The Cambridge Dictionary defines hypocrisy as “Pretending to be what you are not, or pretending to believe something that you do not.”
It doesn’t give Republican lawmakers as examples, but it should, because they fit the definition more than any group in the nation’s history.
Take their hypocritical emphasis on “family values.” If they truly believed in family values, they wouldn’t remain silent about the Donald Trump administration’s policy of separating refugee children from their parents, refusing to allow those children to have legal representation in the courts, refusing to have them vaccinated, leaving them for months in fenced cages without adequate water, food, clothing or a clean and decent place to sleep.
If they believed in family values, they’d be in an uproar over the children who were finally released, but are unaccounted for. We don’t hear a peep about that from most Republican lawmakers or from many of Trump’s base of Evangelical Christians and other supporters.
How do the president’s 12,000-plus lies represent family values? And why do Republican lawmakers remain silent as he, for just one example, falsely claims China is paying the tariffs when it’s American businesses and consumers who are? Is it now moral to lie whenever it’s convenient? What does that tell our children?
If Republicans really are concerned about family values, why did they elect a man who admitted he sexually assaulted women and barged into the dressing rooms of teenage pageant contestants? Not only that, but he cheated on all three wives and paid porn stars for their silence. Are those the family values they cherish?
And how do his supporters who cheer at his rallies rationalize the hypocrisy of chanting, “Drain the swamp!” after he has appointed the swampiest creatures to head the nation’s most important departments and agencies? Some of them are so unethical, they were forced to leave or were fired, but their replacements are as bad or worse.
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Consider our national parks and public lands set aside to preserve their beauty and the wildlife that flourishes there. Years ago, the American people decided they wanted those pristine areas to be preserved so all of us, and those who come after us, could enjoy them. Under Republican President Richard Nixon, the Environmental Protection Agency was created because it was evident that, unless they were regulated, big businesses would destroy our air and water in the name of their own profits. From then until Trump was elected, there has been great progress.
Now, Trump’s appointees, many of whom are former lobbyists for the fossil fuel industries, want to auction off the rights to mine, drill and frack for gas in our national parks and public lands, and to take animals off the endangered species list even though they’re still threatened. Trump’s swamp is filled with billionaires and tools of the biggest polluters who want to destroy all the good that’s happened under other administrations.
For one example, William Perry Pendley, the man in charge of the Bureau of Land Management, spent years as a lawyer for fossil fuel industries and suing the government because of its protections of fish and wildlife. Pendley has said he believes all federal land should be sold, so he’s obviously not interested in protecting our national parks or other public lands. People who said they wanted to drain the swamp, yet continue to support a president who doesn’t care about our wildlife, air, land and water, are some of the best examples of hypocrites.
Then there are the claims that Republican lawmakers are fiscally conservative. Tell that to your kids and grandchildren as they’re forced to pay off the historic national debt that’s been approved by the Republicans and their president. They’ve given billions to filthy rich oil, coal and gas companies, and don’t make a peep over the many millions we taxpayers are paying to Trump properties so the president can entertain and golf there instead of staying in Washington and working as he promised he would during his campaign.
Then there are the right-wing hypocrites on Fox News who were aghast when President Barack Obama wore a tan suit and when Michelle Obama wore a sleeveless dress. Isn’t it funny they don’t say a word about Trump encouraging Russian interference in our elections, or that Melania Trump regularly wears sleeveless dresses and posed nude in several photo shoots when she was a model? Can you imagine what they’d have said if Michelle Obama had done that?
Most Americans, including many Republicans, are waking up though, and realizing their votes are the only means to stop the hypocrisy and assaults on true American values. If our election systems aren’t corrupted, it just might work.