We all have our moments of hypocrisy, but if we’re ever going to move forward in this country, politically, economically, racially, sexually, socially or in any other fashion, we need to keep our hypocritical actions small and infrequent.
Being a fairly left-leaning guy on most issues, I could choose to beat up solely on conservatives, as they have a strong track record of hypocrisy, especially lately. People still insist Barack Obama isn’t a U.S. citizen and keep insisting he prove it even though he already has; but no one raised any significant peep about John McCain having been born outside the United States when he ran for president. Obama is supposedly a socialist for trying to reform the healthcare system and ensure that everyone can get care, yet Tea Party types and others who blast him on that ignore the fact that their symbol of conservatism, Ronald Reagan did “socialist” things, too, like sign into law that emergency rooms had to treat anyone who came in, regardless of whether they had insurance or ability to pay. “Cap and trade” programs to help rein in pollution are now somehow left-wing, even though it was conservatives who ushered in such ideas over the objections of environmentalists.
Just a few examples. But the right isn’t alone in this.
Feminists, for example, have a history of trying to stamp out sexually explicit images of women, even though research doesn’t bear out that porn makes men more deviant and exploitation of women in that business isn’t the rampant beast they claim and even in the actual sex work (prostitution) industry, there are many women who chafe at being told they are exploited when they see it as a legitimate job in many cases. Yet those feminists want to dictate what women do with their bodies, even as they claim it is evil for right-wingers to control women’s reproduction, downplay rape or for men, in places like some Arab nations (for example) to dictate how women dress. Either women are free to make their choices or they are not. You cannot pick and choose. And then there is the issue, as my wife pointed out recently as part of a blog post, of the divide between white and non-white feminists and the racial baggage carried there among people who would decry racism in other venues.
Then there are people on the left who talk a good game about free speech and how the right tramples all over it, but then try to shut down people with whom they don’t agree, justifying that they know which speech is truly hurtful and non-productive. And then many of them ignore the notion of religious liberty. They see so many rampaging Christians who trample other religions that they try to prevent people from celebrating Christmas or offering Christmas greetings, as if browbeating one group for their beliefs is the same as championing the beliefs of others.
Hypocrisy is ugly. Everywhere. Right, left or middle. Most of our beliefs have some validity at their core, but none of us is “right.” We all come with our own baggage. But if we heap our beliefs and views on others and shut theirs down…committing the same crime as they do…we advance nothing.
This was a nation founded on liberty, and it’s high time we stopped telling people what to do with their own bodies, what to say and how to express their culture. We don’t have to agree. But we do have to be fair, whether we like it or not.