Grassroots Commentary

Hypocrisy and Lies

Eugene A. Foster · Apr. 9, 2012

Perhaps if you live in Washington DC, you may acclimate to the behavior of politicians telling you one thing one day, and then telling you something else the next. Out in “fly over country” that sort of behavior doesn’t work as well, telling stories or as most people call it, lying, or at the very least being a hypocrite, can cause you to lose your job and possibly your friends. I think politicians in particular have gotten used to hearing each other stretch the truth so much that is has become a near norm, in fact I think it may be considered an asset in politics. Unfortunately, the media has a tendency to ignore the things that appear to be distortions of truth or hypocritical behavior when the media agrees with the politician.

One of the most obvious examples of this sort of behavior comes from those that think the Second Amendment to the Constitution does not actually mean that people have a right to keep and bear arms. This perspective is often promoted by liberal politicians such as Senators Charles Schumer, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and yet they either personally have a concealed carry permit and carry a gun, or have an armed bodyguard. Why is it OK for them to act in a fashion that they actively strive to deny the rest of the population? Hypocrisy, certainly, but also I think it’s a sense of superiority and entitlement. Imagine your neighbor telling you that it should be illegal for you to own a gun, but it’s OK for them to own one. Such is the insulation of elected officials. In recent years Senators and Representatives have had town hall meeting and the citizens verbally rebuked them for their behavior as well as their stances on various issues of the day. It appeared to shock some of them. Finding out that the folks back home didn’t hold them in very high regard seemed to come as a surprise. The result being that a number of elected officials stopped having town hall meetings, and the electorate rightfully threw some of them out of office.

A particularly egregious example of hypocrisy is President Obama’s position on the use of oil and gas in our country. While actively and personally lobbying to prevent the northern portion of the Keystone pipeline, he simultaneously goes to Oklahoma and New Mexico to promote the southern half of the pipeline, over which he has no control, and touts his administration’s energy policy, which seems to be, it’s alright for me to burn gas at a prodigious rate, but you should be buying an electric car!

Shortly after his election he light heartedly commented that the job of President was pretty nice and it came with a really cool airplane. He famously took his wife to New York for a “date night”. Consider the use of resources for such a trip. According to Boeing, the 747 burns about 5 gallons of fuel per mile, or about 14000 to 15000 pounds of gas per hour depending on variables such as gross weight, speed, and altitude, etc. That’s a little over 2000 gallons of fuel per hour. It is roughly 210 air miles from Washington DC to New York, so about one hour round trip flying time. If you own a car that holds 20 gallons of gas and fill the tank once a week, the Presidential “date night”  is the equivalent of about two years' worth of fuel for the average consumer. That doesn’t even begin to take into consideration the cost of getting to Andrews Air Force Base on a helicopter from the White House, getting into and out of New York from an Airport in a motorcade, or the cost of crew and support personnel.

For their recent vacation in Hawaii, the family went a few days early and he followed a couple of days later. Two large jets were utilized, with very few people aboard, flying thousands of miles without regard for the cost. Is that what any of us would do when we go on vacation? If the Obamas had to personally pay for any portion of the trip, don’t you think Mrs. Obama would have waited to go until her husband could join her?

Recently the Presidents oldest child and a number of her classmates went to Mexico with 25 Secret Service agents on a spring break vacation. I can’t imagine the perspective that allows any parent, let alone an elected leader to send his child and her friends on a trip and let the American people pick up the tab, not to mention the efforts that were made to hide the trip from the public. This level of impertinence toward the people of this country is monumental.

In an interview on CNN, Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown was commenting on the recent tragedy involving Trayvon Martin. When the journalist asked if there would be the same level of concern if the victim wasn’t black, Congresswoman Brown insisted that she had been equally concerned about a young white woman that had recently been murdered in her district. When asked the woman’s name, the Congresswoman could not answer but claimed that she had participated in all kinds of rallies for the woman, and then changed the subject.

These examples barely scratch the surface of the willingness of our elected officials to exaggerate and self-promote to an extent that would never be tolerated in a personal relationship. Perhaps a level of drama or theatrics is a necessity to get elected to office, and oratorical skills certainly have their place, but I would say that the hypocrisy and lying on the part of our elected “elite” has reached epidemic proportion and has become a virtual art form. As long as we the people don’t make a larger issue of it, and as long as the media is complicit with the perpetrators it is unlikely to change. Most government officials are required to take an oath of office that says they will support and defend the Constitution of the United States; maybe we should amend it to say that they cannot lie, cheat or steal as well.