Let us be perfectly clear from the start. I am a child of the 60’s. I turned 10 in 1961 and was 18 in 1969. An while I was anything but a hippie/flower child I was deeply influenced by the time. One of the most lasting was my total disdain of Hypocrisy and of lying. I was already predisposed to rejecting Hypocrisy because of my natural, if not instinctual, logic. Also i had close experience with someone who lied about everything and anything.
My first real exposure to the political Hypocrisy of the 50’s and early 60’s was in the 1964 election when I got a copy of “None Dare Call it Treason”. When my mother saw i was reading it she immediate directed me to other sources, news papers, encyclopedias, etc to fact check what the book said. I had already been shocked by the crushingly poor logic and reasoning of the book. It was not till years later when I was introduced to classic Greek logic was I to true comprehend the truly horrible work this book is. This is where I mark my life long crusade against Hypocrisy.
So why this post? Two reasons actually. According to the New York Post Pres. Trump has now told over 10,000 lies and we’re not talking about your run of the mill political lies, we’re talking about bald faced lies. Like the one he just told this week. You know the one (I shan’t repeat it here, it is too vial) about late term abortions. But this is not about Pres. Trump, he is just a symptom of what is wrong with what is known as the ‘conservative movement’. I’m not talking about your run of the mill Jack and Jill conservative, no. I’m talking about the true ‘movement conservatives’.
It is as hard to define a ‘movement conservative’ as it is easy to identify them when you see them. I’m also not going to get into the debate about “there are hypocrites on the left”. Anyone who studies the subject knows that hypocrisy and lying happen on both sides. No, what I’m going to be talking about is systemic hypocrisy of conservative thought and speech. This problem has existed in this country since it’s founding (I like to use the 3/5ths comprise as a starting point) and we have it with us still. There are several things we can use to detect hypocrisy in the ‘conservative movement’. I like to start with the use of euphemisms, most famous in our history is ‘particular institution’ for slavery. Euphemisms are still in vogue today, just consider “alternative facts” for lies (or to be more exact incorrect facts). Another diagnostic is the use of ill defined terms. Like Humpty Dumpty said “a word means exactly what I mean it to mean”. There is a simple experiment I like to perform with people who talk a lot about ‘Capitalism’, I tell them I have never really understood the term and you they kindly tell me what it actually means. 9 times out of 10 I find they have no clear idea either.
This brings me to my last diagnostic, perspective. By this I me just this. That which I like and approve of is “conservative” and good, right, and proper. An everything else is bad, evil, and improper. This has a very interesting effect on talking about ‘conservative movement’, anything less than full support becomes a personal attack. It is fundamentally impossible to have a rational talk with a ‘movement conservative’ because any questioning of the ideas expressed become a personal attack. An there is nothing you can do to change this.
Think on it. Next installment of this post I’ll go into how this works so well with classical logical fallacies, Hypocrisy, and what can de done about it.