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And They Hold Their Noses

The fever pitch of hypocrisy has reached a deafening roar. Layers of lies are being unsheathed as quickly as a tux on prom night.

People who claimed to stand for family values separate them at the border. The hope of overturning Roe v Wade (plus voting rights plus imperial presidential powers plus corporate citizenship) overtakes the brutalization of women and a temperament that is far from judicious.

Law and order types were switch hitters during the Kavanaugh debacle. I guess they only intended the wrath of American justice to be loosed on the Black and the brown and the poor and the disenfranchised when they talked about getting tough on crime. Back in the day these same folks thought that “innocent before proven guilty” was a sign of being soft on crime.

I bet that those eternally trapped in the “just us” system long for the kind of sympathy Kavanaugh received from those same folks who lamented the plight of a privileged white man facing an accuser from days gone by. And he wasn’t even facing prison time – just the prospect of losing a job with a lifetime paycheck and more power than any one frat boy should ever have.

Evangelicals, you know the ones who excoriated Clinton for getting a little head under the desk, now are willing to ignore the many allegations of adultery, harassment and sexual battery that followed Trump into the White House.

Fiscal conservatives who cried to heaven during the last administration, singing a chorus of “deficit spending” in three-part harmony, are now touting a tax bill that will add trillions to that already heavy burden.

And they hold their noses, and tell themselves they are pledging their allegiance to a lesser evil, or to a greater good.

Politics and hypocrisy are kinfolk from way back, but when the lies just beneath the surface become banner headlines, things fall apart. When the foundation is soft and mushy with the rot of decay, institutions crumble.

When politicians adopt positions diametrically opposed to what they claim to believe, and they do it faster than the 3-minute attention span of the average American, people lose faith in the system. The machine that has hummed along for a couple hundred years falters, then stalls, then dies.

Large swaths of the American public no longer believe in the American way of life. They no longer believe in truth, justice and the American way. They no longer hope for the American dream.

Reform is on the horizon. But before the wave of reform can crest, the destruction wrought by those trying desperately to hold onto the old ways must run its course.

And if our way of life can withstand that rending at the seams, perhaps we can get money out of elections, and expand the two-party system to represent the people who actually live in this country, as opposed to forever harkening back to the self-righteous meanderings of long dead white men, whose own hypocrisy knew no bounds.

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