Brutal. Donald Trump has landed a flurry of fatal blows on the already vulnerable pretense of virtue, otherwise known as hypocrisy. Armed with the pathological weapons of unapologetic flipflops on positions, unrepentant broken promises and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, he has successfully desensitized society to honesty and integrity — virtues that once kept our disdain for hypocrisy alive.
Trump’s word now is nothing more than a tool for pandering, fear-mongering and making hollow promises – in another word, worthless. Having cried and lied wolf so often we’ve stopped paying attention.
Lower taxes, bring jobs back, destroy ISIS, build a wall, drain the swamp … “Make America Great Again” — such rhetoric has even become tiresome fodder for pundits and comedians.
Judging by his popularity polls, the public is tuning out the Trump show. The news media is challenged to keep a straight face. Hypocrisy used to spell political doom for its practitioners. Now we’ve become so immune toward this serious character flaw that what once justified righteous indignation now is dismissed by “whatever.” Hypocrisy no longer registers; it is dead to us.
Hypocrisy’s demise did not happen in isolation, however. It took an army of tone-deaf witnesses, sympathizers and accomplices. His staff of sycophants, the swampy billionaire donors, his delusional supporters, and fake news purveyors and connoisseurs – all are complicit.
In fairness, before hypocrisy reached its inevitable demise with Trump, it was nurtured and tortured for centuries.
In declaring independence, Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers stated, “all men are created equal.” It was these slave owners, America’s original sinners, who began carving Mount Hypocrisy to which Trump is haughtily inserting his bust.
The history of abuse of hypocrisy is truly sad; but comical, too.
“Washington, D.C. is to lying what Wisconsin is to cheese,” Dennis Miller said.
And Robin Williams observed, “Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed frequently, and for the same reason.”
Post mortem: We’re left to judge the hypocrite-in-chief and other politicians solely by their actions and disregard their words. And hope one day the populace will wise up and return to hypocrisy the status of contempt it deserves.