J. Stewart Cook’s Canadian Commentary

It was bound to happen. We finally reached the political pinnacle of hypocrisy. Perhaps, we are all a “basket of hypocrites.” Perhaps, we are all guilty!

Looking back over the past four decades, or so, America (though not only restricted to the USA), has engaged in hypocritical behaviour never seen before. So much so, that since the eighties it has also become central to studies in ethics, discrimination, decision making, cultural psychology and other types of science. Hypocrisy has long been of interest to psychologists. Pioneer  C. G. Jung attributed it to those who are not aware of the dark or “shadow-side” of their nature.

Looking at our two presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, one notices that they tend to think highly of themselves, highlighting strengths and achievements, and overlooking weakness and failures, the so called “self-serving bias.” Robert Wright wrote that “human beings are a species splendid in their array of moral equipment, tragic in their propensity to misuse it, and pathetic in their constitutional ignorance of the misuse.” Humans are very good at challenging the beliefs of other people, but when it comes to their own beliefs, they tend to protect them, not challenge them.

Hillary Clinton often cites a phrase from Michele Obama, “when they go low, we go high.” In other words, do not stoop to their level, but rise above. Do not use their language and form of attack. Ironically, no sooner said, one hears Hillary throwing out a litany of words she has just condemned her opposition of using. How hypocritical can one be? On the other hand, no one can accuse Donald Trump of being hypocritical since he openly states what is on his mind. It would be hypocritical of Donald NOT to comment on the character of an individual.

Donald Trump’s so-called “sex tape” is not uncommon in today’s everyday life. Be it the Kardashians, the Hiltons, Minka Kellys, on and on, society no longer reacts to these recordings. They are sadly accepted and form part of our entertainment culture. The reason why Donald’s “tape” has been so sensational is due to the “context”…someone making derogatory comments who is vying for the highest office in the country. But the “content” is nothing new. It would be interesting to know what derogatory comments the Kennedy boys made about women. Tell me Marilyn Monroe! What derogatory comments did Bill Clinton make? What do you think Monica Lewinsky?

There is a popular claim that men think about sex every seven seconds. Be it true or not, sex is not far from a man’s brain. Be he two or eighty-two, the so-called “locker room” talk or “boys will be boys” mentality is part of a male’s make-up. Perhaps it is the way in which men say things. Perhaps the choice of words would make a difference! “She has a beautiful posterior” as opposed to having “a nice piece of…” It would be a different world if we all saw life in the same way. This, I believe, is not for the near future!

So let us all look at one’s self and see the word HYPOCRITE written on our forehead. If we are honest in our evaluation of ourselves and not think of himself/herself more highly than one should ought to think, sober judgement would dictate that we are all guilty at times of hypocrisy and in no position to judge.

Sad as it may be, we are evidencing a society where hypocrisy has become part of our everyday life. It has never been more prevalent than in the media and entertainment world. As mentioned in one of my previous articles, the world of “Jerry Springer” and company has become too common place. The epitome of hypocrisy could not be more prevalent than in these tabloid talk shows. I watched the latest televised electoral debate and couldn’t help think that at any moment I would be hearing the “endearing” chant, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!

As a last comment, Hillary Clinton should take careful note of the number of times she has been publicly referred to as a “hypocrite.” On a variety of issues, including; women’s issues, LGBT, income equality, they have cited her hypocrisy. She may think Donald Trump is a “sinful” man in his public and private lives, however, let the electorate decide if this is so and, subsequently, his fate. There is an old biblical quote she may want to adhere to…”Let Him Who is Without Sin Cast the First Stone.”

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