Everyday Hypocrisy of the American Left and Right

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Everyday Hypocrisy of the American Left and Right

Zachary Farley, Staff Writer

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A few years ago, I was watching the news with a relative of mine, who wasn’t particularly fond of the president at the time, Barack Obama.

He yelled things like “he’s not my president!”  at the TV.

Two years later, on the first day of President Trump’s presidency, many citizens took to the streets to protest, claiming that “Trump is not [their] president!”

And what do I hear from the exact same relative?

“Oh, shut up. He is your president, whether you like it or not!”

Just an everyday example of hypocrisy.

Liberals and Conservatives seem to be a bit upset with each other.

We live in a highly divisive political climate, to say the least. Every citizen is entitled to their own opinion, and is free to voice it; that’s the beauty of the First Amendment!

Despite this fact, many believe that the only “correct” opinion is, supposedly, their own. This is true for both major political parties, especially for those who have become radicalized in their views. As a result, one’s views may lead to self-contradiction, as they focus merely on criticizing any and all opposition, without any attempt at personal reflection of their own beliefs. By identifying a few common forms of hypocrisy, we may learn to become more empathetic and strive for respect and understanding.

The Right: The Media

Many conservatives, especially those in support of President Donald Trump, generally have a distaste for “fake news”. Among the most notable examples of these networks are CNN (sometimes referred to as the “Clinton News Network”), a source rife with disgusting lies, according to FOX News. Of course, this is coming from a news platform that holds just as strong of a bias as any other outlet, if not worse.

Plenty of criticism came from FOX as they chastised former president Barack Obama for his frequent golfing, despite the fact that Trump has been gone on two times as many golfing excursions than his predecessor, in his 87 week post-inauguration time frame.

The same pattern continues with something far more serious than golf. Many critics of Obama scrutinized the former president’s use of executive orders to enact various policies, claiming such actions as government overstep. Now that Trump is president, the use of his position to pass more executive orders than Obama relative to their time in office is completely acceptable. Take note of the shortcomings exemplified by those you dislike and compare them to the actions of those you support. It may be an excellent method of constructively-criticizing your candidate of choice, something that many far-right conservatives fail to do.

The Right: On so-called “snowflakes”

Oftentimes, some conservatives enjoy calling out their ideological opponents as weak, easily-offended “snowflakes” that need to toughen up. Perhaps this is true, to an extent. However, when an athletic business decides to use an NFL player with a background in protesting as an advertisement strategy, it’s time to burn a pair of perfectly good tennis shoes. There are plenty of alternatives to wasting an investment of $100 or more. Restricting yourself from becoming as upset as you claim your opponents do (over supposedly trivial issues) might be a good option.

The Left: Tolerance

Plenty of left-leaning writers have published articles accusing supporters of the President to be “racist”, “bigoted”, and “xenophobic”. Claiming to be on the side of tolerance and understanding does not, apparently, permit acceptance of those who may find a Republican’s economic policies beneficial or consider increased border security to be a worthwhile investment. Some of Trump’s comments in the past have been rude, undeniably, and may be intentionally offensive. This is something that shouldn’t be ignored. But, in general, a vote in an election for the presidency likely won’t be shifted to a different candidate solely due to a few distasteful statements.

It’s important to remember that conservative and liberals are raised with differing mindsets, which is completely acceptable. However, denying those with whom you disagree a sense of respect completely undermines the focus of tolerance.

The Left: Before-and-after the 2016 Election

In an attempt to subvert Trump’s presidential campaign, many liberals chose to define the Republican candidate as a threat to democracy, a man who would establish a sort of hyper-conservative government within the United States. Based on some of Trump’s rhetoric, this assumption isn’t entirely unfounded, and it merely fueled desire for Hillary Clinton’s presidency. There were high expectations for Clinton, with a majority of analysts’ predictions pointing towards her victory; she would win, fair and square. However, when Trump won the election with plenty of electoral votes to spare, outrage ensued. Calls to “resist democracy” rang through the streets. Trump’s victory, regardless of political opinion, does exemplify the power of citizens to be involved in the election of the Commander-in-Chief. Before exalting democracy as key to the American way of life, consider your reaction when the results aren’t in favor of your candidate of choice.

Conservatives and liberals alike must work to develop a sense of unity.The most important thing to remember is this: despite our differences, we all wish the best for the United States of America. Investing time in developing an introspective mindset may prove to be the best course of action in the fight to end political strife.