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Saturday Night Live

I’m a hypocrite

Maybe we all are. Let’s give it up for the holidays.

Jeffrey Denny

We love calling bullshit on each other. Political “discourse” on social media would dry up like an un-brined turkey if we stopped accusing one another of hypocrisy. Thanksgiving tables would devolve to love and peace, more boring than grandma’s boiled green beans.

Democrats love to point out that Republicans, the party of traditional American and Christian family values, defend Trump’s grabbing and Roy Moore’s girl trouble. And that red states have more social pathology — teen pregnancy, divorce and prostitution — than blue states. And that GOP districts hate taxes and government handouts while taking more from, and paying less to, the federal coffers. On any question of ethics, somehow Trump is rubber and Hillary is glue. And so on.

Republicans love to point out that Democrats are the party of feminists but also woman-abusers like Weinstein, Clinton, Franken, C.K., Rose and more to come. Hollywood moguls preach climate change but wallow in lavish mansions and jet in fuel-guzzling luxury Gulfstreams. Democrats hate big business and its fealty to shareholders while depending on the jobs, goods and services, healthy economy and pensions and retirement accounts that business provides. And so forth.

Trump Country says a pox on both parties — all Washington politicians, Republican or Democrat, are hypocrites — but demands their congressmen bring home the pork and FEMA aid, but also slash government spending and taxes, but also protect Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security (which are terrible and the portions are too small) and a strong defense, together which make up the vast majority of federal spending. So they’re accused of being hypocrites about hypocrisy.

C’mon, folks, let’s face it: We’re all hypocrites. The biggest hypocrites are people who say they’re not, or the other guy is a bigger one. But nobody’s logically consistent all the time. We like to think it, declare it, and hold others to our exceptional standards of honesty, integrity, and clarity of thought and belief. We’re all Horton who hatches the egg — we mean what we say and we say what we mean. And we’re gifted at rationalizing our way out of logical Gordian knots so we can feel right and righteous. Or we try to drop the issue or shift the argument to more favorable ground like the Packers at Lambeau Field.

We quote the Bible, the U.S. Constitution and our favorite facts and media that support our views, ignoring that they — and the people who produced them — are often so logically pretzeled you need several beers to wash it all down. Like the slave-owning Founders who declared we’re all equal. Or when Bannon’s Breitbart accuses Matt Drudge of purveying fake news.

But there I go — calling those I disagree with hypocrites. That makes this piece carping about hypocrisy the height of hypocrisy.

So yes, I’m a hypocrite. But for this, the holiday season, through Thanksgiving and into the New Year, I’m going to try to dispense with calling out hypocrisy. And make it my 2018 resolution to give it up for good.

Or if I can’t make it to February 14, I’ll give it up for Lent. Not that I can claim to be a good Catholic, at least not without being a hypocrite.

Join me, my fellow hypocrites?

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer

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