Cornering the market on hypocrisy
It is a basic fact of political argument and policy that hypocrites can be both smart or stupid.
For starters, there is a brand of hypocrisy we might call intelligently selective. That is what happens when people know they are contradicting themselves and proceed with their plans or contentions anyway.
There is also a brand of hypocrisy based on ignorant denial. This is what happens when people contradict themselves without knowing any better.
The third brand of hypocrisy might be called manipulative hypocrisy. That is found in leaders that know how to leverage the allure of a hypocritical political or religious opinion for their own benefit.
Hypocrisy is nothing new in human history. Way back when Jesus bumped into the legalistic opinions and manipulations of religious leaders, he branded them “hypocrites” and a “brood of vipers” for doing so.
Their hypocrisy was built on the intelligently selective brand of hypocrisy. By pretending they were the most holy of sources on scripture and religious law, it was possible for those in power to present themselves as direct messengers of God.
Their success was dependent on the relative ignorance of a largely illiterate population whose own hypocrisy was of the ‘hand-me-down’ variety.
Secondhand, and unexamined
The market for hypocrisy in politics and religion has always been pretty ripe. As Mark Twain once said, “In religion and politics, most people’s opinions are gotten secondhand, and unexamined.”
He also said, “All it takes is ignorance and confidence, and success is sure.”
Thus we find that the vertical market for hypocrisy is both direct and self-affirming. The intelligently selective hypocrite knows how to hand out contradictory opinions with panache. We find modern examples of this in practice every day in politicians who claim to hate the very idea of government yet do everything in their power to claim it for their own.
Cornering the market
This is known as “cornering the market” on hypocrisy. Confuse the populace with a seeming disinterest in the object of your desires and then claim it for your own. Make promises of benefit and power to all that support you, especially those who embrace the ignorant form of hypocrisy.
When it all comes to bear, deny those promises were ever made. Do it with an apparently ignorant approach and the ignorant hypocrites will consider you one of their own until it’s too late to do anything about it.
And come to your defense as well. Because to be exposed as a hypocrite of either the intelligent or ignorant variety is anathema. That is why the very same people who raised hew and cry about one candidate’s emails seem to see no problem with the hacking activities of cyberattackers associated with a foreign government stealing emails from the opposition party.
It’s much more convenient and Party Loyal to be hypocritical than honest.
Free market hypocrisy
The hypocrisy method of public engagement works the same way in the free market and financial worlds. All it takes to corner a market is to get people leaning one way while you snap up the most desirable investments for yourself. It’s even possible to bet against the market and get rich quick if you know how.
One of the better ways to do this is to create investment products nearly guaranteed to fail and get people to buy them. Then buy up the products that seem contradictory to market trends. Hypocrisy is a practical tool in the financial world.
Springtime for Hitler
It works that way in the art of politics as well. Who can forget the unintentional success of the play Springtime For Hitler in The Producers. Those two producers set out to create the worst play ever but wound up with a smash hit because people really couldn’t make a distinction between what was reality and what was entertainment.
The intentional art of “greenwashing” was invented to help industries and politicans willing to destroy the environment for profit avoid being depicted as the “enemy” in the public eye. This is the practice of public relations hypocrisy. It is rampant in this world.
And that’s where we find ourselves today. Selectively intelligent hypocrisy has won the day. We now have a president-elect whose very persona is built on a foundation of selectively ignorant hypocrisy. This is a man who said that he could step out on the street with a gun and shoot someone dead and his popularity numbers would increase. It was the perfect metaphor to appeal to the hypocritically ignorant masses that confuse guns with true moral justice. The presidential candidate was only saying what ignorantly hypocritical people were already thinking about their guns and the right to use them.
The King of Hypocrisy
The market on hypocrisy is officially cornered. Even the Republicans who initially defied and denied their hypocritical candidate have rallied around the King of Hypocrisy. It’s the only chance they now have to deny everything they’ve done wrong and lied about the last 40 years. The Bush years that wrought 9/11, wars on false premises, torture and domestic failures ranging from Katrina to No Child Left Behind must all be denied and forgotten.
Most of all, the economic recession that was a direct result of Republican policies must be hypocritically denied by both intelligently selective hypocrites and the moronically naive hypocrites that care only that their side appears to be winning. Never mind that the policies of the incoming hypocrites are going to slash and devastate the ignorantly hypocritical voters that chose the new president-elect, and by proxy, the Swamp Dwellers up to their necks in hypocrisy.
They’ve truly cornered the market on hypocrisy this time around. Their smilingly hypocritical Commander-in-Chief has denied any involvement from Russia in handing him the office. This from a man that has acted like the Chief of Conspiracy Theorists the last 10 years of his life. Perhaps the bullet he just loaded in the gun to play Russian Roulette with his presidency will not be so forgiving once the truth is known. What goes around, comes around.
It’s all so ugly and obvious what has happened. Hypocrisy is the new national policy. It remains for honest Americans to call this ugly reality to account.