The hypocrisy of the human condition is intriguing. Donald Trump is despised by the political left. Elizabeth Warren is despised by the political right. Armstrong, Loughlin and Huffman are just despised.
The animus directed at these public figures has to do with their unethical behavior. Primarily, lying and cheating to get ahead. The level of contempt a person feels towards one them is not based on what they did. But rather what world view the person passing judgement holds.
Trump supporters suggest that he just exaggerates because he just wants to get stuff done. Apparently it’s o.k. to lie to get what you want.
Warren supporters dismiss the fact that she checked off that she is a Native American on several academic applications. Apparently it’s o.k. to lie to get what you want.
Armstong, Loughlin and Huffman all gamed the system to promote their own self interest, or that of their children. In their case most of society decided it was NOT ok to lie to get what you want.
So why is the condemnation of Armstrong, Loughlin and Huffman so much more universal than that of either Trump or Warren? Because what larger world view is helped by defending Armstrong, Loughlin or Huffman? Their unethical acts did little to help anyone but themselves.
Trump and Warren are seen as agents for the kind of change their supporters are looking for. If they lie and cheat to achieve those mutual goals, well it’s just part of the process.
The sad reality is that all of them had similar lapses in moral judgement. They all lied to get ahead. Each time an individual acts in this way they tease at the threads of the fabric that holds society together. When enough people do this society begins to fray at the edges. Whether those lies helped you shouldn’t affect your judgement that the act was immoral.
Ignoring or rationalizing someone’s unethical act unwittingly condones more and more people to act unethically. We set up a society where the prevailing sentiment is, “Well everyone else is cheating, if I don’t I won’t be able to compete.”
Society is best served by condemning anyone that advances their own self interest through lying and cheating.
This concept is known as, “equal justice’. This phrase is normally applied to our judicial system. But our judicial system in large part is a reflection of our society. If we can’t apply equal justice in our own personal viewpoints, how can a jury possibly suddenly be expected to do so in a judicial setting?
If we want to help all of our society we should give no quarter to those that strive to get ahead by gaming the system. In the process we build a better society.