Hypocrisy is among the most universal and well-studied of psychological phenomena, and the research suggests that Craig, Haggard and the others may be guilty not so much of moral hypocrisy as moral weakness. The distinction may sound trivial at first, but as a society, we tend to forgive the weak and shun the hypocritical. As psychologists Jamie Barden of Howard University, Derek Rucker of Northwestern and Richard Petty of Ohio State have shown, we often use a simple temporal cue to distinguish between the weak and the hypocritical: if you say one thing and then do another, you are much less likely to be forgiven than if you do one thing and then say another.But however understanding the author was for the individuals (all conservatives in this article), there was none for the GOP:
So who are the real hypocrites? Because their decision making is usually more diffuse, institutions aren't as susceptible to cognitive dissonance. Corporations and political parties routinely say one thing (the GOP is the party of strict values) and do another (the party let Louisiana Senator David Vitter, who unlike Craig holds a swing-state seat, get off with a simple apology after he was linked to a female prostitution ring). The GOP's moralizers deserve some pity. The party itself, not so much.And actually, you can't really argue with that. You can, though, point out a very selective application of this yardstick by the Dinosaur media. Pistolero looks at Al and Tipper Gore's crusade against Rock n' Roll lyrics in the 1980s:
The whole thing made the members of the PMRC and the groups supporters look extremely hypocritical, really -- especially Tipper Gore. She and Al are both big fans of the Grateful Dead, and from what I understand, way back in their day if you wanted to get yourself into a, shall we say, altered state, there were few better places to do it than at a Grateful Dead concert.Pistolero pretty well guts the PMRC's (Parent's Music Resource Center, the Gore's institution set up to fight the scourge of "satanic" music) arguments, so I won't comment on that other than to saw RTWT.
What I will comment on, however, is the curious lack of coverage from the same Dinosaur Media on this. It seems to be almost a clone of the Larry Craig scandal: some blue-nose, big-mouth politician makes a lot of noise about the threat to morality by issue X, and then turns around and does a 100% reversal on issue X.
It's not even like the Clinton episode - after all, by the time Monica came around nobody thought for a minute that Bill was the sort of guy you let escort your daughter to the Prom. Bit Al and Tipper did a 180° turn when he ran for vice president, courting the Music Industry's money. Time again:
Corporations and political parties routinely say one thing (the GOP is the party of strict values) and do another (the party let Louisiana Senator David Vitter, who unlike Craig holds a swing-state seat, get off with a simple apology after he was linked to a female prostitution ring).Let's see about that re-write:
Corporations and political parties routinely say one thing (the Democrats are the party of do-your-own-thing-man) and do another (the party nominates Gore as VP, who in a closely contested election year, gets off with a simple apology after he tried to censor the Music Industry).There, I fixed it for you.
For extra credit, readers can add their own examples of institutional hypocrisy, for example about a news industry that claims to be unbiased, but who suppress stories in a very interesting and predictable manner.