Wednesday, February 15, 2006

READER RESPONSE -- More on liberal hypocrisy

Posted by Craig Westover | 10:27 AM |  

This Valentine appeared in yesterdays Pioneer Press Letters to the Editor.
Conservatives conserve wealth, privilege

Craig Westover could use a bit more rigor gauging the damage caused by the "failure to live according to one's values" of his fellow conservatives ("Liberal hypocrites should practice what they preach," Feb. 1). Does Westover miss the stunning hypocrisy of the U.S. dictating nuclear nonproliferation to other nations? President Bush justly brands those who target innocents as terrorists while counting innocents caught in his own cross hairs as justifiable "collateral damage."

Remember: "We don't torture"? Were Mark Kennedy's campaign commercials with the white mother caressing her own children, saying, "Mark knows if we don't fight them over there we will have to fight them over here" really compassionate?

Let's talk about personal gain. Say the phrases "Jack Abramoff" and "funding, slashed from the needy to support tax cuts for the most fortunate." Shouldn't "conservatives" be conserving oil, air, land, water, Alaska's wilderness, privacy and civil rights as vigorously as they conserve wealth and privilege?
Let’s once again clear up the difference between “hypocrisy” and its relationship to values, policies one disagrees with, and out-and-out corruption.

The examples in the letter’s first paragraph have nothing to do with hypocrisy. They are policies stated out in the open, implemented out in the open and can be judged out in the open. Are they good policies? That’s debatable, but these are not instances of saying one thing publicly based on one set of principles and acting another way in private on a different set of principles.

The second paragraph raises a good point; one that I happen to agree with. That something is worth dying in defense of does not necessarily justify killing in its name. But that does not make the “over there, not over here” statement “hypocrisy.” Again, it is a belief openly stated and acted upon. Is it right? Again debatable, but not hypocritical.

The same can be said of “funding, slashed from the needy to support tax cuts for the most fortunate" argument -- which is pure spin. The argument is whether or not supply side economics works. Debatable? Yes, but it’s out in the open and politicians that push supply side ecnomics are accountable to voters.

Abramoff? You’re talking corruption, plain and simple.

The point of my column was that the liberal hypocrisy Schweizer exposes in his book, "Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy" is symptomatic of the fact that the very people advocating liberal policies, when they have a choice, elect not to themselves abide by the principles underlying those policies. When Nancy Pelosi has a choice to hire union workers, she does not. When Michael Moore or Al Franken have the opportunity to practice affirmative action, they do not.

I don’t have to ask why conservatives are cutting taxes for those that pay the most. It is because they believe doing so stimulates the economy. Are they right? The numbers will tell us and as voters we can pass judgment on that policy.

I do have to ask why Nancy Pelosi doesn’t hire union workers; and when others have asked it, she refuses to answer. Michael Moore refuses to discuss his hiring practices. According to Schweizer, Al Franken threatened to sue him over his book -- not because his claim that Franken didn’t hire minorities when he had the opportunity to do so was in error, but because Franken claimed writing about his hiring practices was a violation of his privacy.

That is the textbook definition of hypocrisy. When given freedom of choice, the very people advocating liberal policies choose not to follow them.