Friday, April 1, 2011

Hypocratic lying government officials, and why it matters (do we live in a Hypocracy or Democracy?)

Politicians lie, right? That statement is frequently used to sweep hypocrisy and lies under the rug. Why bother complaining because they all do it? Maybe the general consensus is that these lies don't matter and not worth the bother. To me it is important and galling some of the lies being perpetrated.

When the Congressman serving as the House Majority Leader suggests to a news reporter a course of action that's patently unconstitutional, is that important? When a politician calls for bombing a particular country, then two weeks later says we shouldn't be bombing that country, is that important? When a political party makes a lot of electoral hay calling for Constitutional rule, enacts rules of Congressional conduct requiring citations of Constitutional justification, and then does not follow their own newly enacted rule, is that important? When a Congressperson has a public facade of "Family Values" complaining about extramarital sexual affairs of others, but then gets caught redhanded in their own sexual pecadillo escapade and refuses to acknowledge it or resign or anything, is that important?

A couple definitions might bring this into focus:

Hypocracy (urban dictionary):

What Democracy turns into when all of the politicians in your country are liars.

When no party/President that wins the election manages to keep its/his own ideology, and instead, keeps changing it every time it/he feels like it, that's no democracy. That's hypocracy.

A democracy governed by hypocrites.

The British government advocates moral standards to which it does not conform. Britain's political system is therefore a hypocracy.

Hypocrisy (dictionary.com)

  1. a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.
  2. a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude.
  3. an act or instance of hypocrisy.

What these definitions are saying is a disconnect between stated ideology and actual action.

The writings of Christianity include a principle: By their fruits ye shall know them

This comes from traditional agriculture. How do you decide whether to grow one plant or another? It's whether the plant is useful for food production, or, whether the fruit of the tree is edible, nutritious and tasty, or whether it's poisonous or repugnant. You can only tell this from the fruit.

What is the "fruit" of hypocritical politicians?

What's engendered by the atmosphere indicated by the synonyms of 'hypocrisy'? (affectation, bad faith, bigotry, cant, casuistry, deceit, deception, dishonesty, display, dissembling, dissimulation, double-dealing, duplicity, false profession, falsity, fraud, glibness, imposture, insincerity, irreverence, lie, lip service, mockery, pharisaicalness, pharisaism, phoniness, pietism, quackery, sanctimoniousness, sanctimony, speciousness, unctuousness - from http://thesaurus.com/browse/hypocrisy)