What is a Hypocrite?
These days we spend a lot of time talking about hypocrisy. I do it too. I usually start by wondering how the party of inclusion has suddenly become the poster child for intolerance. Or how they want to have guns, gated communities, freedom, and money – they just don’t want anyone else to. But today on our show we heard a clip about how Bill Clinton called Tony Blair to ask about getting a little momentum before the 2000 election. And then hypocrisy came up on Scott Hennen’s show today, when a caller accused him of being a hypocrite because he once supported Ben Carson over Donald Trump, leading up to 2016.
So I started wondering why that word just didn't seem to fit. Because I felt the same way back then. I was not a Donald Trump fan. I was a Ted Cruz guy. I remember saying ON THE AIR that “they’ve gotta get this clown out of there” when they started the Republican narrowing process with the group of 17. I was not a Trump fan then because I didn’t believe him to be a conservative, he seemed to lack basic information on key issues, and I felt that comments that he made about Megyn Kelly, and others, would alienate too many people and we would lose the election to Hillary Clinton.
Of course I was wrong.
Trump steamrolled the electoral college, and by the time the win had been secured I had come around to the idea of giving him a shot. He didn’t need the job, promised to deregulate, wanted to disrupt the bureaucratic glaciers in DC, and promised to lube up the economic engine.
So was I a hypocrite? Maybe, but I think there’s a better word. Can’t say for sure what it is, but it’s not hypocrisy. Being a hypocrite seems grounded in the current moment. Saying one thing and doing the other 5 minutes later. Criticizing something and supporting that very same thing in your next conversation. Scott and I both preferred someone else at that time. But when another choice wins the nomination, you shrug your shoulders, fill in the circle and hope for the best. Especially when the opponent is who the opponent was. Are we hypocrites that we now support Trump?
Maybe I’m still one. I have an, ummm, unique appreciation for the president. It’s not a love-hate relationship. Both words are too strong. I appreciate his commitment to economic growth, sanctity of life, and limited government. I don’t like the incessant name calling, the tissue-skin sensitivity, the all-about-me persona, or the appetite for spending. It’s not all or nothing with me. Sadly, we live in an “all or nothing” society. You either have to hate something or love something, there can be no middle ground. Trump has either done nothing wrong or done everything wrong. Balance is soooooo yesterday.
Yes, it’s far more comfortable in our echo chamber. We all like it, myself included. Even if that makes me a hypocrite.
Steve Hallstrom is President/Managing Partner of Flag Family Media and Fieldstone Consulting Group. He also is the host of the Need To Know Morning Show, weekdays at 6 on AM1100 The Flag WZFG.