Hypocrisy Squared

10/09/2016 12:14 pm ET

While it is popular among the religious right and self-righteous conservatives in general to express moral indignation at perceived hypocrisy on the part of elected officials, perhaps an even greater hypocrisy exists within their own ranks. Those who follow the teachings of Christ steadfastly hold onto the literal interpretation of such inarguable truths such as the Ten Commandments. If only they practiced what they preach.

If the alt-right or whatever they call evangelical fundamentalism these days felt as strongly about the Ten Commandments as they do the Second Amendment the penultimate hypocrisy such as that which was perpetrated last evening by Governor Pence during the Vice-Presidential debate would be soundly denounced by the most ardent followers and supporters of Donald Trump.

Pence comes across as a self-anointed paragon of virtue whose soft-spoken conviction belies the political accommodation he has made with his Maker. At issue is his predilection for convenience over conviction when it come to the truth. The Eighth Commandment says that you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Essentially it means that lying is a sin. By any account Pence is lying when he knowingly refutes what is irrefutable. He did this on numerous occasions last evening and raised the specter of hypocrisy to another level.

That Trump lies is already baked into the fabric of who and what he is. He may deeply feel that he is God’s gift to the Earth but at least he does not pretend or intimate in the least that he is a righteous person. He worships money next to himself, it is a given, on one expects anything more. Unfortunately, the scum with a scam is successful in the political realm due to the abject failure of a political process that is corrupted to the core. No one expects to find the Donald in church and they are not disappointed.

But this guy Pence, he is as wily and disingenuous as a snake oil salesman. The people of Indiana realized this and had Trump not plucked him out of the heartland for the dead-end assignment of being his ultra-right-wing man he was destined to be looking for another job after November under any circumstance. Look, I am sure he is a good family man and probably even a nice guy. He certainly portrays an honest demeanor. But to so blatantly laugh in the face of his professed religious piety by misleading an unsuspecting public into discovering on their own just what a bald-faced liar he is disheartening at best and deceptive at worst.

For those who wish to look for or at least be open to the actual truth you will not have to wait long. The evidence is vivid and leaves no room for argument. Trump and Pence are liars. It may very well be the best default mechanism when your campaign disdains substance and relies upon style. Trump has his style and Pence has his, Trump has no penchant for policy-making, Pence cannot afford to let the public know his, and where Trump at least does not pretend to have class, Pence is a smooth-talking executioner.

I neither expect nor require that our leaders be holy men or women. I do not hold one’s religious convictions against them. But hypocrisy is a sin that has dogged human kind forever and is a primary determinant of why our political system is as dysfunctional as it currently is. Trump and Pence represent hypocrisy squared, which means it is four times as destructive.

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