Hypocrisy and the Current Federal Election Cycle

This morning a fellow flipped me off on his way to church. I was in front of him on a two lane road, driving slowly as I usually do, the speed limit and not much more.

The Fellow In a Hurry slid in behind my little truck in his sleek, huge machine, rattle and a hum, while I creaked and clanked my way. At first he just got his grill close to my rear bumper. There was no room to get over on this stretch of road, so he got a bit closer and flashed his lights, first deliberately and then with more urgency. Finally he let on his brights and laid on his horn.

I added a mile or three per hour, enough to clear his grill, but not enough to satisfy. My last sight of his giant pick up was his sudden turn into the parking lot of our local box church (one of them), so predictably banal in its facade exterior, right down to the weeds sprouting in our mild winter through the thin asphalt in the chip and seal parking. He showed me the middle finger of his right hand as he  veered off the road and into the third row.  The blonde woman in the other seat seemed to offer some kind of admonition, to which he only sneered, though it seemed to smart, somewhat, viewed in my outside mirror across the space of fifty feet or so, all in motion.

Let’s impose a caveat or two here, lest I be told I am no longer nuanced. I could drive faster, I just mostly will not. I do get off the road where I might, but my little truck never met a ditch she liked.

The fellow who showed me The Universal Hand Gesture of Disdain while on his way to divine services is precisely the kind of fellow I want in church. I wish he came to mine. He undoubtedly acts the same way on Monday (or late Sunday evening), so he is no hypocrite.

He is just one of those fellows who does things that do not seem to fit the context. He will be called a hypocrite, though neither he nor I  qualify here, because I kept to my speed while under pressure and he lifted his obscene salute when he felt the press of time.

Here I will be accused, not of false faith, or for the failure to nuance, but of being a bit scattered, because I see the current federal election cycle the same way. The four people most likely, at least now, to gain their party’s nomination, are damned as hypocrites outside their respective camps, though I think they are more likely more like the Fellow In a Hurry to church. Under pressure, they behave on Sunday as they would on Monday, though Bernie is a Jew and would need an earlier Sabat. Look at them and see.

Mrs. Clinton is likely to be indicted before the election, though not arrested or tried prior to November. She almost certainly broke some law with her errant emails, only because she behaved as she behaves, as a person to whom the laws apply, but only theoretically, not in real time. Mrs. Clinton has lived a privileged existence for quite some time. There is no real reason to believe privilege will lose its charms now or later.

Mr. Cruz is reportedly despised by his colleagues. In a more direct context, his “unfavorables” are almost as high as those of Mrs. Clinton, which takes some doing. One of his own party’s upper elite likened him to the former Junior Senator, Tail-Gunner Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin,1950’s vintage. This is not a compliment.

Mr. Sanders makes no concessions on his socialism. The fact a grey headed man from a tiny state with no real resume of accomplishment can make such inroads to his party’s conscience and the post-millenial generation makes less than no sense, but there he is, neck to grizzled neck with Mrs. Clinton in the grandly over-hyped Iowa straw polls. Mr. Sanders also does not flinch when someone discloses his divorce, his out of wedlock son or the absolute certainty that he has lived off the government for his adult life, most notably while lounging in the Senate, where his proposals for legislation have been lacking in number and passage. He behaves as he behaves, day to day, and people, particularly younger people, seem to love him for it. He may be one indictment away from the Democratic nomination. In this odd election cycle, that may well be one arrest away from the White House.

Mr Trump. I hardly know what to say, as the preacher said, and then took three hundred words to describe his speechlessness. Mr. Trump has been an Independent in politics, not a Democrat, as is often said of him. He has played both sides against the middle. He had someone carefully research which party might  come closest to ratifying his angst in 2016, and chose the GOP. I do not know if this says more about his researchers or more about the GOP, but I am apoplectic with each of them.

Mr. Trump, the object of my muteness, has changed, well, not at all. He has next to nothing to say, says it with style and flair, and the lack of seriousness in his hearers, not himself, lifts him to heights undreamed of by any sane dreamer. No, he does not know his Bible very well, but I have heard seminary students do about as poorly. Fault his handlers, if handlers there be in the Trump camp, for handing him an unmarked Bible and telling him to wave it grandly and espouse it loudly.

Come to think of it, a lot of large churches have been built along the same lines. In his case, Mr. Trump came closer to pandering than anywhere else in his campaign, but even then, he knew his audience. Loud were the cheers and almost silent the jeers among his lovers.

He is just the kind of fellow I would like to see go to church-meeting more often. I guarantee he would not make the same mistake again. He is no hypocrite, the Donald. He is behaving on Sunday as he does on Monday. I wish he would come to my church.

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