Often times, one will speak out against his/her opponents for their actions as they see them as representing what’s wrong with our society in this day and age. More often than not, it’s a warranted argument for one to call out their counterpart’s tactics, especially when it runs along the lines of bigotry, intolerance, disrespect, and downright unhinged mentality of going about things. Today, we can see this atmosphere being displayed front and centre in the political world, as any other means of civil discourse are ignored and replaced by confrontational instruments.
In an ideal world, respect is shown to people regardless of our disagreements and differences, people are allowed to express their opinions even if we may not necessarily conform with them ourselves. In an ideal world, those who are pushing forward rhetoric consisting of hate and divisive language are shown to be the complete opposite of their critics who preach and practice tolerance, respect and non-violent rhetoric instead of stooping to their level. In an ideal world, civil discourse is utilised as a means of communication within society, but this is not the case today, as we see more confrontational and aggressive means of going about politics dominate the atmosphere in which we live. In today’s world, politicians wind up not practising what they preach and are found to have actions which are inconsistent with their words. Examples of hypocrisy at its finest do not guarantee anything different at all, but just provide more of the same in the modern political class.
This sensation has certainly been developing a great deal within the United States against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s presidency, where in this case, the hateful and aggressive rhetoric which characterised the presidential election that got him elected and was a dominating factor of his supporters and his campaign rallies. Throughout his presidency, the political climate of the US has been far from calm. Matters have only continued to intensify, with Trump’s political opponents failing to collectively combat Trump’s policies with substance, but are instead resorting to methods which are extremely, if not completely, similar to those used by Trump and those around him prior to him being elected, and during parts of his first term in office.
The cases of confrontational methods being used against Trump administration officials have only continued to mount, mainly consisting of leftist activists confronting Republican politicians, whether they be alone or with their families, while they’re out for dinner at restaurants. This trend started when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant due to the fact that she works for President Trump, and was only fuelled even further when Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters encouraged supporters at a rally to harass Trump administration officials in public places by encouraging them to ‘tell them that they are not welcome anywhere, anymore’.
With all this said, it must be stated that all political ideologies are not immune to criticism, and to the trait of hypocrisy. Both sides of the political spectrum, be it on the right or the left, are susceptible to falling foul of practising what they preach, and this inevitably finds its way in being part of either their tone or actions. One of the most common instances brought up which exhibits this scenario is the criticism delivered towards the concept of identity politics by the right, be it as a result of being used in the context of social class or occupation, or gender or sexual orientation.
Taking this into consideration, figures on the right fail to be consistent with their views they adopt similar tactics when generalising the left and putting left-leaning politicians or figures all under the same umbrella. Other cases of a lack of consistency can also be found in how quite a number of conservative politicians position themselves as being pro-life in terms of abortion, but are at the same time in favour of terminating life via the death penalty. A similar perception can be taken with regards to Republican politicians in the U.S. who share the same conservative values, but have been in favour of the U.S. entering wars and interventions which have led to a substantial loss of life.
It goes without saying, that striving to be objective and impartial continues to be harder to achieve with every passing day when it comes to politics, as an element of bias in our reasoning and thought process is inevitable. While figures across the political divide, be them conservative or liberal, must continue to be true to their beliefs, and must strive to be consistent in their views as whole, as the citizens who elect them have to the duty of holding them accountable should they fall short of fulfilling promises which they themselves would have made.
Written by: Jacob Callus