Look, we all have times in our lives when we speak or act in a way that is considered hypocritical. I am the first to admit guilt in that regard. Usually my hypocritical ways manifest themselves when I’m lecturing my husband about not putting a household item where it belongs and then – oops! – I realize it was I who was the culprit.
It can be very difficult to live up to the standards we set for others – mainly because it is much easier to set a standard than to follow a standard in the same way that it is far easier to be critical of others than it is to be critical of ourselves. Generally, we expect that with wisdom and maturity comes a greater ability to look inward.
But the past year was not a general time in the United States. It has been the age of Trump, when folks young and old suddenly lost the ability to think in terms of moral vs. immoral, big government vs. limited government, strict Constitutionalist vs. “living” Constitutionalist, individualist vs. collectivist, laissez-faire vs. Keynesian, etc., etc., etc. Instead, it has become “Does Donald Trump love it?” vs. “Does Donald Trump hate it?”.
Try this on for size: we have allowed Donald Trump to become our new moral compass.
For some of us, if Donald Trump points north, we go north. Others of us run the opposite direction. The problem with this becomes that the Donald Trump compass has not been zeroed and it swings around wildly with very little accuracy. Those of us who depend on it are along for an extremely dizzying ride.
You cannot travel in every direction and expect never to hit an unfamiliar road you do not want to go down. If you do go down such a road, you are either pretending to be comfortable with it, or you’ve really lost your way.
For example, say the Trump compass points east northeast toward Russia. This is a road you refused to go down in the past; a road that your old compass never led you down. This is a road not even journeyed by your parents and grandparents.
Why is the road passable now? Did the road get paved? Is there more law enforcement along the road? Is the road more populated?
Or is your compass broken?
Apply this to life. If you find yourself setting different standards for an opponent than for people who are like-minded, you are being a hypocrite.
If you only see the speck in the opponent’s eye instead of the log in your own, you are a hypocrite.
If you overlook for one person based on your religion what you would not overlook for others, you are a hypocrite.
If you pad one person for the same behavior that you would berate another for, you are being a hypocrite.
The people on your team reflect on you. Wouldn’t you want them to be their best? To be authentic? To be consistent? To be fair? To make you look good?
In the reverse sense, it’s not healthy to oppose a person so thoroughly that you end up arguing against your own deeply held beliefs in scenarios where you and the opposition may agree.
The padding of the like-minded occurs on both sides of the political spectrum.
There are too many examples of hypocrisy in this modern age to count. The lack of consistency cannot continue. We are becoming confused as a nation. Lost.
In the end, the solution is very simple. Get a different compass. How about the one you were given at a young age in your place of worship? If not that, what about the one your parents sent you away with? If those aren’t strong enough, then I have one final suggestion.
Choose the Constitution. Let that be your compass. It has been America’s compass for 240 years. Defend that. Follow that. Honor that.
It will steer you straight.