Sunday, June 4, 2017

Partisanship and Hypocrisy

"Listen, I'm a politician, which means I'm a cheat and a liar. And when I'm not kissing babies, I'm stealing their lollipops."
--Jeffrey Pelt (The Hunt for Red October)

The blatant hypocrisy exhibited by politicians and their partisans has long captured my attention. But I shouldn't be surprised, really. People who belong to groups are likely to use different yardsticks for assessing behavior depending on whether they are judging in-group vs out-group members (including themselves).

Moreover, as political stakes escalate, groups are increasingly prone to pulling out all stops in order to maintain control over the strong arm of government and to keep power out the hands of their opponents. This would include eliminating all scruples about acting with duplicity.

The greater the political stakes, the greater the political partisanship. The greater the political partisanship, the greater the hypocrisy.

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