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The Hypocrisy of the Republican Party

The Hypocrisy of the Republican Party
Are family values actually all that important to Republicans?

The Republican Party has an abnormal abundance of hypocrites within its ranks, writes Adrian Rivera in yet another thought provoking Naked Opinion. 

Whatever your political preferences, I think that it is high time that we acknowledge the fact that the Republican Party has an abnormal abundance of hypocrites within its ranks. Evidence of insincerity, mendacity, and double-talk can be found on all sides of the political spectrum, but this duplicity is especially pronounced when it comes from the party of “Family Values.” Just look at what kind of noble and righteous men the Republicans have elected over the past few years.

The Hypocrisy of the Republican Party
Former Governor Mark Sanford, South Carolina; Copyright: John Wollwerth / Shutterstock.com

The Republican Party: the Track Record of Fake Family Values

Former Governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford lied to his entire staff about his whereabouts in 2009 when he told them he was hiking the Appalachian Trail: what was he really doing? Visiting his mistress in Argentina.  And he did all of this during “during Father’s Day weekend,” while his wife and four sons were left behind in South Carolina. This was the man who was in charge of the Republican Governor’s Association, who was seen as a future Republican Presidential Candidate. Even after all of this, he was still somehow elected to Congress for the 1st Congressional District of South Carolina, a campaign that he asked his ex-wife to spearhead. Amazingly, she declined.

More recently, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley  of the Republican party has had an ethics report filed against him for “using state property and resources in furtherance of their personal relationship” with top political aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason. Although “many details of her compensation are unclear,” I think it is safe to say that details of the Governor’s and Ms. Mason’s illicit relationship will continue to be unearthed, but that is only the tip of the iceberg — Ms. Mason served as the de facto governor,” with one legislator going so far as to say that “You can’t get to (Bentley) unless she clears it.” With voting laws that continue to disenfranchise thousands across the country, gerrymandering, and a slew of other problems that threaten our democracy, transparency and access to public officials should be a given. Because of Ms. Mason and Governor Bentley’s relationship, this could have been further from the truth, disgracing the office of the Governor in more ways than one.

The Hypocrisy of the Republican Party
Speaker of the house Dennis Hastert at a small town parade/
Copyright: Angela Farley
Farley / Shutterstock.com

And just recently, Dennis Hastert, former and longest serving Republican Speaker of the House, was discovered to have molested at least 5 teenage boys. Federal Prosecutors uncovered this while investigating larger than usual sums of money leaving Mr. Hastert’s bank account, which eventually led to him being charged with “structuring money transactions to evade reporting where he took massive amounts of funds he was withdrawing.” — however, what was this money being used for? Initially suspecting extortion by a man “claiming” that Hastert molested him, investigators deduced that Hastert really was paying the now adult boys to keep quiet, an endeavor almost as despicable as his initial offense.

Though the statute of limitations has ended on his assault of wrestlers who were under his leadership, prosecutors recommended that he face “six months in prison,” while another U.S. Attorney said that the judge presiding over the case should  “balance the positive nature of defendant’s public service with the need to avoid a public perception that the powerful are treated differently than ordinary citizens when facing sentencing for a serious crime.” Utterly disgusting — 1. That he is receiving so little time for so heinous a crime, and 2. That they should consider his time as speaker in sentencing! Had constituents known that he had molested and performed sexual acts on four teenagers who trusted and respected him, I can guarantee with 100% certainty that he would never have reached the levels of success that he did. His life was grand while those 5 lives were ruined. He lived a life in the public eye while his treacherous deeds were buried far from there. He got to choose the life he led, while those five boys had no choice in what he did to them. However special or amazing his life may have been, I’d like to think that the knowledge of what he’d done, haunted him every time he called the House to order, every time he met with President of the United States, and especially when he voted to impeach Bill Clinton, for, among other things, “Obstructing Justice.”

 

There will be those who cite the Triumvirate of Democratic Adulterers: Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, and of course, President Bill Clinton. But at the end of the day, these three men didn’t run their campaigns on their marriage. They didn’t boast about how their relationships were divine ordinances of heaven, they didn’t feel the need to constantly reaffirm the strength of their partnerships.

 

Sure, everyone talks about their family on the campaign trail, but no one other than the Republican’s boast about their family values. True hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another. The Grand Ole Party is guilty of just that.

                        Are family values actually all that important to Republicans?

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  • While you do point out some, perhaps, unsavory characters in the ranks of a party that I generally support, I wouldn’t say that three corrupt individuals mean that the whole party, or the politicians of said party, don’t care about family values. Did these immoral individuals use “family values” just to further their agenda? Yes. But I think a vast majority of Republicans, and Republican politicians, do genuinely care about them, so using these three individuals to indict the GOP is, to me, unfair. Speaking of corrupt politicians saying that they support family values and then contradicting said values in their own personal lives, have you seen the last two seasons of The Office? There’s a major storyline involving exactly that.

      • Alex,

        Great to hear from you again — sorry it has taken me a while to reply. You make a good point — however, I would point to the fact that Republicans make a habit of taking a select sample from a larger group of people and assign all the faults of that small sample to the larger group. On the article we discussed last, there was another commenter that went by the name of Juan; in his comments, he cited the fact that undocumented immigrants were coming to the country and raping women, and that 2,000 immigrants had been deported on charges of rape. Although I find that claim to be false, I am sure some immigrant men have raped American Citizens — however, should we declare all immigrants rapists? Should we liken a few, sporadic looters to the entire Black Lives Matter Movement in the wake of Ferguson and other such places? And most importantly, should we generalize Muslims when more people in America have died at the hands of gun-violence than at the hands of Muslim extremists since 2001? I am not one to moralize — we could argue about whether adultery is immoral and a wide variety of such issues; but at the end of the day, I don’t think anyone can deny that Republicans like to point fingers and as they say, “When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you.”

        I love The Office and have seen every episode at least three times — that is one of my favorite sub-plots! I’d like to note that “The Senator” just happens to be a Republican. Coincidence? I think not!

      • Alex,

        Great to hear from you again — sorry it has taken me a while to reply. You make a good point — however, I would point to the fact that Republicans make a habit of taking a select sample from a larger group of people and assign all the faults of that small sample to the larger group. On the article we discussed last, there was another commenter that went by the name of Juan; in his comments, he cited the fact that undocumented immigrants were coming to the country and raping women, and that 2,000 immigrants had been deported on charges of rape. Although I find that claim to be false, I am sure some immigrant men have raped American Citizens — however, should we declare all immigrants rapists? Should we liken a few, sporadic looters to the entire Black Lives Matter Movement in the wake of Ferguson and other such places? And most importantly, should we generalize Muslims when more people in America have died at the hands of gun-violence than at the hands of Muslim extremists since 2001? I am not one to moralize — we could argue about whether adultery is immoral and a wide variety of such issues; but at the end of the day, I don’t think anyone can deny that Republicans like to point fingers and as they say, “When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you.”

        I love The Office and have seen every episode at least three times — that is one of my favorite sub-plots! I’d like to note that “The Senator” just happens to be a Republican. Coincidence? I think not!

        • I wouldn’t say that “Republicans” like to point fingers as a rule. That’s exactly the “taking a select sample from a larger group of people and assigning all the faults of that small sample to the larger group” that you are referring to. Do Republicans do that? Some of them, such as Mr. Trump, do. But not all of them; in fact, I’m pretty sure most don’t, at least in the manner that you are describing. Also, wasn’t the original post about family values, not generalizing as a whole?
          Oh, and on The Office, is it ever explicitly stated that The Senator is a Republican? There’s an explicit reference to “family values,” but that’s it.

          • I think the disconnect between us on this issue can be traced to a few things. Republicans judging other people, pointing out other people’s flaws, and generally blaming others is something that I see where I live, Granted, I live in a very different community than from where you live. The political culture in Texas is also generally different from where you live, at least I’d think so. And if I could revise my previous statements, it’s not so much “Republicans” that like to do the aforementioned, it is more the radio conservatives and people who listen to them. I mean people like Rush Limbaugh and the like. And while I can’t point to any data that supports my claim, listen to an hour of any of those kinds of radio stations and let me know if it excludes ad hominem attacks. And yes, my article is about Family Values but I just find it ironic that you can say “well not all republicans are like this” when many conservatives have a difficult time seeing the good in a given group. Now you’ve given me an excuse to watch the office — thanks for that 🙂 Good hearing from you, feel free to continue the conversation.

About the author

Adrian Rivera

Adrian Rivera

Adrian Rivera is a native of Mission, Texas. He is an incoming freshmen at Yale University where he will study History, Global Affairs, or Ethics, Politics, and Economics. Adrian was a Yale Young Global Scholar for 2014 and 2015 where he won the Director's Award in the International Affairs and Security Session. He enjoys reading, watching movies, and listening to music.

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