Monday, 22 January 2018

Hypocrisy awareness, or lack of it

When Donald Trump allegedly called a number of countries as s***holes, it resulted in a storm of moral indignation from the political media elite. CNN, for example, ranted about it for days. Yet these same people had wildly cheered when Trump had unleashed tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria. In fact, these same people have consistently supported US bombings, invasions and regime change operations of countries across the globe. Apparently, in the moral universe occupied by the political media elite, using foul language about foreign countries is terrible, but illegally killing the people of such countries is to be enthusiastically supported. One might almost think that the political media elite have all had a hypocrisy awareness bypass operation. Unfortunately, hypocrisy is not only normal, it is mandatory.

Anne Applebaum clearly, albeit unintentionally, explained this required hypocrisy in an opinion piece in Washington Post. The article supposedly shows how Donald Trump has made dictators stronger. However, the article is not about Trump's policies; it is not about Trump actually making dictators stronger. Indeed, the author has nothing but support for US government policies that have consistently supported dictators and undermined democracies across the globe. Her ire is for Donald Trump's language; his failure to use the language of democracy and human rights. Unlawfully killing peoples and destroying their societies is something to be supported or, at worst, a price worth paying, just so long as it is dressed up in the rhetoric of morality and US exceptionalism.

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