Sunday, September 02, 2007

On Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy isn't merely saying one thing but sometimes doing another. Nor is it simply having a double standard - lionizing Anita Hill, say, but trashing Paula Jones (or vice versa). Hypocrisy is worse than that. It's a form of duplicity. A hypocrite is one who doesn't believe the moral views he proclaims and violates them routinely in his own life.

So who is a hypocrite? The antidrug zealot who cheerfully tokes up with his friends. The "family-values" politician who blasts the sins of others while blithely carrying on affairs of his own. The public champion of women's rights who privately treats women like dirt. The cleric who preaches chastity and abstinence, but is a serial pedophile behind closed doors.

Hypocrisy is deceit, not weakness; a vice, not a blind spot. Larry Craig has much to atone for. But the charge of hypocrisy seems to me a bum rap.

Who in the world has not, at some point in their lives, not lived up to their own standard of moral behaviour?

Who has not preached one thing, and done another?

Hypocrisy has become a buzz word to condemn anyone who does not live up to his own standards, especially when those standards do not correspond to leftism.

In order for the word not to lose its power, it should be saved for the real hypocrites.

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