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Playground Quarreling, and the Hypocrisy of Politics

Dave Randall

Posted on June 11, 2018 21:26

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Determining sinner or savior depends on what side they're on.

Truth can be found in the words and actions of children. There's an honesty in their behavior that informs us on so many levels. Particularly when it comes to politics. It's jarring to realize that what's considered infantile or childish applies to so serious a matter as our politics. Sides are drawn, people and ideas, and the chatter is ultimately like kids engaged in playground quarreling. "Are not. Am too! Did not. Did too! 

Particularly now, particularly with a president and majority party in congress, buoyed by at least one powerful national media outlet, all resolute in deeming compromise or common ground as surrender. Our national discourse and political beliefs, have degenerated into a vintage Ken-L-Ration commercial: "My dog's better than your dog. He eats Ken-L-Ration, my dog's better than yours!"

A given politician could be an cad, with alleged or admitted affairs or perversions. To his or her base, regardless of guilt assumed or denied, support remains stable. Lower the yoke of the same sins or misdemeanors onto the shoulders of an opposing incumbent or candidate and these allegations generate cries for an arrest warrant. 

Hypocrisy is not one of the seven deadly sins, but it is a human flaw that's not admirable. It's omnipresent in every political disagreement. No one seems to be able to get a clear- eyed fix on a problem or issue without first listing the other's peccadilloes or psychoses. Again, my dog's better than your dog.

When a charismatic religious leader says the sexual behavior of his party's standard bearer is forgiven, it should follow that the sexual scandals of his opponent should be pardoned, as well. Here is a glaring example of this hypocrisy: both should be either unilaterally condemned or forgiven. In our politics, today, it's not judge lest ye be judged. Condemnation pours like rapids in the direction of those on the opposing side. 

In a peculiar way, it's reassuring to know politics has always been like this. Because the web and social media make harsh opinion ubiquitous, and due to our sitting President's pugnacity, 2018 is rivaled in its penchant for rage only by periods of war, depression, and cultural upheaval. Ugliness has reared its head, and the gainsay is lethal; the hypocrisy virulent. 

It's a chronic illness. It can't be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled. Those in the electorate who are staunch, rigid as rebar in their beliefs, seem unable to comprehend that their unwavering stances are stoked, their fears fed, hatreds rationalized, weaknesses massaged.

Children are honest with their feelings until they learn to do otherwise. Playground gainsay grows into the hypocrisy of politics. We are stuck in this morass, manipulated, with a vast swath of the population not understanding that childish quarreling still goes nowhere.

Until such a time, short lived though it may be, that another neuropath can find its way into our collective thinking, we may want to embrace our inner child, then remember we're grown.

 

Dave Randall

Posted on June 11, 2018 21:26

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Source: stltoday.com

He beats Brewers to provide leadership in the absence of Martinez and Wainwright.

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