Wednesday, July 25, 2007

On Hypocrisy

Over at the BBA I respond to Kevin's comment on Michael Moore's sick (dollar wise) Sicko. It isn't doing well and despite this failure, I note Michael Moore is a guy who invests in the companies he condemns, shelters his wealth from the taxman, and drives the hired help hard.

That is, Michael Moore kicks capitalism by day and sleeps with it by night. Nothing wrong with the later part and I am opposed to his rhetoric.

The blog elicited some comments the most interesting of which is this:
Are you complaining about hypocrisy in general? Are you complaining about bad manners and profiteering? Because there's plenty of this on all sides. I eagerly await your observation of those on the right who engage in hypocrisy, being rude to the help, or profiting from investments in businesses who don't align completely with their press releases.
Source: John Faust's Comment
Interesting. What I want to do is to explore the idea of hypocrisy a bit. First off, after about the age of 25 or so the idea of screaming hypocrisy at its first sign to me started looking like ripping on a guy because he can not bench press a ton. That is to say – hypocrisy is a fundamental human weakness.

John further takes me to task for not winnowing out the hypocrites on my side of the debate. Well, John appears to have his own blog and can have at it if he wants.

Cheap Rhetoric

Charges of hypocrisy typically amounts to little more than cheap rhetoric. So, while I will not refrain from pointing out differences between an individuals actions and words I will not say Ah-ha! You hypocrite, I caught you! Of course, some may note the line between pointing out action & word discrepancies is mighty thin. It is, but the difference is I will not focus on the discrepancy as much as whatever is desirable.

But a Potent Club

Charges of hypocrisy work well against those who seriously hold themselves to standards or codes of conduct. Get caught going against your standards or your code of conduct expect to be bludgeoned with the club of hypocrisy. I despise that reaction because hypocrisy is a fundamental weakness of humanity. Of course there are those who find no problem avoiding hypocrisy; those who hold themselves or others to no standards.

If it is anything goes in your world then you are never a hypocrite. How simple, but can you imagine what life would be like?


No, the person caught running afoul of their own standards should be dealt with mercifully. Do not trumpet their failures, allow them the chance to repent. If they do not repent then they are not hypocrites they are something else.

It is the lack of mercy that causes many problems in our political debate. We demonize (however, I am not going to chide anyone for demonizing Osama Bin Laden, Zawahiri, et al they mean to kill us or make us submit to Islam) the Democrats or Republicans by calling them traitors or racists and then act aghast when the favor is returned. What a treasonous so & so is that D. OMG! that D just called me a racist & vice versa.

Yeah, we are taught to fight for our views & beliefs but we should not go to the brink with each other.