Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hypocrisy Hunting in the Urban Wild Lands

Voting in An Imperfect World: "Oh, Daddy which one's the saint?"
How We Avoid All Possible Humiliation While Electing and Supporting Nobody 35

“Hey! Bill!” Johnnie called as he entered the neighborhood diner.

“Johnnie. Didn’t see you this weekend at the bowling alley.” his friend replied good naturedly.

“Yeah. Larry and I went into the city.” Johnnie answered, looking at the menu.

“What for? Did you have a good time?” Bill asked casually.

“Yeah. Yeah we did.” Johnnie answered, now concentrating on the menu.

“So, what d’ya do? Bar hopping? Girl hunting?” Bill asked, eager and curious.

“Well, we did go hunting, just not for girls.” Johnnie answered, pointing to his choice on the menu.

“You mean, uh, boys?” the younger man asked, puzzled.

“No. No. Nothing like that. We went to that hypocrisy hunting club that Larry belongs to. Spent the weekend going through old newspapers, reading speeches and stuff, then looking for hypocrisy in stories about what the politicians did instead of what they said they were gonna’ do.” Johnnie answered patiently.

“Hmm. What was that like? Did you ‘get’ any?” Bill responded, still unsure what he was talking about.

“Yeah. Yeah, we got some. Larry landed a big one from some Congressman in the fifth district. He won the floor prize. The guy had just lied his ass off around election time, then, once that was kinda’ over, it was just like he had a list of the exact opposite. Ole’ Larry got a real nice portable radio, brand new in a box and everything.” Johnnie’s account of the meeting rambled on.

“You mean, that Congressman was a crook?” Bill asked excitedly.

“No, that’s the whole deal, Bill. The hypocrites do stuff that isn’t exactly illegal, so they just go on, hoping that nobody notices. Actually, they usually score lots more money than the dead out crooks who take bribes and do crimes and stuff.”

“I caught a couple of little ones. Well, one of ‘em wasn’t bad. Some City Councilman who turned out to be a real estate shark and a racist. You know, the guy went exactly against what he was pretending to be to get elected.” Johnnie boasted nonchalantly.

“What about the other one?” asked Bill, now obviously interested.

“Oh, it was okay. I guess I got excited all right. That one was my first catch of the night. First catch ever, if you know what I mean. But everybody there said that I should just “throw him back in” and not say nothin’. They all thought that he’d just go on feeding until he was a lot better catch for someone else, you know, later.” Johnnie explained.

“So, if Larry got the second prize, who got the first?” Bill asked.

“These two old ladies shared first prize. They lived together, retired and all, and both of ‘em are absolute dead-eye on the internet. They trotted out their stuff for everyone at the club meeting, and you could have heard a pin drop. Holy cats!” Johnnie answered.

“Who’d they get?” Bill asked.

“Actually more than one guy, but one main catch. Some preacher in one of those mega-churches. The guy had a boy friend on the side besides being married, lots of drugs and stuff, but even more than that. The whole Spiritual Leadership Council for that church was screwin’ their dues payin’ members, investing the money in some company that made religious books, buyin’ the books for way too much, then billin’ the church. Let me tell ya’. This whole stinkin’ bunch wasn’t working for chick peas, either.” Johnnie explained.

“The old ladies, Irma and Beth, snagged this video of the most outrageous ‘Better than Thou’ crap that the whole bunch of ‘em were spewing out in their church. Those two old gals peddled their story to the tv station. The hypocrisy club gets 10% when that happens. It’s great.” he continued. "I guess they were the same ones who got the Senator with the hooker problem and the other guy from the air port bathroom, you know the one who "isn't gay," when the pair of 'em wrote the Defend Marriage Amendment."

"Wow, those guys were, like, Republicans or somethin', right?"
Bill answered.

"See, you're gettin" it! You'd like the club meetings." Johnnie answered, encouragingly.

“I always feel, like, extra righteous. You know, 'clean,' after one of those meetings. Hey, we’re goin’ back next weekend. Why don’t you jump in?” Johnnie mentioned as the waitress delivered his lunch

Hypocrisy hunting cannot replace serious thought when considering which candidate to select in an election. It can be a factor, of course, but as a simple measure, it will do very little to express one’s ambitions for the future of the country. Yes, hypocrisy is a subtle form of outright lying. No, it does not mean that a candidate should be “thrown under the bus” based solely on whether or not he has ever been hypocritical.

Yes, it does mean that if that candidate is elected, he should know that we are watching. As far as “blow hard” conspiracy theories, maybe it is time to start having some thoughts of our own instead of simply relying on how much mud we can pitch. If you find yourself thinking that “detecting hypocrisy” is a responsible way to chose a candidate, you have been “hoodwinked.”

We will never have a perfect candidate. We should never elect someone who presents himself as a saint. He’s lying and we’re buying into it. We should probably never elect someone who is absolutely devoid of any hypocrisy. He is managing the media.

We will have to realistically consider what we want in our leadership. Unexamined and relentless fear and greed may be great fodder for a tantrum, but aimless paranoia is not a reasonable arena to decide who we will elect.

We will have to vote as adults.

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