Wednesday, November 30, 2016

No, Michael Gerson, hypocrisy is not O.K.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 10:51 AM

It’s hard to say which is more stomach-turning, the nonsensical things Donald Trump says or the half-witted things Trump’s supporters say in an effort to normalize him: “He’s a businessman, not a politician.” “He’s not erratic, he’s unpredictable.” Or my personal favorite, “He isn’t a racist, he just isn’t afraid to say what everyone else is thinking.”

We’ve learned that in Trump’s world, up is down and black is white. Virtually nothing the man says is factually reliable or should be taken at face value because he’ll either deny he said it or try to spin its meaning later.

Trump is busy backpedaling on many of his campaign promises or in normalization-talk, modifying them to fit reality.

Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson may have just shattered the absurdity ceiling in a recent column where he attempts to turn Trump’s particular brand of hypocrisy into something good for America. 

“A just and peaceful society depends on hypocrites who ultimately refuse to abandon the ideals they betray,” writes Gerson. Hmmm. Try selling that one to the victims of some fairly notorious hypocrites: Hitler, Stalin, or Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, for that matter.

Rather than an electorate informed with facts, Gerson seems to excuse hoodwinking voters with cons, wild cards, and magic tricks.

“Trump presents a special case, in which the normal criticisms of political hypocrisy should be suspended,” he says.

The hypocrisy virus has spread to Congress. Republicans who can't wait to begin investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails and swore they would get to the bottom of alleged conflicts of interest with the Clinton Foundation have no interest in whether Trump’s businesses present a conflict of interest. Or whether Russia, a foreign government, actively tried to influence US elections. Didn’t we apply sanctions to Russia for meddling in Ukraine’s elections?

And what does Gerson think of the Constitution? Were the founders hypocrites when they wrote it?

Sorry Mr. Gerson, but the idea that Trump’s hypocrisy should be overlooked because he has some other redeeming quality is plain old crazy talk. You’re saying it’s O.K. for politicians to feed the public lies for some greater good. If that’s the case, why bother with elections at all? Why not just turn the American government over to a paternalistic billionaire who can further enrich himself and his allies, and then decide what’s fit for the rest of us?

Oh, that’s right. We already did.

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