatives. So far Trump has dodged those bullets—and they called President William Jefferson Clinton slick—but as the accusations and evidence piles higher and higher, the shit hill will eventually slide down on conservatives.

Only a hypocrite could find the courage to be a hypocrite; to be brave enough to deny or condemn others for trespasses they themselves commit. I do seem to remember something from my child hood about forgiving our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us?

Sorry Danny, that dog don’t hunt.

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